Suiter’s Career Day Not Enough, KU Falls to Bears, 6-5

Juinor left fielder Michael Suiter boasted a career-high 5-for-5 effort at the plate with two RBIs.
Missouri State 6, Kansas 5
Hoglund Ballpark // Lawrence, Kan.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
MSU 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 6 11 0
KU 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 5 13 1

Box Score (.pdf)
Season Stats (.pdf)

Batting Leaders
D. Becker 5 2 2 1 0 0
M. Fultz 4 0 1 2 0 0
T. Matheny 4 2 2 1 0 0
M. Suiter 5 0 5 2 0 0
M. Tinsley 1 0 1 2 0 0
B. Beck 4 1 2 0 0 0
A. Cheray 5.0 7 1 1 4 5
S. Perez (3-0) 3.0 6 3 3 0 3
J. Harris (1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
J. Hander 5.2 4 0 0 3 1
D. Morovick 1.1 4 1 1 1 3
S. Villines (1-2) 2.0 3 3 2 0 1

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior left fielder Michael Suiter’s career-high five hits and perfection at the plate (5-for-5) couldn’t outlast a late ninth-inning KU error, as the Kansas baseball team fell to Missouri State, 6-5, Wednesday evening at Hoglund Ballpark.
With the middle of the lineup recording just two hits in their last 22 at bats, Suiter clutched-up to pace the Jayhawks’ (23-20, 6-9 Big 12) offense with five hits and two RBIs, and helped Kansas take a two-run lead over the Bears (18-19, 6-6 MVC) into the ninth inning. However, KU’s closer, freshman Stephen Villines (1-2), gave up two runs off three-straight hits before sophomore third baseman Colby Wright booted a ground ball to score the final and go-ahead run of the ninth for Missouri State, 6-5.
“Obviously he [Suiter] hasn’t been as good as he has been the last few weeks,” head coach Ritch Price said. “The 5-for-5 performance he had tonight and the RBI he had in the eighth to make it a two-run lead, you feel really good because it gives you the two-run cushion. I thought it was a huge RBI-double in the eighth and quite honestly, I thought it would slam the door for us.”
Suiter’s five hits in the game was a first for the Jayhawks since senior catcher Ka’iana Eldredge accomplished the same feat in 2012 against Southern Utah (March 21).
Though Suiter’s perfection at the plate highlighted a rough night for the Jayhawks, freshman Michael Tinsley’s pinch-hit double in the sixth inning gave life to a struggling offense when he scorched the ball over MSU centerfielder Tate Matheny’s head to drive in two runs and give Kansas the lead, 3-2.
“It changed the whole complexion of the game,” Price said. “I mean we have an opportunity to take the lead with a clutch hit and when he rails the ball over the centerfielder’s head … It was nice to see him drive one through the wind, he is going to be a big time player for us.”
Tinsley’s double sparked a KU rally in the bottom half of the sixth for three runs. Junior designated hitter Dakota Smith led off with a walk and junior first baseman Blair Beck followed with a single through the left side. Then with one out, junior shortstop Justin Protacio singled to load the bases for Tinsley, who scorched the pinch-hit two-run double over Matheny’s head in center. Suiter’s RBI-single followed to put the Jayhawks on top, 4-2.
Both teams added a run in the eighth inning before Missouri State rallied for three runs in the ninth to steal the victory from the Kanas, 6-5. Villines got the quick foul out before giving up three-straight hits to tie the game up, 5-5. He then induced the ground ball, which was misplayed by Wright at third and kicked into the outfield, allowing the go-ahead run to score and seal the fate for KU.
Kansas recorded 13 hits on the night highlighted by multiple-hit efforts by Suiter (5-for-5), Protacio (3-for4) and Beck (2-for-4). Suiter and Tinsley also added two RBIs apiece, while Eldredge added one of his own in the loss.
The Jayhawks are back on the diamond Friday, April 25 to start a three-game conference series against Baylor at Baylor Ballpark. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports-Plus.  The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.