One-Hit Wonder: Piche’, Jayhawks Blank Baylor, 1-0

Senior catcher Ka’iana Eldredge posted two hits on the night, including the game-winner in the top half of the ninth to drive in the lone run of the game for KU.
Kansas 1, Baylor 0
Baylor Ballpark // Waco, Texas
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
KU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0
BU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

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

Batting Leaders
K. Eldredge 3 0 2 1 1 0
J. Protacio 2 0 0 0 2 0
T. Tharp 3 0 1 0 1 0
L. Langford 3 0 1 0 1 0
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
J. Piche’ (5-5) 9.0 1 0 0 2 5
B. Kuntz 6.0 3 0 0 4 4
N. Lewis 1.1 0 0 0 0 1
J. Michalec (0-4) 1.2 2 1 0 2 2

WACO, Texas – In his fourth start since becoming the Friday night guy for the Kansas baseball team, senior right-handed hurler Jordan Piche’ tossed the first complete game of his career, a one-hit shutout, leading the Jayhawks to a 1-0 win over the Bears at Baylor Ballpark.
Piche’ (5-5) dominated on the mound for KU (24-20, 7-9 Big 12), as he gave up one Baylor (19-23, 5-10 Big 12) hit and allowed just four baserunners through nine innings, including two walks and a hit batsman. The only blemish in the hit column for Piche’ came from the first hitter of the game, BU leadoff man Lawton Langford, when he singled through the left side. Piche’ then went nine-straight innings without surrendering a hit.
“I felt great tonight,” Piche’ said. “That’s the best I’ve felt all year. It was an absolute blast for me. Just going out there and filling up the zone, throwing strikes and letting my “D” work behind me—it was just a great game.”
The one hit surrendered by Piche’ was the fewest hits allowed by a KU starter since Shaeffer Hall threw a no-hitter against Air Force, Feb. 20, 2009.
Senior catcher Ka’iana Eldredge paced the Jayhawks with a two-hit effort at the plate, including the game-winning RBI-single up the middle in the ninth inning, all while dropping the signs for Piche’ behind the dish.
“Other than the leadoff hit, he threw a perfect game, and that’s what it was,” Eldredge said. “He filled up the zone and threw everything for strikes. The main thing I was happy with was Jordan hitting his spots and attacking the Baylor hitters, and we played good defense tonight. Jordan was really special. It was a good team win.”
The win at Baylor Ballpark marks just the fifth time this season the Bears have lost at home (17-5), and is just the fourth win for the Kansas baseball team in Waco in 28 tries.
Piche’ matched his career-high with five strikeouts and threw a career-high 106 pitches in the victory.
“What a special performance,” head coach Ritch Price said. “I couldn’t be more proud of that young man. To be first-team all-conference as a closer and then do that as a starter, I can’t say enough.”
Kansas threatened to break open the scoring from the very first pitch of the game, but ended up stranding nine baserunners before Eldredge came through in the ninth.
Junior shortstop Justin Protacio led off with a double down the left field line, before junior left fielder Michael Suiter drew a one-out walk. However, back-to-back fly outs stranded both runners on base in the first inning.
Kansas had another prime opportunity to score in the third inning when Eldredge led off with a single to centerfield. Protacio moved him to second on the sacrifice bunt, where he was left stranded after another pair of fly outs ended the frame.
The Jayhawks stranded two more runners in the fifth and eighth innings, before taking the lead in the ninth, thanks to a miscue by BU closer Josh Michalec (0-4).
Junior third baseman Aaron Hernandez reached base with one out after being grazed by a Michalec fastball. He advanced to third after an errant pickoff attempt, bringing up Eldredge with the infield in. Eldredge scorched one up the middle to give KU the one-run advantage, 1-0.
“With a runner on third base and the infield playing in, I was just looking to see a ball up and get something to the outfield,” Eldredge said. “I was fortunate enough to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it. I didn’t hit it hard but it was in the right sport at the right time.”
KU continued to threaten after Protacio and freshman catcher Michael Tinlsey drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for Suiter with one down. However, Suiter was unable to convert and grounded into a double play to end the inning.
“At that point, when you’re struggling and you’re leaving as many guys on base as we have, you’re trying to get to third base and the error on the pickoff allowed Hernadez to get into scoring position with less than two outs,” Price said. “Eldredge was able to hit the chopper up the middle to give us a 1-0 lead, and Piche’ goes back out there against the top of their lineup and goes one-two-three. I couldn’t be happier for that young man.”
The two teams are back on the diamond Saturday, April 26, for game two of the conference series. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 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.