Kansas Baseball: Fall Ball Report No. 3

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In honor of Parent’s Weekend at the University of Kansas, the Jayhawk baseball team hosted four intrasquad scrimmages this past week at Hoglund Ballpark, which included a trio of games over the weekend in front of family and friends.
Wednesday’s scrimmage set the tone for the weekend as both teams battled to a 2-1 finish, with the home team taking the win. Freshmen left-handers Jeremy Kravetz and Ben Carrasco squared off against one another on the bump for the first three innings of play. Kravetz allowed just four hits, two walks and struck out four, while Carrasco gave up six hits, two runs and stuck out two.
The home team struck first at the plate after junior outfielder Connor McKay led off the second inning with a drag-bunt single and advanced to second on a single by sophomore infielder Ryan Pidhaichuk. Freshman catcher Michael Tinsley scored McKay on his RBI single, moving Pidhaichuk to third and allowing junior outfielder Joe Luvisi to plate him on a sacrifice fly deep to left field.
Junior infielder Justin Protacio started a little rally in the fifth-inning for the visiting team after a leadoff double. On the next pitch, Protacio took advantage of a huge lead and stole third, before scoring on a groundout to second base by junior outfielder Steve Goldstein.
A quick break in action came Thursday, when the team focused on a team practice, before splitting back into two squads for a weekend of play. Friday’s contest lasted eight innings and saw the home team once again come away with bragging rights.
Junior right-handed hurler Drew Morovick faced off against sophomore righty Hayden Edwards in Friday’s contest. Morovick threw five innings, giving up three hits and a walk, while stirking out seven batters to be credited with the win for the home team. Edwards tossed four innings, giving up three hits, a run and five walks. Junior Colin Toalson came on in relief for the home team, throwing three innings and striking out four for the save.
The scoring action took place in the second inning when sophomore infielder Marcus Wheeler led off the inning with a hit batter. Luvisi followed with a walk, before sophomore outfielder Brian Poupore sacrificed them over with a bunt. Freshman outfielder Joven Afenir walked to load the bases when classmate and fellow outfielder MJ Farthing hit a sacrifice fly to score Wheeler from third for the games lone run.
Junior outfielder Michael Suiter batted 1-for-3 with a double, the games only extra base hit, while Afenir went Afenir and freshman catcher John Remick had two hits apiece.
Saturday’s contest saw the visiting squad seek revenge for the two losses previously in the week, as the team won the eight-inning game 3-1. Junior lefty pitcher Wes Benjamin started on the bump for the visitors, tossing five innings for the win while stirking out three batters. Senior righty Frank Duncan was credited with the loss after giving up two runs in four and two-thirds innings of work. Senior closer Jordan Piche’ closed out the final three innings for the visitors, allowing three hits and a run for the save.
Sophomore infielder Tommy Mirabelli, Suiter, McKay and Poupore each had two hits in the game. One of Suiter’s hits, a two RBI single in the first inning, was the difference maker in the game as the visitors held on for the win. Pidhaichuk sealed the fate for the home squad, as his solo bomb in the seventh inning stretched the deficit to 3-0.
Sunday’s game proved to be more of a dog fight, with the visiting team winning 4-3 in nine innings of play. McKay led off the fifth inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Wheeler to tie the game, 1-1. In the eighth inning, Suiter reached base on an error, before McKay hit a two-run homerun for the home team to take a 3-1 lead. However, late-inning heroics by Remick with a two-RBI single in the ninth solidified the win for the visiting squad, closing out the weekend for the Jayhawks.
Freshman right-hander John Hander’s and junior righty Robert Kahana’s numbers were called to start the Sunday’s game. Hander tossed three innings, allowing one hit, one walk and stuck out two, while Kahana threw two and two-thirds innings, surrendering three hits and two walks in the process.
The Jayhawks will be back on the field this week for tentative scrimmages Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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