Kansas Baseball: Fall Ball Report No. 5
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With the 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series crowning a champion last week in seven games, the Kansas baseball team began a “Fall Classic” of its own to wrap up a productive fall session of training.
The Jayhawks split into two squads based geographically on their hometowns, and dubbed their team as the “West Coast” and the “Midwest.” The series began on Friday (October 31) and will run through the rest of this week.
In game one of the “Fall Classic,” the West Coast squad came out on top, 7-0, highlighted by a combined shutout on the mound from junior lefty Ben Krauth and sophomore right-hander Sean Rackoski.
Krauth pitched four innings, striking out five batters, while surrendering two walks and a hit to the Midwest squad. Rackoski closed out the final three frames allowing two hits.
Senior shortstop Justin Protacio led the West Coast squad with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate including a walk. Outfielders, sophomore Joven Afenir and senior Joe Luvisi also contributed at the dish with two hits and an RBI a piece.
Game two proved to be a tighter battle, as it took a game-winner from freshman infielder Matt McLaughlin to seal the deal for the West Coast.
McLaughlin batted 1-for-3 on the day, with his lone hit proving to be the difference maker.
Other big contributors for the West Coast squad were Afenir, sophomore catcher Michael Tinsley and sophomore outfielder MJ Farthing, who each posted a 2-for-4 performance at the plate, with Afenir scoring two of the team’s seven runs.
The Midwest showed more life in game two than in the first battle, with senior outfielder Connor McKay and junior infielder Jacob Boylan pacing the offensive attack.
McKay (2-for-3) blasted two doubles and finished the day with an RBI and a run scored. Boylan (2-for-4) chalked up half the cycle, with a single and a double, while touching home plate once.
Game three changed tides in favor of the Midwest team.
Senior right-hander Drew Morovick tossed five scoreless innings for the West Coast, however his offensive support couldn’t keep pace with the bats of the Midwest squad, who won the contest, 9-4.
McKay, Boylan, junior outfielder Steve Goldstein and freshman catcher Tanner Gragg took advantage of the West Coast relievers, tallying two hits and an RBI apiece.
McLaughlin (3), Luvisi (2), redshirt-sophomore infielder Marcus Wheeler (2) and junior infielder Colby Wright (2) led the West Coast offensive threat, each posting multi-hit efforts in the loss.
The Jayhawks continue fall practices, with game four of the World Series on Wednesday as the Midwest squad hopes to tie the series at two games apiece.
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