Dejá Vu: Ditzenberger, pitching staff walk off OSU again
LAWRENCE, Kan.– Redshirt-freshman first baseman Dylan Ditzenberger walked it off for the second day in a row to help Kansas win its first Big 12 series of the season against Oklahoma State, 7-6, in 11 innings Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks’ (19-16, 4-8 Big 12) bullpen was key in the win, tossing six innings while only giving up one run. Redshirt-junior relief pitcher Blake Goldsberry (4-4) earned the win with an inning of work, holding the Cowboys (21-13, 7-5 Big 12) from scoring a run entering the 11th frame. Relief pitcher Ben Leeper (3-1) earned the loss for the Cowboys.
Kansas came from behind two times, once in the seventh and once in the 10th inning. Trailing 5-2 in the seventh, senior center fielder Rudy Karre blasted a three-run home run to center field to tie the game. After giving up a run in the top of the 10th inning, sophomore third baseman Skyler Messinger roped a RBI-triple to regain the lead.
In the 11th inning, junior left fielder Brett Vosik led off with a walk, bringing Ditzenberger to the plate. The Texas native slashed a 2-0 fastball into left-center field, scoring Vosik to empty the Kansas bench for the second-straight day and earn three chest bumps from head coach Ritch Price, bring his weekend total to five.
In addition, both walk-off hits were the first hit of the game for Ditzenberger, as he finished the weekend 3-for-14.
- Junior left fielder Brett Vosik is currently on a five-game hit streak. In that span, he is 8-for-21 (.380) with three doubles.
- Senior right fielder Blake Shinkle roped his first triple of the 2019 season. The last time he had a three-bagger was May 4, 2018 against West Virginia.
- Senior center fielder Rudy Karre blasted a game-tying, three-run home run in the seventh inning. He now has two home runs this season.
- Kansas played its third extra-inning game of the season. Previously, they played extra frames against St. John’s (March 15) and Wichita State (March 20).
- The Jayhawks have now won six-straight home series against Oklahoma State, dating back to 2009.
- This is the second time in two seasons the Jayhawks have lost a Friday opener giving up more than 20 runs and coming back to win the series. The last time came against West Virginia (May 4-6) where KU lost Friday, 21-3, but won Saturday (13-3) and Sunday (5-2) to complete the series victory.
Head coach Ritch Price
On what it took for his team to pull off the win…
“Obviously, it was a special moment and a special weekend for (Ditzenberger). I think I would like to compliment our pitching. I think Eli Davis went out there and grinded through five innings when he was sick prior to the game, and our bullpen did a really good job of keeping them at bay with runners in scoring position. There were numerous innings where we were able to get out of trouble and I can’t say enough about the job that the bullpen did. We had a clutch hit from Messinger there in the 10th inning to tie the game, and he’d had a really tough day leading up to that. Ditzenberger comes up and has a great at bat, he’s on time, and Vosik was flying around those bases. ”
On how his team salvaged the series after suffering a loss in game one…
“I think we addressed it pretty good. One of the things we talked about is, you have to be tough. When that wind is blowing like that, that was a wiffle ball game on Friday. A lot of those balls were just routine fly ball outs that flew out of the ballpark. It takes great team chemistry and great toughness to bounce back from that, but it starts with starting pitching. Zeferjahn did it for us yesterday and our entire pitching staff did it today to find a way to get a win and win the series.”
Redshirt-freshman first baseman Dylan Ditzenberger
On his mindset going in to game-winning hit…
“I was just looking for a pitch that I knew I could drive. We were in a situation where we needed to put runs on the board . . . I was just trying to move the runner on first to second because I knew that if Jaxx (Groshans) came up after me, I knew that he would put a good swing on the ball. I just wanted Vosik to be in scoring position for Jaxx.”
On his mindset changing from inning to inning…
“Going in, just knowing that every at-bat could be our last, and knowing that every run that they scored could potentially beat us, it really makes every run put on the board that much more important.”
On how he feels about his performance at the plate…
“I feel good. I only went 1-for-6 today, but I felt like I put good swings on the ball and I feel like I’m putting the barrel on the ball. I’m feeling more comfortable as the season is going on.”
On his thoughts on the series as a whole…
“I thought it was a really good weekend. Obviously, we lost the first one. Just being able to bounce back and win the next two games was huge for us moving forward in the Big 12.”
The Jayhawks continue Big 12 play at West Virginia April 19-21.