⚾ Jayhawks Fall to Wildcats at Big 12 Championship

ARLINGTON, Texas – Despite a home run from Jake English for the second straight game, Kansas fell to Kansas State 7-1 on Friday afternoon in Big 12 Championship play at Globe Life Field.

With the loss, the Jayhawks finish postseason play with a 1-2 mark and have been eliminated from the conference tournament. The Jayhawks finished the season with an overall mark of 25-32. Kansas State moved to 35-23 on the season and will now face TCU on Saturday.

“I’m super proud of our guys,” Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald said. “We have fought for a long time and we certainly wanted a different result, but I loved the fight, and have all year. It’s a special group of guys that helped build an awesome foundation that we can build on.”

After a scoreless first from starter Sam Ireland, Kansas State tagged the righty for three runs in the second inning to grab a 3-0 lead. The Wildcats got their first two men on in the second and then Kaelen Culpepper hit a three-run home run to put the home team up 3-0.

The Jayhawks didn’t stay off the scoreboard for long, though. English led off the inning with a solo home run to left, marking his second home run in as many games at the Big 12 Championship. Kansas got another man on in the inning, but a double play ended the threat.

English’s home run marked the 75th home run of the season for the Jayhawks, which tied a program record established in 2006.

The Wildcats stretched their lead in the fourth with a two-run inning. The Wildcats scored on a sacrifice fly and an error to grow the lead to 5-1. Right-hander Kolby Dougan pitched the fourth through the sixth innings for the Jayhawks and after giving up two unearned runs in the fourth, he threw up zeroes in the fifth and sixth. The righty finished going three innings, allowing three hits, two unearned runs, while striking out four and walking two.

He gave way to left-hander Gavin Brasosky, who took over in the seventh with the Jayhawks down four. Kansas State scored two in his only inning of work in the seventh to take a 7-1 lead. Kansas put two men on in the eighth when English singled and Chase Jans walked to put two on with one out. But a strikeout and ground out ended the threat. K-State starter German Fajardo exited in the eighth, but went 7.1 innings, allowing just one run on five hits, while striking out nine.

With the loss, Kansas has completed its first season under coach Dan Fitzgerald.

Win: German Fajardo (4-4)
Final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 SO
Loss: Sam Ireland (4-7)
Final line: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 SO

• Kansas hit 75 home runs this season, which tied the program record set in 2006.
• Kansas had four players with at least 10 home runs this season (Cole Elvis, Janson Reeder, Chase Jans, Jake English). The last time Kansas had four players with double-digit home runs in a single season was 2003 (Casey Spanish, Travis Metcalf, Ryan Baty, Kevin Wheeler).
• English hit his 10th home run of the season.