⚾️ Kansas Comeback Falls Just Short on Senior Day Against Texas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A ninth-inning Kansas rally was not quite enough as the No. 27-ranked Texas Longhorns beat the Kansas Jayhawks 7-6 on Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. Kansas scored two runs in the ninth and had the tying and go-ahead runs on base with two outs, but a strikeout ended the game.
Texas (32-17, 12-9 Big 12) scored four runs in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie and take the lead. Kansas scored one in the bottom of the seventh and the two in the ninth to make for a close finish. Kodey Shojinaga matched his career high with four hits in the game.
For a third straight day, Texas took a 1-0 lead. The lead did not last for long as Kansas answered in the bottom of the first with a bases loaded RBI single from Shojinaga to make the score 1-1.
In the bottom half of the second, the Jayhawks took their first lead of the day on a two-out, two-strike RBI double from Janson Reeder. The run-scoring hit brought home Mike Koszewski and gave Kansas a 2-1 lead.
Texas tied the game in the top half of the third on a sacrifice fly, but the Jayhawks responded again. In the bottom of third, Koszewski hit an RBI triple into the right field corner to score Shojinaga on a close play at the plate. The run gave Kansas a 3-2 advantage.
The Longhorns came back and tied the game right away with an RBI single in the top of the fourth.
The game remained 3-3 until Texas broke through for four runs in the seventh. The four runs came on an RBI single, squeeze bunt and a two-run homer off the bat of Eric Kennedy. An RBI groundout by Cole Elvis in the bottom half of the inning made it 7-4 after seven innings.
Kansas had a ninth inning rally for the third time this week. Sunday’s rally was the closest the Jayhawks were to pulling ahead in the final frame. Two singles and a fielding error loaded the bases for Kansas in the ninth with no outs. Elvis hit an RBI fielder’s choice to score a run and Collier Cranford hit an RBI single to close the gap to 7-6. That was where the game ended after a strikeout.
Sam Ireland, who went through senior day festivities, started and allowed two runs over three innings. Thaniel Trumper, Stone Hewlett and Kolby Dougan all pitched in relief, with Trumper receiving the loss after allowing the go-ahead run to reach base before exiting the game.
Prior to the start of Sunday’s senior day game, Jake Baker, Collin Baumgartner, Cole Elvis and Sam Ireland were all recognized.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Travis Sthele (3-4)
Final Line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 9 SO
Save: Ace Whitehead (1)
Final line: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
Loss: Thaniel Trumper (3-4)
Final Line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
“We have come a really long way as a program. If you look at where we were in August, to now, the competitive nature has grown a really significant level,” Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald on the team’s competitiveness.
“I’m proud of all of them, for different reasons, but those are four guys I will forever be grateful for,” Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald on the team’s senior class.
• Kansas recorded 11 hits on Sunday afternoon, marking the 20th game this season with double-digit hits.
• The Kansas pitching staff only walked two batters in three games this weekend against Texas.
• Shojinaga extended his hitting streak to 14 games. He matched his career high of four hits after going 4-for-5 with a double, RBI and a run scored. He leads the team with 17 multi-hit games this season.
• Jans pushed his on-base streak to 13 games.
Kansas (22-26, 7-14 Big 12) plays its final six games of the season on the road, beginning with a three-game series at Samford that starts on Thursday at 4 p.m. CT.