⚾️ Kansas Drops Rubber Match to Samford 9-7

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In the rubber match on Sunday afternoon at Joe Lee Griffin Field, the Samford Bulldogs defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 9-7. Michael Brooks had three hits in the game, including a home run for a second consecutive day.

The game was a back-and-forth battle with both teams leading at different points in the contest. Kansas built a four-run lead in the sixth inning after a clutch, bases-clearing double by Collier Cranford. However, the Jayhawks were unable to hold the lead and Samford scored six unanswered runs to end the game.

Samford (29-22, 12-6 Southern) started the scoring on Saturday. An RBI groundout gave the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead after one inning.

Kansas responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. The Jayhawks received back-to-back doubles from Brooks and Janson Reeder to start the inning. Both Brooks and Reeder came into score courtesy of an RBI groundout by Luke Leto and a sacrifice fly from Cole Elvis. KU held a 2-1 lead after the top of the second.

The Bulldogs got two unearned runs back in the bottom half of the second inning. The first run scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Samford regained the lead with an RBI single by Josh Rodriguez. The hit gave Samford a 3-2 edge.

Brooks came up in the fourth inning and tied the game. Brooks, who hit a home run on Friday, hit a solo shot to left field to even the game at 3-3. The home run was the seventh of the season for Brooks.

With the game still tied in the sixth, Kansas scored four runs to take the lead. Kodey Shojinaga and Brooks each singled to setup runners on first and second with one out. Reeder collected his second hit of the day with an RBI single to left-center field. After Elvis drew a 2-out walk to load the bases, Cranford delivered his bases-clearing double down the right field line to give the Jayhawks a 7-3 advantage.

The big inning for the Jayhawks was quickly matched by the Bulldogs. Samford scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, including a 2-run homer by Kace Garner. After six innings, Kansas held a 7-6 lead.

Samford continued its surge in the bottom of the seventh. The Bulldogs score three runs in the inning, with two of them being unearned. The three runs gave them a 9-7 lead, where the game ultimately ended.

Sam Ireland started for Kansas and allowed three runs, one earned, over 3.1 innings. Gavin Brasosky followed Ireland and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Thaniel Trumper also had 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. Hewlett suffered the loss to fall to 0-4.

Win: Turner Thompson (2-3)
Final line: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 SO
Save: Ben Petschke (11)
Final line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
Loss: Stone Hewlett (0-4)
Final line: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO

• Shojinaga extended his hitting streak to 17 games, which matches the longest by a Jayhawk this season (Elvis, Chase Jans).
• Koszewski pushed his on-base streak to 12 games.
• Brooks hit his seventh home run of the season. All seven of his home runs have come in the last 15 games. Brooks had three hits in the game to push his season total to 53 hits and his donation to Lawrence Schools Foundation to $1,060.
• Cranford matched his career high with three RBIs.
• Jans had his 15-game on-base streak snapped.

Kansas (23-28, 7-14 Big 12) heads to Lubbock to play its final regular season series of the season at Texas Tech. The three-game series begins on Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. CT.