⚾ Kansas Edged by No. 24 Kentucky on Sunday

ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Karbach Round Rock Classic wrapped up on Sunday with the No. 24-ranked Kentucky Wildcats defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 8-5 at Dell Diamond.

Kansas fell behind in the fourth inning after six unearned Kentucky runs. The Jayhawks worked their way back into the game to cut the deficit to two runs at the end of the seventh inning, but that was as close as the Jayhawks were able to get. Despite the loss, Tegan Cain, Ethan Bradford, Kolby Dougan and Hunter Cranton all had scoreless relief appearances.

• Kansas took the lead first with a run in the second inning. Michael Brooks led off the frame with a double down the left field line. Ty Wisdom moved him over to third on a groundout and then Cooper Combs hit a sacrifice fly to score Brooks and give the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead.
• Kentucky tied the game in the top of the third inning on an RBI single by Devin Burkes.
• In the top of the fourth inning, Kansas starting pitcher Patrick Steitz retired the first two batters via strikeout. However, a hit by pitch, single and a throwing error loaded the bases. Patrick Herrera hit a bases-clearing triple down the right field line and two batters later Emilien Pitre hit a three-run homer to cap off the inning and put Kentucky ahead 7-1.
• Kansas got one run back in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Brooks to score Lenny Ashby.
• Ashby scored another run for KU to start the seventh inning as he hit a solo home run to right field. Kansas was not done in the seventh as it pushed two more runs across. Pinch-hitter Chase Jans delivered an RBI infield single and Combs hit a sacrifice fly to bring the score to 7-5.
• The Wildcats got one of those runs back in the eighth inning on a two-out RBI single from Ryan Waldschmidt. Kentucky led 8-5 at the end of the inning and held that lead through the end of the game.

Win: Evan Byers (1-0)
Final line: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
Loss: Patrick Steitz (1-1)
Final line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO

Tegan Cain: The junior transfer from Barton Community College entered the game in the fourth inning and got the final out. Then, he struck out the side in the fifth. The native of Ellis, Kansas, worked a scoreless 1.1 innings out of the bullpen.


“I think in year two of a build in trying to get ready for the Big 12, I think it was important for us to play quality opponents early and we certainly got that this weekend with a really good Texas State team, a really good Washington State team, I told our guys yesterday that that’s what every Big 12 game is like, and a good Kentucky team today. Obviously, we make a play in the fourth and the game is very different, but that’s how baseball works. Overall, I think we’ve got a long way to go but we’ve got a lot of great pieces and I think we have the makeup to do it and sometimes it just takes time. My goal is never to be the best team in the country on February 25. This is just a part of that part of that climb and part of us trying to figure out what we need to get better at.” – Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald

• Ashby hit his third home run of the season and has hit a home run in back-to-back games.
• Jake English recorded his fourth runner caught stealing this season.

Kansas will return home for an eight-game homestand at Hoglund Ballpark, beginning with the home opener on March 1 against Texas Southern. During the homestand, Kansas will also begin conference play against TCU on March 8.