⚾ Kansas Falls In Opening Game Of First Pitch Invitational
GREENVILLE, S.C. – In the opening game of the First Pitch Invitational, Kansas (4-4) fell to tournament host Michigan State (6-3), 7-8, and a comeback attempt was thwarted by a walk-off hit to right center field in the bottom of the ninth at Fluor Field.
The Jayhawks were the first ones on the scoreboard after James Cosentino led off the second inning with a double and scored on a single by Dylan Ditzenberger.
One inning later, Michigan State tallied three runs to take the 3-1 advantage and added three more runs in the sixth. Another inning later and MSU had pushed the score to 7-1.
Down six runs, Kansas needed a spark and received it in the eighth inning after the Spartans committed two errors.
Jackson Cobb led off the inning and was safe after an error by the MSU second baseman. Blake Ebo entered to pinch run for Cobb and moved to second following Benjamin Sems third walk of the game. A single to left by Kaimana Souza-Paaluhi and a throwing error by the Michigan State left fielder plated Ebo from second.
One batter later, Sems scored on a throwing error by the MSU shortstop.
After holding the Spartans scoreless in the bottom of the eight, Kansas needed four runs to tie the score.
Back-to-back walks opened the inning before Kansas tallied its first two outs. Souza-Paaluhi singled to left field and loaded the bases. A walk by Cosentino gave KU its first run of the inning.
Skyler Messinger was next up for Kansas and laced a hard-hit ball to second base. The throw was errant and forced the Michigan State first baseman to drop the ball when attempting to tag Messinger.
With the ball lose and in right field, Kansas cleared the bases and Messinger found himself on third.
After recording the last out of the inning, Kansas needed to keep the Michigan State bats at bay. With two outs, MSU had runners on second and third and a long hit ball to right center plated the winning run for the Spartans.
HOW KANSAS SCORED
T2 – James Cosentino doubled to right center to open the inning and scored on a Dylan Ditzenberger single up the middle.
T8 – Jackson Cobb reached on an error by the Michigan State second baseman, and Blake Ebo pinch ran for Cobb. A walk by Benjamin Sems moved Ebo to second, who advanced home on a single by Kaimana Souza-Paaluhi that forced the MSU left fielder to make an arrant throw, scoring Ebo.
T8 – On the throwing error by the MSU left fielder, Benjamin Sems advanced to third and scored on a throwing error by the Michigan State shortstop in the next at bat.
T9 – After back-to-back walks to start the inning, Kansas singled to left to load the bases. A walk by James Cosentino scored the first run o the inning.
T9 – Michigan State’s second baseman committed a throwing error, which allowed Kansas to clear the bases and tying the score at 7-all.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
T9 – After earning its first run of the inning on a walk with the bases loaded, Kansas cleared the bases on a hard-hit ball by Skyler Messinger to the Michigan State second baseman, who tossed the ball wide of first. The Michigan State first baseman dropped the ball and it rolled into right field, allowing three runs to score.
- Benjamin Sems finished 2-for-2 with three walks and has reached base in his last 11 plate appearances.
- Ryan Cyr earned his third start of the season.
Kansas continues the First Pitch Invitational Feb. 29 at 9 a.m. (CT) for a doubleheader against Ball State at Fluor Field.