⚾ Kansas Tops No. 5 Texas Tech in Series Opener
LUBBOCK, Texas – Despite being down for the first six innings, Kansas rattled off five runs in the seventh and never relinquished the lead to claim the victory over No. 5 Texas Tech, 7-4, Thursday at Rip Griffin Park.
The Jayhawks have won five of their last six games and improved to 26-0 after holding a lead after seven innings.
The Red Raiders (33-13, 12-10 Big 12) jumped out early, scoring three runs in the first inning off Cole Larsen. Larsen shut the door on the TTU offense for the next four innings before handing the ball over to Nathan Barry, who pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh.
With the score still remaining a 3-0 advantage for Texas Tech, Kansas (30-24, 8-14 Big 12) got after Red Raider starter Patrick Monteverde and reliever Ryan Sublette in the top of the seventh.
Logan Williams reached on an error by the TTU shortstop to start the inning. Blaine Ray, who made a spectacular-diving catch in left to rob a Texas Tech hit in the bottom of the seventh, laced a double to left field, giving KU runners on second and third with one out.
Jack Wagner walked in the next at bat and was quickly followed by Maui Ahuna, who pushed across the first run with the bases loaded.
Tavian Josenberger tattooed a ball to center, allowing Ray to score from third on the sacrifice fly.
Skyler Messinger stepped up to the plate with two outs and two runners on. He laced a triple off the right field wall scoring two more and putting the Jayhawks ahead.
With Messinger on third, Anthony Tulimero hit to the Texas Tech shortstop, who committed his second error of the inning to score Messinger for the final run of the inning.
Barry continued on the mound and pitched a scoreless seventh before allowing one run in the eighth. Ryan Cyr relieved Barry and tallied the next three outs.
With only a one-run cushion, Kansas added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth.
Josenberger reached on a single to left and Messinger was hit by a pitch. After a ground out advanced the pair, Dylan Ditzenberger singled to right field, scoring the duo.
Jonah Ulane appeared in the ninth, striking out the final two batters to earn his 11th save of the season.
Barry earned the win and improved to 2-2 on the season. Josenberger and Ditzenberger each finished with two hits, while Ditzenberger and Messinger each tallied two RBI.
Kansas continues its series with No. 5 Texas Tech Friday at 2 p.m. at Rip Griffin Park.