⚾️ Kansas Wins Series, Drops Finale to No. 19 West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – On Easter Sunday, Kansas dropped the series finale to No. 19-ranked West Virginia, 12-3, at Monongalia County Ballpark. Despite the defeat, Kansas secured the series win on Saturday and has won back-to-back Big 12 series for the first time since the 2017 season (vs. Oklahoma State/at #19 Oklahoma).
The series win is the first over a ranked opponent for the Jayhawks since sweeping No. 20 St. John’s in 2018 and the first on the road since taking two of three against No. 19 Oklahoma in Norman in 2017.
Kansas (15-15, 5-4 Big 12) took an early lead on Sunday with a first inning run. The game started with back-to-back errors by the Mountaineers. Then, senior Cole Elvis smashed an infield single to shortstop to score freshman Jackson Kline and give Kansas a 1-0 lead.
West Virginia (23-9, 3-3 Big 12) had its first five batters reach base in the first inning. A leadoff single followed by back-to-back hit by pitches and consecutive bases-loaded walks made it 2-1 in favor of West Virginia. An RBI single, bases-loaded hit by pitch and RBI fielder’s choice pushed the West Virginia lead to 5-1 after one inning. The five runs scored on two hits, two walks and three hit by pitches.
Elvis continued his big series by blasting his third home run of the weekend, a solo shot in the third inning. The homer by Elvis was his seventh of the season and cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Mountaineers added two runs in the fourth, one run in the sixth and one run in the seventh to stretch their lead to 9-2. Two of those runs were on solo home runs off the bat of Landon Wallace.
In the eighth inning, junior Janson Reeder hit a solo home run down the right field line. The homer was his eighth of the season and his second in as many days after homering on Saturday. That made the score 9-3 and was all the Jayhawks would get the rest of the day. The Mountaineers added three more runs in the bottom of the eighth to end the scoring at 12-3.
Junior Ethan Bradford started for Kansas and struggled with his command, only lasting 0.1 inning. He allowed five runs and on two hits with two walks and two hit batters. Junior Hunter Cashero came in for Bradford and tossed 2.2 scoreless frames for the Jayhawks.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Robby Porco (4-1)
Final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO
Loss: Ethan Bradford (2-3)
Final line: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 0 SO
Save: Carson Estridge (1)
Final line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SO
“I’m certainly happy with the series win, but not in any way happy with how we played today. I thought we did some really uncharacteristic things. The intent was great and our want to win was awesome. We were locked in, had great preparation and it felt like we were ready to go. It got away from us in the first. We have all heard the adage that ‘you’re only as good as your starting pitching’. Bradford has been great for us a bunch of times and today he was off. We had plenty of opportunities. They gave us plenty of opportunities to get back in the game, but we didn’t capitalize on anything. We got out of the process a little bit and have to get back to doing things the right way.” – Coach Dan Fitzgerald
• Kansas is 5-4 through the first nine conference games this season. That is the best start in Big 12 play since the 2014 conference season (5-4).
• Kansas has won back-to-back Big 12 series for the first time since the 2017 season (vs. Oklahoma State/at #19 Oklahoma).
• Kansas won its second series all-time in Morgantown. The Jayhawks won two out of three at West Virginia in 2015.
• Kansas winning two out of three at West Virginia marked only the second time this season that a Big 12 team has won a conference series on the road (West Virginia at K-State).
• Kansas won its first Big 12 series on the road since March 23-25, 2018 at Baylor when the Jayhawks won two out of three games.
• Kansas had its seven-game winning streak snapped on Sunday.
• Elvis has homered in three consecutive games for the first time in his career The home run was the seventh of the season for Elvis. Elvis has four multi-hit games in his last six conference games. He is also riding a 7-game hitting streak.
• Reeder has homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. The solo homer was his team-high eighth of the season.
• Kline extended his on-base streak to 12 games.
• Freshman Kodey Shojinaga extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Kansas hosts Texas Southern for a two-game series that includes the Buck O’Neil Classic on Tuesday, April 11 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. First pitch on Tuesday night is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. Wednesday’s game will be played at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence, Kansas, with a 3 p.m. CT start.