RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.32 (Baseball)
??3? Streak of 7-straight K’s to start the game for @jgoddard15 ends with a one-out single.
— Kansas Baseball (@KUBaseball) April 22, 2018
A post shared by Kansas Baseball (@kubaseball) on Apr 24, 2018 at 5:06pm PDT
After missing 44 days with a strained oblique, junior right-handed pitcher Jackson Goddard made his return to the mound on April 22 at Oklahoma State.
Goddard’s last start heading into that Sunday contest came on March 9 against then-No. 20 St. John’s, and subsequently, he missed his next six in a row.
“You never know with an oblique injury how long it really takes to recover,” head coach Ritch Price said. “We were hopeful that it would be quick, but you never really know.”
It took six weeks, but Goddard looked full form in his abbreviated start back.
The hurler pitched four innings and gave up just one hit while striking out eight batters. He retired the first seven batters he faced, all via the strikeout. His only blemish came on that eighth hitter in the third inning, where he gave up a single and then back-to-back walks.
However, he struck out the final batter of the frame to strand the bases loaded.
He returned for the fourth and retired the side in order, inducing three-straight fly outs to junior Rudy Karre in center field. The shortened start ended after 68 pitches and four innings pitched. Goddard gave up that one hit and those two walks, retiring 12 of the 15 batters he faced.
“I don’t know if I have ever seen a performance like that from someone coming back from an injury,” Price said. “I gave him a compliment the other day and thanked him for how hard he has worked to get back in the rotation. This should stabilize our bullpen now.”
With Goddard back in the rotation, Kansas will be able to use its bullpen like it did the first four weeks of the season where the Jayhawks compiled a record of 12-4 with a team ERA of 4.25.