Youthful bullpen stymies Kansas in No. 19 Baseball's 6-1 win
AUSTIN, Texas -- With the game tied 1-1 and a pair of runners on base for the Jayhawks in the top of the fifth, two freshmen relievers came in to shut the door, propelling No. 19 Texas to a 6-1 win over Kansas in Big 12 Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Chance Ruffin and Stayton Thomas, a pair of rookie right-handers, combined to retire 14 of the 15 batters they faced, with the lone runner reaching with a passed ball on a strikeout in the ninth inning.
Ruffin entered the game with two on and two out in the fifth inning and induced a pop fly by Preston Land to get out of the inning. He continued by retiring the next eight batters he faced before being ejected with two outs in the eighth inning. Thomas entered the contest at that point and also retired Land on a fly ball, before striking out the first three batters in the ninth inning and after the passed ball, retiring an extra batter with a game-ending groundout.
Ruffin (2-0) earned the victory as he recorded four strikeouts and did not allow a batter to reach base in three innings. Thomas earned his second save with 1.1 innings of hitless work, striking out three.
Nick Czyz (1-3) was saddled with the loss for Kansas, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out three over 5.1 innings.
For the second time in the series, Kansas (10-7, 0-2 Big 12) drew first blood. Ryne Price led off the second inning with a double down the leftfield line. Erik Morrison followed with a single to rightfield to put runners at the corners and Joe Southers plated Price with a single through the left side.
Texas (12-4, 2-0 Big 12) posted an equalizer in the fourth inning. With one out, Travis Tucker singled up the middle, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out double to leftfield to Preston Clark, knotting the game 1-1.
The Longhorns went ahead with a run in the fifth. Tant Shepherd hit a leadoff single up the middle, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Russell, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Torres, giving Texas a 2-1 edge.
Texas tacked on two more runs in the seventh. Russell Moldenhauer started the rally with a one-out, pinch-hit single through the right side. Russell drew a walk and the pair scored on Torres' double down the leftfield line, inflating the UT cushion to 4-1.
The Burnt Orange posted a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Jordan Danks hit a leadoff single through the right side and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Clark. Cameron Rupp drove in Danks with a ground-rule double which bounced over the fence in right centerfield. Brandon Belt pushed Rupp across with a single through the right side to finish off the game's scoring.
Torres paced UT's offense with three RBI. Rupp and Tucker each logged a pair of hits.
Price led the Jayhawks' attack, going 2-for-4 with one double and one run.
Texas will attempt to sweep the three-game series with Kansas on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.