No. 2 Baseball drops 5-2 decision to Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The Jayhawks came up with a pair of unearned runs to cap off a three-run fifth which proved the difference as No. 2 Texas (38-10, 13-8) lost a tough 5-2 contest to Kansas (31-21, 6-11 Big 12) in front of a season-high 1,707 fans at Hoglund Ballpark on Friday, May 6.
Catcher Sean Richardson led off the bottom of the second with his fifth home run of the year to stake the Jayhawks to an early 1-0 lead. Kansas starter Sean Land, meanwhile, retired the first nine Longhorns he faced to keep Texas off the board. In the fourth, right fielder Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) registered UT's first hit of the night with a double down the left-field line before moving to third on a sac bunt and then scoring on a RBI-base hit off the bat of Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas) to knot the game at 1-1. The Jayhawks regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth, when Jared Schweitzer opened the frame with a solo home run to left to make it a 2-1 contest. Kansas then increased its advantage to 4-1 in the same inning as a pair of one-out walks yielded two runs when a fly ball to left was misplayed into a two-base error, allowing both runners to score.
After UT starter Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas) induced a flyout to work out of the resulting two-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth, as an infield hit and a walk placed one Jayhawk on every base, the Horns answered with an unearned run of their own in the sixth to pull back within two at 4-2. David Maroul (Benbrook, Texas) drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored when Peoples' hard grounder got by the second baseman. Two scoreless half innings then led to the bottom of the seventh where KU again threatened with one out as back-to-back singles sandwiched around a stolen base placed runners on the corners. Following a strikeout, an infield hit off the bat of Gus Milner gave the Jayhawks a 5-2 lead entering the final two frames. Although the Longhorns managed to put one runner on in both the eighth and ninth, including a leadoff bunt-single from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas), reliever Don Czyz managed to limit to UT to just that en route to closing out the victory by earning his ninth save of the season. While Land picked up the win by allowing only one earned run on three hits over five innings, McCulloch incurred only his third loss of the year despite surrendering three earned runs on seven hits during a 6.1-inning effort that included four strikeouts. Of note, McCulloch has now worked at least six frames in his last seven starting assignments for Texas.
Leading the Horns on the evening was the duo of Johnston and Stubbs, who each extended their current hit streaks to a career-best 12 and a career-matching 15 games, respectively, and reliever Clayton Stewart (Angleton, Texas), who allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out one over 1.2 innings. Meanwhile, Kansas was paced by the trio of Matt Baty, Ritchie Price and Schweitzer, who each collected a pair of hits to account for six of the Jayhawks' eight hits on the night, and right-hander Kodiak Quick, who hurled two hitless innings in relief of Land.
These two teams square off in the second game of this three-game league series at Hoglund Ballpark on Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Central. Notably, the game will be broadcast in Austin on AM 1300 "The Zone" and televised live nationally on ESPNU.