Jayhawk baseball eeked out a win in the opener, but dropped the last two games of the series and overall struggled at home with Iowa. Jayhawk hitters struggled to make contact, striking out 23 times over the weekend, and when they did get men on base, they couldn't come up with the clutch hit, stranding 27 runners in the two losses. The pitching staff again struggled with control, walking 11 batters over the three games. Iowa's pitching staff came into the game with a 1.98 team ERA, but gave up 10 earned runs in 26 innings.
Friday, March 20 - Kansas 4, Iowa 3
The Jayhawks plated a first-inning run, eventually taking a 4-1 lead before hanging on in the ninth inning to pull out a 4-3 victory. Kansas was led offensively by 2B Colby Wright (3/4, R) and 1B Blair Beck (1/3, 2B, 2 RBI). SP Ben Krauth (6.0 IP, 2 H, R, 6 BB, 5 K) picked up the win to move to 4-2 on the year. CL Stephen Villines (3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 5 K) picked up his eighth save of the year in a three-inning relief effort.
Saturday, March 21 - Iowa 6, Kansas 4
In Game 2, the Hawkeyes were the ones who grabbed the early lead, scoring three in the top of the first inning. KU would come back to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth inning, but Iowa would tack on two runs in later innings to take the game. KU was led offensively by LF Connor McKay (2/5, R) and 1B Blair Beck (1/2, 3 BB, RBI). SP Sean Rackoski (4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 K) only made it through four innings before turning the ball over to the bullpen, which has been where KU has been struggling all year. KU stranded 10 runners in the contest.
Sunday, March 22 - Iowa 6, Kansas 2
Iowa did most of their damage in the middle innings in this one, and KU's inability to get hits with runners in scoring position doomed the Jayhawks. KU was led offensively by C Michael Tinsley (2/4, R) and RF Joven Afenir (2/4, R, RBI). SP Drew Morovick (5.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R, BB, 2 HBP) has now given up a long ball in each of his five starts this year. The Jayhawks stranded 17 runners in the contest.
KU will take on Missouri State on Tuesday, March 24 in Springfield, MO, before opening Big 12 play next weekend at Texas Tech.
Friday and Sunday's games can be seen on TV on Fox College Sports. In addition, all games can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network through KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official Kansas Jayhawks mobile app.