Kansas had a great week, going 4-1 in their last five games with the only setback the series opener vs #9 Oklahoma State. Let's check in and see how the 'Hawks did it.
Tuesday, April 7 - @ Kansas 10, New Mexico 9
The Jayhawks rallied in the bottom of the 8th inning to complete a come from behind victory over the visiting Lobos. New Mexico jumped to a 4-0 in the second inning to start the back-and-forth affair. KU was led offensively by RF Dakota Smith (3/4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR) and C Michael Tinsley (3/5, R, RBI). The Jayhawk pitching staff had a rough evening, giving up 15 hits, walking 3 more, and allowing 9 runs (8 ER). CL Stephen Villines (1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 K) picked up the win in relief.
Wednesday, April 8 - @ Kansas 10, New Mexico 5
Head coach Ritch Price went with a new-look lineup in this one, and the Jayhawk bats stayed red-hot regardless. KU scored twice in the first inning, three times in the second, and three more times in fourth inning. Jayhawk hitters were aided by Lobo pitchers unable to find the strike zone as KU collected eight bases on balls. KU was led offensively by SS Matt McLaughlin (3/4, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB). SP Sean Rackoski (5.0 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 3 K) picked up his first win of the season.
Friday, April 10 - #9 Oklahoma State 7, @ Kansas 2
The Big 12-leading OSU Cowboys came into Lawrence leading the conference in scoring, but for six innings you might not have known it. SP Ben Krauth (6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 0 ER, BB, 9 K) gave OSU all they wanted before back-to-back errors in the seventh inning allowed OSU to collect four runs on four hits. OSU would then pick up three more insurance runs in the top of the 9th inning off of two Kansas relievers to set the final margin. The Jayhawks did collect nine hits on the evening, led by 1B Blair Beck (2/4, R, RBI), but could not string together the hits to put up a rally.
Saturday, April 11 - @ Kansas 3, #9 Oklahoma State 2
Kansas picked up three runs by the end of the third inning against one of the Big 12's better pitchers, and was able to hang on in the end to pick up a big win against a top-10 program. OSU ace Michael Freeman () came into the game with the third-best ERA in the league (1.46), was second in OBA (.174), and third in strikeouts (50). However, Kansas handed him his first loss of the season (6-1) with seven hits scoring three runs, albeit none of them earned as OSU was charged with three errors on the day. KU was led offensively by 1B Blair Beck (1/3, R, 2 RBI, BB).
Sunday, April 12 -@ Kansas 4, #9 Oklahoma State 2
Oklahoma State struck for a run in the first inning, but that was all they would get off of freshman SP Blake Weiman (5.1 IP, 5 H, ER) who picked up the first win of his college career (1-5). The Jayhawks would put four runs up in response before OSU completed the scoring with a solo home run in the eighth inning. KU was led offensively by, you guessed it, 1B Blair Beck (1/3, 2 RBI) who came up with a key double to plate two runs to give KU the lead in the fourth inning. Dakota Smith (1/4, R, RBI, HR) popped his fourth home run of the season (and third HR in the last eight games) to give KU a big insurance run in the sixth inning. CL Stephen Villines (1.1 IP, H, 2 K) picked up his 9th save on the year.
Coach Ritch Price was especially proud of his pitching staff over the weekend, who held the highest-scoring Big 12 team to 4 runs in the final two games of the series. "For Villines to bounce back after a tough weekend last week and get two saves against a team like Oklahoma State is huge," Price said. "It was a huge step forward for our entire pitching staff this weekend."
The Jayhawks will host a mid-week rematch with Missouri State, this time in Lawrence, before hosting the Texas Longhorns in a weekend series. All four games can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network through KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official Kansas Jayhawks mobile app.
In addition, all four games will be available on ESPN3 (blackout conditions may apply).