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KU Baseball Weekly Update: 4.06.15

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Jayhawks show some fight but get swept in Norman after knocking off Wichita State in a midweek matchup.

The KU bats had a good non-conference showing and are keeping it up in conference play, but the Jayhawks just cannot get the pitching staff to hold opposing offenses down.  The Jayhawks now sit at 11-20 (1-5).

Wednesday, April 1 - Kansas 13, @ Wichita State12 (11 innings)

It what was probably an exciting game to watch, KU jumped ahead 5-0 in the first inning, promptly fell behind 11-6 by the fourth inning, and battled back to claim an extra-inning win against the Shockers in Wichita.  The two teams combined for 25 run, 30 hits, and 13 pitchers.  KU pushed the winning run across in the top of the 11th inning with a safety squeeze executed by RF Dakota Smith.  KU was led by DH Michael Tinsely (3/6, 2 R, RBI), SS Matt McLaughlin (3/5, R, 2 RBI), and RF Dakota Smith (1/4, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB).  Three Jayhawks went deep in the contest (CF Joven Afenir, RF Dakota Smith, 3B Tommy Mirabelli).  The pitching staff struggled, allowing 17 hits, 12 earned runs, and walking 5 while only striking out 4, but they did manage to hold WSU scoreless in their last five frames.

Thursday, April 2 - @ Oklahoma 7, Kansas 6 (10 innings)

For eight innings, KU was all over Oklahoma in the first game of this series, but the Jayhawks couldn't hold a 6-2 ninth inning lead, and the Sooners took the game in the 10th inning.  The usually reliable CL Stephen Villines gave up all five of OU's runs in the final two innings of the game.  It was Villines first blown save of the year, wasting yet another excellent effort by SP Ben Krauth (7.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), who had won in his last five outings.  As a team, KU put up 12 hits and added four more runners on bases-on-balls.  The Jayhawks were led offensively by C Michael Tinsely (3/5, 3 RBI) and LF Connor McKay (2/6, 2 R, RBI).  1B Blair Beck had an 11-game hitting streak snapped.

Friday, April 3 - @ Oklahoma 6, Kansas 3

OU took the early lead in this one, scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the first.  The Jayhawks answered right away in the second inning with two runs of their own.  The teams exchanged zeroes until the seventh inning, when OU scratched a couple of more runs across the board to secure victory in game two of the series.  The Jayhawks were led offensively by 2B Colby Wright (3/3, R, BB) who had half of KU's hits in this game.  The Jayhawks struck out 9 times against the Big 12 leader in strikeouts, OU righty Alec Hansen.  SP Blake Weiman (6.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) had a rough first inning but settled down to pitch into the seventh, where the bullpen allowed a couple of inherited runners to score.

Saturday, April 4 - @ Oklahoma 8, Kansas 7 (10 innings)

The Sooners had opened up a 6-2 lead by the time the seventh inning started, but the Kansas bats didn't care,  finally coming alive and pushing OU before falling, again, in extra innings.  SP Drew Morovick (3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) struggled with his command, and for the second time in three days, CL Stephen Villines (2.0 IP, 3 H, ER, K) couldn't hold the late lead.  The Jayhawks were led offensively by C Michael Tinsley (3/5, RBI) who had himself a week - Tinsely was 9/20 with 5 RBI in the four games.

Said Coach Rich Price, "We are really competitive right now.  We are right there. We were better this weekend than we were last weekend and our pitching took a big step forward."

Up Next

The Jayhawks will host a short two-game series with New Mexico (16-13, 8-7) at Hoglund Ballpark on Tuesday and Wednesday before #17 Oklahoma State (22-9, 7-2) arrives in Lawrence on Friday for a three-game weekend set.  All five games can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network through KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official Kansas Jayhawks mobile app.  In addition, all five games will be available on ESPN3 (blackout conditions may apply).