Coming off a sweep at the hands of Texas Tech last weekend and a freefall into the 7th spot in the conference, it was fair to say that not much was expected of this Kansas team in the Big 12 tournament. The sweep essentially turned this tournament into a win-or-go-home affair for the Jayhawks, and a starting matchup against the Big 12 regular season co-champions wasn’t what they likely thought they would be facing as recently as last Thursday.
The game started off slow, with neither team able to put together much in the first inning. TCU struck first in the bottom of the 2nd inning with a 2-run triple by Zach Humphreys. But Kansas struck back immediately in the top of the 3rd with a 2-run triple by Matt McLaughlin and an RBI-single by Jaxx Groshans to take an early 3-2 lead.
Not much happened until the bottom of the seventh, when the Horned Frogs were able to scrape together another run to tie the game at 3. But in the top of the next inning, the Jayhawk offense exploded. Devin Foyle started the scoring in the 8th, and a David Kyriacou sacrifice fly and a 2-run single by Brett Vosik gave the Jayhawks a 4-run cushion.
Kansas was able to finish off the game with little drama but plenty of spectacular plays, including this SportsCenter Top 10 nominee (it came in at #3):
Taylor Turski started for Kansas today, striking out 8 without walking a single batter in 6 and 1/3. Even though there wasn’t a save situation, closer Stephen Villines came in to pitch the ninth, erasing a leadoff single. He struck out the final batter to advance the Jayhawks to the winner’s side of the bracket.
With the Kansas win, the only higher seed to win their game today was #4 West Virginia, who beat #5 Baylor 11-1 in 8 innings to start the day. #1 Texas Tech was shut-out by #8 Oklahoma State 3-0 in the second game. #3 Oklahoma fell to #6 Texas in the late by a score of 8-4.
Kansas is back in action Thursday night at 7:30pm CT against the Texas Longhorns. The game can be seen on Fox College Sport and is available by radio and online.