Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WVU scores eight in seventh to knock off KU baseball


— The streak is over.

After closing the season with nine consecutive victories over Big 12 foes, the third-seeded Kansas University baseball team dropped its opening game at the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City, 10-9, to No. 6 seed West Virginia.

Starting pitcher Jordan Piche' struck out 11 batters through 6.1 innings and the Jayhawks built an 8-2 lead after giving up two runs in the top of the first. But an eight-run seventh by the Mountaineers proved to be insurmountable and sent the Jayhawks into the consolation bracket and to the brink of elimination.

Piche's 11 strikeouts were a career-high, but KU coach Ritch Price said KU's four-run offensive explosions in the fifth and sixth innings may have led to Piche's demise in the seventh.

“We put up the two four-spots back-to-back and I think Jordan sat in the dugout quite a while,” Price said. “He went back out there and got behind the first guy and then he hits a 2-0 fastball for a base hit. Then we walked two guys with one out and it ran his pitch count up over 100 pitches.”

Mid-week starter Drew Morovick went to the mound in relief of Piche' with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, but gave up four straight hits and four earned runs while recording just one out.

Freshman closer Stephen Villines finished the seventh and also pitched the eighth and ninth innings, but not before giving up a three-run home run to WVU designated hitter Jackson Cramer that capped off the Mountaineers' monster inning.

“I congratulate West Virginia,” Price said. “We felt really good about the score late in the game, but give credit to West Virginia for battling back.”

The Jayhawks responded to WVU's eight-run seventh inning with a single run in their half of the inning, but could not muster anything in the eighth or ninth.

KU left the bases loaded to end the seventh and Connor McKay flied out with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. In all, Kansas stranded 15 base runners in the loss.

“It is tough to see us go down like that,” Piche' said. “It hurts. We need to come out tomorrow and get after it.”

Senior center fielder Tucker Tharp was 4-for-4 with three RBI and junior outfielders Michael Suiter (2-for-6, RBI) and Dakota Smith (3-for-5, 2 RBI) also recorded multi-hit games for the Jayhawks.

Next up, Kansas (34-23) will face No. 7 seed Baylor at 9 a.m. Thursday in an elimination game. The Bears lost to TCU, 8-5, on Wednesday. West Virginia (28-24) will face TCU at 4 p.m. Thursday.


West Virginia 200 000 800 — 10 13 1

Kansas 000 044 100 — 9 13 2

W — Sean Carley, 6-3. L — Drew Morovick, 9-4.

2B — Ryan McBroom, Jacob Rice, WVU; Michael Suiter, Dakota Smith, Tucker Tharp (3), Ryan Pidhaichuk, Aaron Hernandez, KU. HR — Jackson Cramer, WVU.

KU highlights — Jordan Piche' 6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 11 K; Dakota Smith 3-for-5, 2 RBI, 3 runs; Michael Suiter 2-for-6, RBI, 2 runs; Tucker Tharp 4-for-4, 3 RBI; Justin Protacio 1-for-3, RBI, 2 runs.


Dyrk Dugan 6 years, 9 months ago

what a disaster. 8-3 lead going into the 7th...can't even hold it for that same inning. this team won't make the NCAA if we don't at least make the final...and now our road is really tough. we better hope Baylor loses...there's no way in the world we'll beat TCU in an elimination game.

Matt Tait 6 years, 9 months ago

This was a bad loss, no question, but this team is a lock for the NCAA Tournament no matter what happens this week/weekend... They finished in 3rd place in the 2nd best RPI conference in the country and finished the season in red-hot fashion. Generally speaking, teams in that position don't get snubbed.

Kevin Kelly 6 years, 9 months ago

First. We're ranked. We're in the tourney Dyrk. You don't know what you are talking about.

Second....LJW 'knock off' implys eliminated. KU is not eliminated. You would only use the term 'knock off' when you are talking about copying somthing (i.e. 'that watch is a knock off') or is used to mean 'kill or eliminate'. So in the NCAA Basketball tourney it is used all the time...but it dosn't just mean 'defeated'.

Dyrk Dugan 6 years, 9 months ago

good grief, how technical can you get? "knock out" means eliminate...."knock off" is just another way to say defeat, or beat, or whatever.

i don't care if we're ranked. we lose tomorrow, and i believe we wouldn't get picked. 15-9 in the reg. season and 34 total wins is probably not good enough. i would say two more wins would do it..especially another victory over TCU. (but we'll probably need to beat Baylor and WVU just to get to them). we've lost to some bad teams this year...Grand Canyon, Missouri St, Iowa, name a few.

i was just surprised that we lost the way we did today...this baseball program has disappointed a lot the last few years...i just wanted to see us solidify ourselves in this post season..and now that's in jeopardy.

Kevin Kelly 6 years, 9 months ago

Not only are we in. We aren't even a 4 seed possibility. As a CWS season ticket holder who has been following the post-season College Baseball tourney for over 20 years, I feel confident I have the background to know what I'm talking about. A ranked team that pulled up to 3rd in the Big 12 conference and has 34 wins is more than enough. And then you add to that the fact that we are ranked.

We're in.

And go ahead and look up knockoff. It means eliminate. Its right there in the definition. You can use it differently if you wish...but its not right.

Kevin Kelly 6 years, 9 months ago

Think of all the times in basketball ranked teams have gotten been bounced from the NCAA tourney because they lost the first game of their conference tourney....oh wait....there are no teams in that category because it doesn't happen.

They take 64 teams. We're ranked 21st and play in a major conference. There is nothing we can do at this point that can get us bounced. And loosing by one fricking run certainly won't budge us very far.

Dyrk Dugan 6 years, 9 months ago

now we've lost 4-3 to we're done in the tourney. to the finals last year, can't win a game this year.

i hope you're right...but our ranking will most definitely drop...and 34-24 with three straight losses to end the the year doesn't bode well. we'll see.

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