After a 1-0 pitchers’ duel on Friday, Kansas University and West Virginia produced a decidedly different game Saturday, when the Mountaineers blasted the Jayhawks, 11-6, at Hoglund Ballpark.
Kansas rode three hits and two RBIs from junior first baseman Marcus Wheeler to keep the game close through six innings, trailing 7-6, but West Virginia scored four more runs to cement the victory.
Kansas (7-13, 0-2 Big 12) used a combination of six pitchers, but could not solve West Virginia’s (12-9, 2-3 Big 12) hitters as they tallied 15 hits and scored runs in all but two innings of the contest. WVU’s Conner Dotson (4-1) was credited with the win, and Mountaineer Jeff Hardy earned a three-inning save, striking out six.
The Jayhawks had little trouble getting its leadoff men on base to begin five of nine innings against the Mountaineers. Freshman leadoff hitter Rudy Karre hit safely in three appearances leading off an inning, and the Jayhawks, with the help of Wheeler and sophomore catcher TJ Martin — who had two RBIs — scored in such a situation four times.
“I was pleased with the back end of our lineup,” KU coach Ritch Price said. “It was nice to see Martin contribute and it was nice to see Wheeler contribute.”
Game three of the series is today. First pitch from Hoglund Ballpark is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
“We have a saying in our program, ‘It’s all about Sunday.’ It is the most important day of the weekend,” Price said. “It will be a two-man game tomorrow. Blake Weiman will start, and then we will go right to Stephen Villines — there will be nobody between them. We need to find a way to salvage the game on Sunday.”
West Virginia 013 120 121 — 11 15 0
Kansas 103 011 000 — 6 13 1
W — Dotson, 4-1. L — Goldsberry, 0-3. SV — Hardy, 1.
2B — Hill 2, Inman, Wood, Galusky, West Virginia; Karre, Wright, Kansas.
KU Highlights — Marcus Wheeler, 3-for-4, 2 RBIs; TJ Martin, 2-for-5. 2 RBIs; Rudy Karre, 3-for-5, 2 runs; Colby Wright, 2-for-4, run.