Baseball team continues winning streak
- Apr. 18, 2012
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The Kansas baseball team extended its winning streak to three games Wednesday with a 6-0 victory over the University of Saint Mary.
The win improved Kansas’ record to 15-23 overall and gave the Jayhawks their first three-game winning streak since the opening week. Similar to Tuesday night’s victory over Baker University, the Jayhawks took an early lead and never looked back.
Senior third baseman Zac Elgie hit an RBI double off the base of the left-field wall in the first inning, giving the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead. A sacrifice fly off the bat of junior infielder Jordan Dreiling had Kansas heading into the second inning with a 2-0 advantage.
After coach Ritch Price placed an emphasis on getting these quick leads, Elgie came through in consecutive nights.
“I think when it comes to playing teams like this, the older guys really want to come in and lead by example,” Elgie said. “We sputtered off a little bit there in the middle, but the younger guys got a chance to play late. They’ve proved that they can play well, and it’s good for the team as a whole.”
Saint Mary used nine pitchers in the ballgame, but the 17-25 Spires – out of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference – held the offense in check for most of the night. The Jayhawks mustered just eight hits, but their recent improved plate discipline continued against Saint Mary, earning nine walks.
“As we get deeper in the season – now that we’ve played over 30 games – our hitters stop chasing that breaking ball out of the zone,” Price said. “I think that’s what we’re seeing now. Our guys have played enough games and seen enough pitches where they’re laying off on those out of the zone.”
With the offense struggling to break the game open, Dreiling made his presence known, even without an official at bat. Dreiling went 0-for-0 with two walks and an RBI on the sacrifice fly. Sophomore infielder Ka’iana Eldredge’s double in the fourth inning brought Dreiling home for Kansas’ third run. Coming off a weekend series against Texas A&M’s hard-throwing arms, the Jayhawks had to adjust to the drop-off in pitch velocity.
“For some guys it takes a little while for them to stay back,” Dreiling said. “As we saw the last few games, people were able to get on time with swings and it ended up working out.”
The Jayhawks only used freshman pitchers against the Spires, and Drew Morovick’s five shutout innings improved his record to 3-1.
Having successfully avoided a mid-week letdown, Kansas’ focus turns to this weekend’s matchup at No. 23 Texas. The Longhorns have one of the best home pitching staffs, and the Jayhawk rotation will need to match it to come away with a win.
“It all starts with our pitching,” Price said. “We’ll need three quality outings from each one of the starting guys.”
Edited by Katie James