Sooners shut down Kansas offense
- Apr. 28, 2012
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The Kansas baseball team (17-27, 4-13 Big 12) dropped its second game of the series Saturday night 8-2 to Oklahoma.
In front of a season-best 1,682 people at Hoglund Ballpark, the Jayhawks failed to take advantage of opportunities. Kansas left 10 runners on base in the ball game, including two innings with the bases loaded.
After junior third baseman Jordan Dreiling knocked in the game’s first run via a sacrifice fly, the Kansas offense disappeared as Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray pitched a dominant 6.1 innings. Gray’s fastball was consistently measured in the mid-90s, and the Kansas hitters could not adjust.
“It’s definitely something we haven’t really seen much this year,” senior catcher James Stanfield said of Gray’s fastball. “But it all comes down to getting ready to hit.”
Despite collecting just four hits in the ballgame, the Jayhawks trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth inning with a chance to rally. However, Oklahoma’s top-half of the inning ended any chance for a KU comeback. The Sooners scored five runs on six hits, which all-but-secured another Big 12 win on the road.
With Texas Tech defeating Missouri on Saturday night, the Jayhawks and Red Raiders are tied for the final spot in the Big 12 Tournament. Kansas must finish in eighth place or better to qualify for the tournament, which makes Sunday’s game against Oklahoma even more important for coach Ritch Price’s club.
“Anytime we’re playing someone in the top 25, we need to pick up a W and stay in contention,” Price said. “It will give ourselves an opportunity to get in the thing late.”
Junior pitcher Thomas Taylor (4-5, 4.08 ERA) will take the mound Sunday afternoon as Kansas looks to salvage the series.
“We need to come out with energy,” Stanfield said. “Any time we come out with energy and stay on them inning-for-inning, we’ve been really successful.”