LAWRENCE, Kan. – A three-run eighth inning by Kansas doomed the WVU baseball team, as it fell 5-3 on Friday evening at Hoglund Ballpark.
Following a WVU comeback, Kansas notched three runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth to retake the lead for the victory. Kansas’ Connor McKay smacked a one-out double off the right center field fence, scoring Michael Suiter to tie the game at 3-3. Tucker Tharp then followed with a two-run homer over the left center fielder fence, giving the Jayhawks the go-ahead 5-3 lead.
West Virginia (27-18, 9-9 Big 12) scored three runs on 10 hits, while Kansas (31-21, 13-9 Big 12) scored five runs on eight hits. Each team committed one error.
Tied 2-2 in the top of the eighth, senior first baseman Ryan McBroom
led off with a solo home run over the left field fence, giving the Mountaineers a 3-2 lead. The home run was McBroom’s team-leading eighth of the season.
Junior second baseman Billy Fleming
and junior right fielder Brad Johnson
went 2-for-4 to lead the Mountaineers as Fleming scored one run and Johnson drove in one run.
Suiter gave the Jayhawks a 2-0 lead in the bottom of first inning with a two-run home run over the left field wall. Suiter’s third home run of the season scored Justin Protacio, who reached after drawing a leadoff walk.
West Virginia cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, but a strikeout by freshman designated hitter Jackson Cramer
stranded the bases loaded. Johnson notched his 15th
RBI of the season with a two-out single up the middle, plating Fleming from second base.
The Mountaineers tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the seventh after loading the bases with one out. Cramer singled up the middle, senior third baseman Michael Constantini
drew a walk and junior shortstop Taylor Munden
singled through the left side to load the bases. Junior Justin Fox
entered the game to pinch run for Cramer and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by junior center fielder Bobby Boyd
Junior left-hander Harrison Musgrave
’s (5-3) lone mistake was the home run to Suiter. Musgrave went 7.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Junior right-hander Sean Carley
(5-2) was issued the loss in his first blown save of the season. Carley allowed two runs on two hits with one strikeout and one walk in 0.1 innings.
Kansas starter Jordan Piche’ (6-5) took a no-decision, scattering two runs on eight hits in 7.0 innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Reliever Stephen Villines gave up one run on two hits in 2.0 innings for the victory.
West Virginia will look to tie the series on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game can be viewed on ESPN3.com, while the radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG College.