The Jayhawks baseball team failed to convert runners on base to runs on the scoreboard this weekend against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Jayhawks started the series off hot, but couldn’t continue their momentum in the following games. The team’s record now stands at 9-14.
Game 1: Kansas 4, Iowa 3
Kansas outlasted Iowa in a nail biter Friday.
The Jayhawks went into the eighth inning holding a 4-1 lead, thanks to a two-RBI double from senior infielder Blair Beck.
“I thought it was a crucial at bat,” coach Ritch Price said after the game. “At the time, we had 10 or 11 hits, but only had two runs to show for it.”
Just when Kansas thought they had the game sealed up, Iowa infielder Tyler Peyton singled through the left side for a two-run RBI, putting the Hawkeyes within one with one out remaining.
That was enough to make the Jayhawks sweat, but sweat was all they did. Iowa outfielder Kris Goodman struck out swinging during the next at bat to end the game.
Game 2: Iowa 6, Kansas 4
A hot start in the first inning helped Iowa cruise to victory on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes sparked early, in part by outfielder Joel Booker hitting a single up the middle for a two-RBI hit and infielder Austin Guzzo hitting through the right side scoring Booker at the next at bat.
Iowa scored again in the top of the fourth from a single by infielder Jake Mangler.
Kansas got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single from infielder Matt McLaughlin that would score infielder Michael Tinsley.
The Jayhawks started their comeback in the bottom of the fifth when they scored back-to-back-to-back runs, tying the game up 4-4.
That was the last of the heavy hitting for the Jayhawks, and the Hawkeyes scored two more runs to take the edge and tie the series.
Game 3: Iowa 6, Kansas 2
It took awhile for Kansas to bring a runner safely home, and by the time Tinsley crossed home plate in the seventh inning, it was too little, too late.
Iowa hammered out the hits and the Kansas sluggers couldn’t keep up. When the Jayhawks were walked or hit by a pitch, they couldn’t convert the opportunity.
The Jayhawks left 17 runners on base, the most that were stranded all season.
“We might have set a record since I’ve been at Kansas for the most guys left on base in a game,” Price said. “We had an unbelievable amount of opportunities to score. Early in the game we had some really bad at bats with runners in scoring position. It kind of magnifies when you don’t take advantage of those opportunities.”
Sophomore outfielder Joven Afenir had one of the two runs for Kansas and two of the nine hits.
“We hit a lot of balls hard,” Afenir said. “But the wind wasn’t in our favor today. We just couldn’t find the holes.”
Kansas is on the road until the beginning of April. Next up for the Jayhawks is a one-game battle at Missouri State on Tuesday.
— Edited by Lane Cofas