Kansas baseball suffered its second consecutive Big 12 Conference sweep on Sunday, dropping the final game of the series to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 8-3, after a long weekend of being outscored 37-16.
Lawrence native and junior lefty Ethan Bradford took the hill for Kansas on Sunday, ultimately receiving the loss. Bradford finished his day going three innings while allowing three earned runs on three hits, striking out just one batter.
Oklahoma State starter and redshirt freshman righthander Carson Benge was credited with Sunday’s win, going three innings of just one-run ball on four hits and four punchouts.
After a quiet first inning on both sides, the Jayhawks struck first in the bottom of the second from sophomore right fielder Luke Leto’s fourth home run of the season, a 416-foot solo shot to center.
Kansas showed no signs of slowing down in the inning, hoping to take advantage of two hit batters and a single from redshirt-sophomore third baseman Michael Brooks to load the bases. However, Leto’s solo shot served as the only run in the inning as senior first baseman Cole Elvis struck out swinging to end the inning. Despite slashing .296/.337/.568 this season, Elvis ranked in the bottom three of Sunday’s starting lineup when batting with runners in scoring position, posting just a .218 average with RISP.
But, even with the lower RISP average, Elvis has found much of his RISP success with the long ball, and it was evident as he drilled a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth following a leadoff triple by redshirt sophomore outfielder Mike Koszewski to give Kansas its final two runs of the game.
Failure to capitalize with the bases loaded proved to be detrimental in the following half inning, as the Cowboys jumped out to a 3-1 lead after a leadoff walk and hit by pitch from Bradford had Oklahoma State threatening in the inning, and a sac bunt put the runners in scoring position for sophomore second baseman Roc Riggio.
Riggio connected on the first pitch of the at-bat for a two-run RBI single from the California native, and he found his way home later in the inning following a wild pitch and groundout that allowed him to score, but the Jayhawks managed to limit the damage to just the three runs.
Oklahoma State’s three-run third was just the beginning for the Cowboys, as the Jayhawks failed to close any gap as the Cowboys kept tacking on runs to ultimately take the win and sweep, 8-3.
The Jayhawks now look to bounce back against Wichita State on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.