Posted on April 14, 2013 at 8:23 PM
The Kansas Jayhawks earned a 4-3 victory Sunday to win a Big 12 series over the Texas Longhorns. The Jayhawks (22-13, 7-5) pushed across the eventual winning run in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Kevin Kuntz after the Longhorns had two errors in the inning.
Drew Morovick, Frank Duncan and Jordan Piche’ threw five shutout innings in relief as Piche’ picked up his second save of the series with 1 2/3 innings and one hit.
Weston Hall and Erich Weiss collected two hits each for the Longhorns, but Texas (19-15, 4-8) stranded 12 runners on the afternoon. Nathan Thornhill (2-4) went the distance for the Longhorns, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits with three walks while tying his career best with seven strikeouts.
Hall legged out an infield single to start the game for the Longhorns. After Madison Carter sacrificed him to second, C.J Hinojosa would later score Hall with a single to center for the 1-0 Texas lead. Tucker Tharp doubled in the Kansas half of the third and tied it when Kuntz hit a ground ball to second as UT second baseman Brooks Marlow’s throw went off-line to score the run.
Kansas put runners at first and third with no outs in the fourth as Justin Protacio gave the Jayhawks the 2-1 lead after reaching on a fielder’s choice. Kuntz then singled to third as Madison Carter’s errant throw allowed Protacio to advance to third before Michael Suiter singled to center, making it a 3-1 Kansas advantage.
Hall walked, followed by Carter’s double in the fifth. Weiss hit an RBI single to center and Payton walked to load the bases. Hinojosa hit a chopper to third as Jordan Dreiling threw out Carter at the plate before Ty Marlow tied it with a sacrifice fly to center.
In the bottom of the sixth, UT looked to have the second out on a chopper to second, but Ty Marlow was unable to hold on to the throw to allow Tharp to reach first safely. Protacio then laid down a bunt as catcher Jacob Felts attempted to get the lead runner at second, but his throwing error allowed Tharp to get to third. Kuntz then hit a grounder to second as Protacio was retired at second with Tharp scoring the eventual winning run.
With Weiss at second in the seventh, Ty Marlow singled to right, but Kansas right fielder Dakota Smith was able to gun down Weiss at the plate to preserve the lead. Weiss singled in the ninth and was at second after another Payton sacrifice before Piche’ induced fly outs from Hinojosa and Ty Marlow to record the save.
Texas begins a five-game homestand on Tuesday (April 16) against UTPA at 6 p.m. The game will be televised live on Longhorn Network with radio on AM 1300 The Zone. Gametracker live stats will be available on TexasSports.com with live Twitter updates @Texas_Baseball.
Notes: Kansas recorded its first series win over Texas since 2009 when the Jayhawks swept the Longhorns in Lawrence…Texas is now 9-7 in one-run games with 23 of the team’s 34 games this season decided by two runs or less…Erich Weiss now has 14 multi-hit games this season, a team high…Mark Payton has now reached base safely in 23 straight games.