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Horns Haulted by Kansas in Series Opener

 

Courtesy of texassports.com

AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 23 Texas Longhorns were held to just three hits in a 7-2 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks in Big 12 Conference baseball action Friday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Kansas’ Frank Duncan (4-5) earned the first complete-game victory of the season by an opponent against the Longhorns this season. He scattered three hits and allowed two runs, one earned, while striking out a career-high 11 batters.

Kansas struck 13 times on the evening, but were able to score all seven of their runs with two outs.

The Jayhawks pounced on the Longhorns early with a run in the top of the first inning. Tucker Tharp reached on a leadoff single that fell into shallow right centerfield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Kuntz. James Stanfield drew a walk and Alex DeLeon flied out to centerfield pushing Tharp. With runners on the corners and two outs, Zac Elgie singles up the middle to plate Tharp for the 1-0 lead.

Kansas (16-23, 4-9 Big 12) inflated its cushion to three runs in the top of the fourth. Jordan Dreiling hit a leadoff single to left centerfield and with one out Connor McKay reached on a bunt single and Dakota Smith singled to leftfield to load the bases. Tharp hit a sharp liner to third which Erich Weiss caught for the second out of the inning, but the Horns were unable to get out of the frame unscathed as Kuntz singled up the middle for a two-run single to stake the Jayhawks to a 3-0 lead.

The Jayhawks took advantage of a Longhorns’ error in the top of the eighth to add four runs to the lead. Elgie reached on an infield single. Jordan Dreiling laid down a sacrifice bunt, by Longhorns reliever Hoby Milner tried for the putout at second base and his throw was late to retire Elgie give the Jayhawks two on with no outs. Jake Marasco sacrificed both runners into scoring position and McKay struck out swinging to give the Jayhawks two outs. Smith bounced a grounder to the short, but Jordan Etier’s throw got away from Alex Silver at first base allowing two runners to score on the error. Kuntz capped off the scoring with a two-run triple to centerfield to give Kansas a 7-2 lead.

Texas (21-14, 9-4 Big 12) mounted a late rally in the home half of the eighth. Silver broke a streak of 20 consecutive batters retired by Duncan with a leadoff single. With one out, Jacob Felts reached on an error and Etier was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brooks Marlow snapped the shutout with a two-run single to the gap in left centerfield, trimming the lead to 7-2. Mark Payton struck out swinging and Taylor Stell struck out looking to end the rally.

Nathan Thornhill (4-3) was saddled with the loss. He yielded three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three over 4.0 innings. John Curtiss worked 2.0 innings of hitless, shutout relief allowing two walks while fanning four. Milner allowed four unearned runs on two hits and one walk while striking out three. Austin Dicharry fanned three of the four batters he faced in the top of the ninth.

Kuntz paced the Jayhawks’ offense going 2-for-3 with one triple, one sacrifice bunt and four RBI. Elgie went 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI.

Texas and Kansas return to action on Saturday evening with a 7 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

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