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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Austin Fisher’s two-strike, two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth drove in the winning run as Kansas State came from behind to defeat Texas Tech, 6-5, Friday evening in front of a season-high 3,866 fans at Tointon Family Stadium.
(Courtesy: KU Athletics)
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore Michael Suiter collected a career-high four hits, while senior Thomas Taylor pitched seven strong innings for his third victory as Kansas scored a 7-5 series-opening win over No. 19 Oklahoma State, Friday evening at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks improved to 17-11 overall and 4-3 in Big 12 play, while the Cowboys fell to 21-7 and 3-3 within the league.
KU used back-to-back big innings in the third and the fourth to build a 7-0 lead and then withstood an eighth inning rally for the win. Suiter led the way with four hits, while freshman Jacob Boylan chipped in a 2-for-4 effort with three RBIs.
After leaving runners on in the first two innings, the Jayhawks broke through with three runs in the third. Sophomore Justin Protacio scored the first run of the inning when he drew a leadoff walk and came around on a sacrifice, an infield single and an error on a play at the plate after a ground ball to third. Sophomore Dakota Smith and Boylan then collected RBI singles to cap the three-run inning against Oklahoma State starter Jason Hursh.
The Jayhawks struck for four more runs in the fourth, sending nine men to the plate in the inning. Suiter doubled to the gap in left center to push the KU lead to 5-0, while Boylan collected another clutch hit with a two-out, two-run single up the middle with the bases loaded. The freshman’s three RBIs matched a season high.
The seven-run cushion was enough to give Taylor his third victory of the year. The senior righty went seven innings and allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts. His six K’s move him into sixth-place on KU’s all-time strikeout list with 209. He passes former KU greats Jamie Splittorff and Eric Stonecipher.
Trailing 7-0, the Cowboys scored two runs in the fifth on a two-run double by Saulyer Saxon and cut the deficit to 7-5 in the eighth, which knocked Taylor out of the game. However, junior Jordan Piché came on and recorded the final five outs for his fifth save of the season. The junior righty ended the game in style, inducing a short-to-second-to-first double play with the tying run at the plate.
Suiter paced KU’s 12-hit attack with four base knocks, while Protacio, Smith, Boylan and senior Jordan Dreiling all had two hits.
The Jayhawks will look for the series win on Saturday in game two of the series against No. 19 Oklahoma State. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday will be KU’s annual “Jayhawks For a Cure” game, which supports the fight against cancer. Fans wearing light blue will be admitted for just $3, while the first 500 fans in attendance will receive free light blue bracelets.