Late Rally Foils KU Baseball, 9-8
Feb. 18, 2013
MESA, Ariz. - Nevada pinch hitter Brad Gerig's two-strike double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning plated the winning runs as the Wolf Pack rallied from three separate deficits in a wild 9-8 win over Kansas Monday at Hohokam Park.
The Jayhawks held leads of 6-2, 7-5 and 8-7 before Gerig's winning base hit earned a series split for Nevada. Both teams will enter the second week of play at 2-2.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the tying run on third base, pinch hitter Bryce Barger worked an 0-2 count into a walk from KU relief pitcher Robert Kahana. Gerig was also faced with an 0-2 hole, but lined a fastball off the left field wall to score pinch runner Curtis Frisbie from first base with the winning run.
Behind three sacrifice flies and some wildness by the Nevada bullpen, Kansas built a 6-2 lead in the early innings. The Jayhawks scored three runs in the top of the fifth without the benefit of a base hit. After a fly out to start the inning, Tucker Tharp, Alex DeLeon and Michael Suiter drew one-out walks to load the bases. Freshman Jacob Boylan forced in one run when he was hit by a pitch, while Ka'iana Eldredge drew a two-out walk to extend the lead to 5-2. Suiter then scored on a wild pitch to cap the inning.
However, Nevada fought back to cut the deficit to 6-5 and knock starting pitcher Tanner Poppe out of the game in the sixth. Poppe, the Jayhawk starter, went five innings and allowed five runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. He looked sharp early in the game, but back-to-back hits in the sixth inning ended his day. Catcher Ryan Teel then greeted relief pitcher Tyler Watson with a double off the wall to score Hernandez.
After the Wolf Pack tied the game in the seventh on an RBI single by Austin Byler, Kevin Kuntz helped KU regain the lead at 8-7 with a one-out RBI single to right field in the eighth.
DeLeon led the KU offense, going 2-for-2 with a solo home run and two walks in the game. He was one of four Jayhawks with two hits.
Kansas will look to bounce back in its home-opener on Friday when it faces Northwestern in the first game of a three-game series at Hoglund Ballpark. First pitch in the opener is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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