Turnabout: Kansas Routs WVU With Big Offensive Display
Junior second baseman Kyle Gray extended his hit streak to 21 consecutive games with a pair of home runs, but it was not enough as the West Virginia University baseball team lost at Kansas, 13-3, on Saturday afternoon.
On a hot, sun-soaked day at Hoglund Ballpark, the Mountaineers (24-20, 7-10 Big 12) saw their four-game win streak come to an end. WVU took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but the Jayhawks (21-25, 4-12 Big 12) responded with runs in each of the next five innings.
Gray continued his hot hitting and had his third multi-home run game of the year. He hit his 11th and 12th homers of the season and now has 15 in his career. Gray’s 21-game hit streak is the longest by a Mountaineer since Justin McDavid’s 21-game streak in 2010, while his 12 homers are tied for ninth-most in a single season in program history.
Along with Gray (22 games), junior right fielder Darius Hill (20) and sophomore Marques Inman (19) also extended their career-long reached-base streaks, with a hit a piece. Freshman third baseman Tyler Doanes also had one hit, extending his hit streak to a career-best eight games.
Sophomore right-handed starter Kade Strowd suffered the loss, just his second in Big 12 play, and falls to 4-4 on the season. In 4.1 innings, he allowed five runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Gray gave the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run home run. His second homer of the weekend scored Inman, who led off the inning with a double.
KU cut the lead to 2-1 in the third on a hit batter with the bases loaded and two outs, but Strowd got a groundout to end the inning. WVU stranded the bases loaded in the top of the fourth with two outs, and the Wildcats tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly.
Kansas took its first lead of the series in the fifth, at 5-2, scoring three runs on four hits. A double and single were followed by back-to-back RBI doubles, the second scoring two runs after Strowd was relieved by senior right-hander Shane Ennis.
The Mountaineers left two on in the top of the sixth, and the Jayhawks extended their lead to 11-2 in the bottom of the inning. A two-RBI double scored the first two runs, and Brendt Citta added a two-run home run to center. The final two runs of the inning came on an RBI single and a wild pitch. Citta hit his second home run of the day in the seventh to make it 13-2.
Gray added his second home run of the day in the eighth inning to cut the WVU deficit to 13-3, but the Mountaineers could not get any closer.
The series concludes on Sunday, at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT. The game will be streamed via ESPN3 on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app, while fans can listen to the game on the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG on various affiliates throughout the state. Fans can also tune in across the country on WVUsports.com and on the WVU Gameday App, as well as the TuneIn App on their mobile device. Dan Zangrilli will have the call. Direct links to the video stream, radio broadcast and live stats can be found on the baseball schedule page on WVUsports.com.
NOTES: West Virginia falls to 24-20 on the season and 7-10 in Big 12 play … The loss snaps WVU’s four-game win streak, while the Mountaineers have won eight of their last 11 … The Mountaineers are 10-8 all-time vs. Kansas … Kyle Gray extended his hit streak to 21 consecutive games, the longest by a Mountaineer since Justin McDavid’s 21-game hit streak in 2010 … Gray hit his team-leading 11th and 12th home runs of the season in the second and eighth innings … Gray’s 12 home runs are tied for ninth-most in a single season in program history … He has 15 home runs in his career … Gray (22 games), Darius Hill (20) and Marques Inman (19) all extended their career-long reached-base streaks.