OKLAHOMA CITY – No. 6 Texas claimed its second-straight tournament win with a victory over No. 7 Kansas, 5-4, in the game eight of the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark Thursday night.
The Longhorns loaded the bases early in the second inning with no outs. Michael McCann and Patrick Mathis then both singled to put Texas up by three. A sacrifice fly would score another run to make it 4-0 in favor of Texas.
The Jayhawks' offense bounced back with two runs in the fourth inning. Devin Foyle delivered an RBI double and then was able to score on a single by Jaxx Groshans.
Texas strung together a couple of singles and capitalized off Jake McKenzie's double to score a run. Kansas' defense minimized the damage in the sixth to one run.
The Jayhawks cut it close with Jaxx Groshans' two-run home run in the top of the ninth, but Texas held on to the victory.
The Longhorns relied on pitcher Nolan Kingham who improved to 9-4 on the season with the win following a complete game for seven hits and a seven-strikeout performance on the hill.
Big 12 Championship Notes
- Texas is currently 39-28 all-time in the Big 12 Championship.
- Kansas is currently 10-16 all-time in the Big 12 Championship.
- Texas leads Kansas 3-1 in all-time series of Big 12 Championship play.
- No. 6 seeds are currently 37-30 all-time in the Big 12 Championship.
- No. 7 seeds are currently 23-35 all-time in the Big 12 Championship.
- Texas will have Friday off and await the winner of TCU and Kansas. Kansas will rematch in an elimination game with TCU Friday night.
Texas (36-20, 2-0 Big 12 Championship)
- Patrick Mathis went 2-2 with 2 singles, an RBI and a walk. Zane Gurwitz went 2-for-3, bringing a total of five hits through two Big 12 Championship games.
- Nolan Kingham went a full nine innings giving up 4 runs on 7 hits. Kingham improves to 9-0 and now is tied for first in the Big 12 in wins. Kingham also now leads the Big 12 in complete games with two.
- Jake McKenzie hit RBI double in bottom of the sixth. McKenzie came in as a pinch hitter and only had 13 at-bats all year.
- The Texas offense capitalized with 11 hits improving their record to 12-2 this year when collecting 10 or more hits.
- Texas turned two double plays, bringing their season total to over 61. The Longhorns are one of the few teams still errorless in tournament play.
Kansas (30-27, 1-1 Big 12 Championship)
- Kansas beat Texas in their last Big 12 Championship tournament meeting 4-2 (2012).
- In 2016 & 2017 Kansas' Jackson Goddard pitched against Texas twice. In those two appearances, he pitched six innings allowed 7 earned runs, walked 9, and combined for ERA of 10.50. Goddard improved that line throwing five innings, 4 earned runs, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts.
- Matt McLaughlin went 2-for-4 with a double. The shortstop has now reached base in 19th straight.
- Kansas stringed together a few hits in the top of the 4th to score 2. Davin Foyle brings in his 30th RBI of the year while Jaxx Groshans adds his 36th RBI. Groshans went deep in the ninth with a 2-run homerun, totaling 3 RBI on the night.
STAT OF THE GAME:
12-2 – Texas improves to 12-2 on the year when having 10 or more hits.
With the loss, Kansas will play No. 2 TCU in an elimination game tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. CT. Texas will play the winner of the TCU-Kansas matchup on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CT.