Kansas drops No. 4 Texas
Macias leads off first with home run, Jayhawks win series finale
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Senior shortstop Brandon Macias led off the game with his second home run of the season, while the Kansas bullpen held Texas hitless over the final 3 2/3 innings as the Jayhawks salvaged the final game of the three-game set 4-2 from the Longhorns at Hoglund Ballpark Saturday afternoon.
KU improves to 20-20 overall and 9-9 in Big 12 play, while the Longhorns fall to 30-10 overall and 13-6 in the conference. Following results Saturday, the Jayhawks sit in fifth-place in the league standings, behind Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
On Saturday, KU used a strong pitching performance by Tanner Poppe and the bullpen and an opportunistic offense to claim the win.
Poppe earned his second win Saturday, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. With one out in the sixth, he turned it over to the Jayhawk bullpen and senior Scott Heitshusen, senior Wally Marciel and junior Colton Murray stymied the Texas bats.
Meanwhile, Macias’ first inning home run, which came on the third pitch of the game, seemed to ignite a Jayhawk offense that had been held to one run in the previous two games. After a Erich Weiss solo homer tied the game in the fourth, KU answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to knock starting pitcher Sam Stafford from the game.
Zac Elgie led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a walk to Jake Marasco. After a sacrifice bunt and a pitching change, KU took a 3-1 lead on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
After Texas cut the advantage to 3-2 in the fifth, the Jayhawks regained the two-run lead when Jordan Dreiling grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.
Sophomore catcher Alex DeLeon paced KU’s seven-hit attack, collecting three hits in four at bats. Macias’ home run was the only extra base hit by the Jayhawks. He also became the first Jayhawk to lead-off the game with home run since David Narodowski turned the trick against Baker on April 21, 2009.
Kansas will look to keep its momentum going on Tuesday when it hits the road to face No. 29 Creighton at T.D. Ameritrade Park at 6:30 p.m. The game can be seen nationally on CBS College Sports (Channel 143 on Knology Cable in Lawrence, Kan.).