The West Virginia Mountaineers (24-21, 7-11) fall to the Kansas Jayhawks (22-25, 5-12) 5-2 in Lawrence Kansas Sunday afternoon. With the loss they drop the series 1-2.
The game started out as a pitching duel between West Virginia’s Isaiah Kearns and Kansas’ Taylor Turski.
Neither team could get much offense going and Kearns through four innings had six strikeouts and only gave up two hits while Turski gave up three hits and struck out three.
In the top of the fifth inning, Isaiah Kearns singled up the middle with a low line drive. Kearns stole second and there was a little bit of a controversy as he slid under the tag, but he appeared to have been out. The second base umpire called him safe and Kearns was standing on second.
Braden Zarbnisky took advantage with a man in scoring position and poked one into right centerfield for a double and Kearns scored giving the Mountaineers the 1-0 lead.
Kansas responded in the bottom of the inning with Owen Taylor getting it started doubling down the right field line and Benjamin Sems followed it up with a two-run homerun to right center and the Jayhawks had a 2-1 lead.
Then with two outs, James Cosentino hit a solo home over the right field wall, giving Kansas a two-run lead.
Braden Zarbnisky came out to the mound for Kearns and Kearns moved over to leftfield to start the sixth inning. Zarbnisky had a 1-2-3 inning to start his day on the hill.
The Jayhawks Owen Taylor started the bottom of the seventh with a solo homerun to rightfield.
Kansas added another run, when Sems doubled down the rightfield line and Cosentino bringing him around with a single to rightfield, giving the Jayhawks a four-run advantage.
West Virginia’s Kyle Gray extended his hit streak earlier in the game with a bunt to 22 games and ended his day with a solo home run that bounced off the scoreboard in the top of the ninth inning closing the gap to 5-2.
This is not only an ugly loss but a series loss to a team that had only won three conference games coming into the series.
The Mountaineers looked like they may run away with the series on Friday night with a 21-3 win but got outscored 18-5 in the final two games.
The series loss may have ended the Mountaineers hopes to get an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
West Virginia returns home Wednesday evening to face the rival Virginia Tech Hokies at 6:30 pm est inside Monongalia Ball Park.