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LUBBOCK, Texas – After an 80-minute weather delay, Friday’s game between Kansas and Texas Tech began under a rainbow in center field and ended with a home run into the night sky from Cole Elvis to give the Jayhawks a 3-1 victory. The 2-run homer by Elvis broke a 1-1 tie with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
Kansas trailed 1-0 in the game all the way until the seventh inning. Elvis had an RBI single in the frame to even the game at 1-1. Elvis’ home run in the ninth put Kansas ahead for pitcher Thaniel Trumper to finish out the bottom of the ninth. Kodey Shojinaga extended his hitting streak to a career-best 18 games, which is the longest by a Jayhawk this season. The win improved Kansas to 24-28 on the year and 8-14 in conference play.
After Texas Tech (35-19, 10-12 Big 12) started the game with a leadoff double, Collin Baumgartner struck out the next three batters he faced to strike out the side in the first. That was three of the four strikeouts Baumgartner had on the night.
However, the Red Raiders were able to take the lead in the second inning. Texas Tech scored an unearned run on a sacrifice bunt to grab a 1-0 advantage.
Both teams tossed zeros up on the board until the seventh inning. Kansas cranked out three consecutive singles from Janson Reeder, Michael Brooks and Elvis with one out in the inning. The single by Elvis drove in Tyler Gerety, who was pinch running for Reeder, to even the game at 1-1.
Then, in the ninth, Elvis delivered again in a big way with a two-out, two-run bomb. The home run was his team-high 13th of the season.
Collin Baumgartner started for Kansas and tossed three innings. Baumgartner punched out four batters and issued no walks. He gave up an unearned run in his start. Hunter Cranton entered in relief of Baumgartner and threw three scoreless innings and struck out two while walking none. Trumper finished out the final three innings and did not allow a run. He earned the win to improve to 4-5 on the season. The three combined to strikeout eight and only walk one while not allowing an earned run.
“[The win] means a lot. Going into the Big 12 tournament, I think it’s important that we’re hot. It was great for us to rely on our pitchers. Our pitchers came in and were absolutely shoving. I think that’s what really swung the momentum for us, our pitchers absolutely holding the fort down. Those guys came out and executed their pitches and that’s really what we need going into the tournament.” – Senior Cole Elvis
“I told the guys after the game that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. I thought we were way off offensively to start the night. Like any great team, our pitcher’s picked us up. Three awesome performances from Baumgartner, Cranton and Trumper. Then, some timely hitting at the end. It was fun to keep that one close and win it late. I love to see the guys rewarded for sticking to it.” – Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald
• Elvis drove in all three RBIs for Kansas. He hit his team-leading 13th home run of the season.
• Shojinaga extended his hitting streak to 18 games, which is the longest by a Jayhawk this season.
• Koszewski pushed his on-base streak to 13 games.
Kansas plays Texas Tech in game two of the series on Friday evening. First pitch from Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.