If the Kansas University baseball team is going to save its season, it will have to do so with two victories today.
And one of those wins will have to be a comeback.
Saturday’s game at Hoglund Ballpark was suspended because of weather with Kansas State leading Kansas, 5-3, in the top of the seventh inning with one out and K-State runners on the corners.
The contest will be resumed at 4 p.m. today, with the teams’ third and final game of the series taking place as scheduled at 6 p.m.
KU needs to win both games to earn a berth in the eight-team Big 12 tournament that begins May 25 in Oklahoma City.
The Jayhawks, who came in having allowed at least 11 runs in each of their previous four Big 12 games, found themselves in an early hole.
KU starter Tanner Poppe allowed five runs (four earned) in his first four innings, as the Jayhawks fell behind, 5-2.
Most of Poppe’s struggles resulted from a lack of command. Two of KSU’s runs reached base via walks, while another was hit by a pitch.
The KU sophomore right-hander also allowed a fourth-inning homer to KSU designated hitter Mike Kindle — a blast that comfortably cleared the fence in center.
Poppe left the game after six innings, allowing five runs, five hits and four walks with no strikeouts.
KU’s best chance at a comeback before the postponement was in the bottom of the sixth.
Zac Elgie led off with a double and James Stanfield followed with a walk to put two runners on with no outs.
Casey Lytle executed a sacrifice bunt, but the Jayhawks managed only one run after an RBI groundout by Jake Marasco and strikeout from Ka’iana Eldredge.
Following a 4-hour, 14-minute game on Friday in Manhattan, the two teams slugged through another slow-moving affair Saturday.
KSU recorded the last final outs in the bottom of the first while tornado sirens blared in the background at Hoglund Ballpark.
The game was delayed 1 hour, 19 minutes after the first inning, with fans taking shelter in Allen Fieldhouse during the tornado warning.
Play also was delayed for a few minutes in the top of the second, as Kansas State center fielder Jared King — while standing in the dugout — was struck in the right eye by a line-drive, foul ball by teammate Jake Brown.
King left the field with a towel pressed up to his face. The freshman — whose right eye was swollen shut — came out of the game and was taken to the hospital for stitches.
With more severe weather approaching, the game was suspended again in the top of the seventh. Fans once again retreated to the Fieldhouse before KU officials announced the game would be resumed today.
KU right-hander Colton Murray — who has served as the team’s closer for most of this year — is scheduled to start the 6 p.m. series finale today against KSU freshman left-hander Shane Conlon.