It took a masterful, complete-game pitching performance from Texas sophomore Dillon Peters to halt Kansas University’s four-game baseball winning streak Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
“He is as good as advertised ... one of the best young lefthanders in the country,” KU coach Ritch Price said after his Jayhawks managed just one run off six hits off the Indianapolis native in a 2-1 loss to the Longhorns.
“I think the story of the game was the two lefthanded pitchers on the mound on both teams. It was about as well-pitched a college baseball game as you are going to see,” Price added
Peters’ 120-pitch effort, which improved his record to 3-2 and the Longhorns’ mark to 19-14, 4-7 in the Big 12, was just a tad better than the complete-game outing of KU sophomore lefty Wes Benjamin. The 6-foot-2, St. Charles, Ill., native allowed two runs off five hits — no runs the final six innings. He threw 119 pitches as his record dropped to 3-4. KU fell to 21-13, 6-5.
“I thought he did a great job,” Price said. “Obviously we’d like him to cut down on walks. He walked four (while striking out four) and hit one. Against that lineup he goes nine innings in 120 pitches. The great thing about his performance is he saved our bullpen. It gives us a chance tomorrow after playing 12 innings yesterday, which is good,” Price added.
The Jayhawks, who won, 7-6, in 12 innings on Friday night, meet the Longhorns again at 1 p.m., today, at Hoglund Ballpark.
“When you play in this league and face pitching as good as that, you walk in tomorrow and it’s a brand new day,” Price said. “You want guys to walk in here and not even think about what happened yesterday, just be professional, prepare properly and go out and compete. Get the ball elevated and be aggressive.”
KU hitters struck out three times while drawing one walk off Peters. KU plated its only run in the seventh inning on Tucker Tharp’s double to right-centerfield, which scored Ka’iana Eldredge, who had reached off a walk. KU had the tying run on first base in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Peters was able to escape without much drama.
Texas scored a run apiece in the second and third innings off a two-out RBI single by Jacob Felts and Mark Payton’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.
“It’s tough,” said KU first baseman Alex DeLeon, who had two singles in four at bats. Kevin Kuntz, Connor McKay, Michael Suiter and Tharp each had a hit. “Wes had a great performance. He only gave up two and went all nine. It was tough we couldn’t get a couple runs for him. It’s important we come out tomorrow and win the series at home.”
Benjamin credited KU’s defense. “They (teammates) helped me out a lot today,” he said. “The wind was blowing in so I wasn’t too afraid of letting any get out there. I tried to pitch to contact today. It ended up working out for me.”
It’s definitely been a competitive series thus far. Saturday’s game took just two hours, 22 minutes to play.
“It’s an indication of how well both teams are playing on both sides of the ball, pitching and defense,” Price said of the one-run games. “It’s a well-played series aside from the two pop ups dropped last night (one by Texas and one by KU).”
Series Notes: UT leads the all-time series against KU, 48-18, including 16-10 in games played in Lawrence. UT has won three straight series versus KU, dating to the 2010 season. ... KU’s last series win vs. UT was in March of 2009 when KU swept the Longhorns, who were ranked No. 1 at the time.
Texas 011 000 000 — 2 5 2
Kansas 000 000 100 — 1 6 0
W — Dillon Peters, 3-2. L — Wes Benjamin, 3-4.
2B — Brooks Marlow, Texas; Tucker Tharp, KU.
KU highlights: Benjamin allowed five hits in nine innings, striking out four; Alex DeLeon 2-for-4.