Norman, Okla. A seven-run first inning by Kansas University’s baseball team almost wasn’t enough against No. 11 Oklahoma on Saturday.
The Jayhawks fell behind after spotting the Sooners a seven-run inning of their own and needed a late rally to break OU’s 13-game winning streak, 10-8.
Alex DeLeon started things off for Kansas (15-10 overall, 3-3 Big 12), hitting one of KU’s five doubles for two runs. A two-RBI single by Ka’iana Eldredge, two-run double by Justin Protacio and an RBI single by Dakota Smith helped the Jayhawks to a 7-1 lead after the first inning.
The Sooners (25-5, 5-1) retook the lead, 8-7, with the help of a home run and triple in the fifth inning. In the seventh, three straight singles by Kevin Kuntz, Jordan Dreiling and DeLeon (three RBIs total) helped KU even the score, and Dreiling scored the go-ahead run after stealing third base and heading home on Jacob Boylan’s sacrifice fly. Kuntz’s double in the eighth inning sent Eldredge in for the final score, and the Kansas bullpen of Robert Kahana and Jordan Piché combined for 41⁄3 scoreless innings to pick up the win and save, respectively.
“I was proud that there was no quit in our ballclub after they took the lead in the fifth inning,” Kansas coach Ritch Price said. “We continued to fight and grind. ... and then our bullpen was outstanding today. Kahana was fabulous out of the bullpen; Piché was fabulous out of the bullpen, and that is the strength of our team, the back end of our bullpen.”
The Jayhawks will host Creighton at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Hoglund Ballpark.
Kansas 700 000 210 — 10 12 1
Oklahoma 100 070 000 — 8 13 0
W — Robert Kahana, 3-1. L — Billy Waltrip, 1-2. SV — Jordan Piché (3).
2B — Dakota Smith, KU; Kevin Kuntz, KU; Alex DeLeon, KU; Ka’iana Eldredge, KU; Justin Protacio, KU; Craig Aikin (2), OU; Matt Oberste, OU. 3B — Hunter Haley, OU. HR — Max White, OU.
Kansas highlights — DeLeon 2-for-5, 3 RBIs, R; Eldredge 2-for-4, 2 RBIs, 2 R; Kuntz 3-for-4, RBI, R; Protacio 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, R; Kahana 2.2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB; Piché 1.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H.