Austin, Texas — Kansas University’s Jordan Piché struck out Jeremy Montalbano with the tying run on third base to preserve Kansas University’s 3-2 Big 12 baseball victory over No. 10-ranked Texas on Friday.
Piché earned his third save of the season in the league opener for both teams and made a winner of Wes Benjamin (3-0).
Benjamin allowed just two runs off six hits over 82⁄3 innings.
“He was really special,” KU coach Ritch Price said. “One of the things I was really pleased with was the use of his changeup. It was just outstanding to both the right-handed guys and the left handed guys. He was able to get ahead and they were really aggressive.”
The Jayhawks (13-4, 1-0) took a 2-0 lead in the first. Justin Protacio led off with a single and moved to second on Tommy Mirabelli’s sacrifice. After Michael Suiter walked, Connor McKay singled in a run. Tucker Tharp drove in Suiter with a sacrifice fly.
Kansas scored the winning run in the fifth, after Mirabelli walked, moved to second on Suiter’s single and scored on McKay’s single.
Texas fell to 14-5, 0-1.
The series will conclude with single games at 1 p.m. today and Sunday.
Kansas 200 010 000 — 3 10 1
Texas 000 100 001 — 2 6 0
W — Wes Benjamin, 3-0. L — Parker French, 2-2. Sv — Jordan Piché, 3.
2B — Ben Johnson, C.J. Hinojosa, Texas.
Kansas highlights — Benjamin 82⁄3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K; Piché 1⁄3 IP, 0 H, 1 K; Connor McKay 4-for-5, RBI; Justin Protacio 2-for-5, R.