Kansas evens series with 15-4 victory

Kansas evened the series at 1-1 in the four-game set with a 15-4 victory Thursday night. (Photo by Mark A Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – A seven-run second inning by Kansas proved too much for the BYU baseball team as the Cougars fell 15-4 Thursday at Larry H. Miller Field.

Down 11-0 after the first four innings, the Cougars (10-12) didn’t throw in the towel and continued to battle.

The Jayhawks (14-7) recorded 17 hits to BYU’s eight.

The Cougars dealt with unfortunate bounces during the night, for example a ball hitting Jacob Hannemann for an out in the first inning as he was running between first and second base.

Kansas went up a quick 2-0 in the first inning after back-to-back doubles.

The Cougars dug a hole for themselves in the second as three errors led to seven runs for the Jayhawks. Down 9-0 in the bottom of the second, BYU didn’t have an answer as Kansas retired the Cougars in order.

"You can look at the second inning and it was a perfect storm," BYU head baseball coach Mike Littlewood said. "It was a fiasco in the middle infield tonight, so we set them down to watch. I have no real answers tonight other than we don't want that again."

A long double to right field by the Jayhawks in the fourth brought a runner home. With a runner on second and two outs, BYU’s fifth error of the game enabled Kansas to pad its lead, 11-0.

The Cougars scored their first run of the night in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI groundout from Kelton Caldwell. Jaycob Brugman got on base with a drive up centerfield and moved into scoring position after Kansas walked Brock Whitney. A wild pitch moved both runners up before Brugman reached home that frame.

BYU cut into Kansas’ lead scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bret Lopez ripped a lead-off double to give the Cougars a spark as Nate Favero hit an RBI single up the middle to send Lopez home. Hannemann continued the momentum with a double, his second hit of the night, followed by an RBI single from Trace Hansen. With runners on the corners, a sac fly by Brugman to left plated Hannemann and brought the score to 11-4.

Following their three-run fifth inning, reliever Chunner Nyberg retired Kansas in order in the next three innings, with Caldwell making a impressive diving catch in left field to end the eighth inning.

"It's all about making adjustments and we did not do that tonight," Littlewood said. "If there's a silver lining, it's that Chunner got a work out tonight."

Kansas added four more runs in the ninth to push the final margin to 15-4. Kansas tied the series at one-all, while BYU's home record at Miller Park is now 2-2.

The third tilt of the four-game series with Kansas was  moved up to 3 p.m. MDT, on Friday at Larry H. Miller Field and will be broadcast live on both BYUtv and KOVO Radio 960 AM.

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