On Easter Sunday at Monongalia County Ballpark, Kade Strowd and the West Virginia baseball team laid an egg while dropping the series finale to Kansas, 6-5.
The Mountaineers (24-14, 8-7 Big 12) were within one run following a Kevin Brophy single up the middle which plated Marques Inman in the bottom of the eighth inning. West Virginia was poised to take advantage following a pair of walk off victories on Saturday.
It looked like West Virginia was going to pull it off as TJ Lake singled into left center field to lead off the ninth but a pair of strikeouts and a flyout ended the ninth and any chance at a comeback walk off victory.
“I think we only had four hits after six innings and ended up with sixteen so I think our last three games we’ve won by walk-off so you just get confidence in the last couple innings that you’re going to come back and win the game,” said West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey.
Mountaineer right-hander Kade Strowd wasn’t able to make it out of the first inning before serving up three runs to the Jayhawks (20-18, 5-10) on Sunday afternoon. Following a Dylan Ditzenberger hit by pitch, Nolan Metclaf grounded a single up the middle to plate Ditzenberger two batters later for the 1-0 Kansas lead.
Jaxx Groshans was able to score on a Benjamin Sems double down the right field line before a Skyler Messinger single right back to the mound brought home Metclaf for the 3-0 first inning Jayhawk advantage.
Following a Paul McIntosh single to center field in the second inning which saw the designated hitter advance to second on a passed ball, Andrew Zitel smashed a double past Kanas right fielder Ditzenberger to score McIntosh to put the Mountaineers on the board and in a 3-1 hole.
Strowd held the Jayhawks scoreless until the fifth inning when Metclaf singled again this time to right field which plated Brett Vosik and Casey Burnham for the 5-1 Kansas pouncing. Mazey then proceeded to replace Strowd with left hander Zach Reid.
Two innings later, right-hander Beau Lowery walked Sems to bring home Groshans for the 6-1 deficit. Following the run scoring walk, Lowery got Messinger to fly out and end the seventh inning.
The eighth inning saw the Mountaineers cut the Kansas lead to one run beginning with a one out Marques Inman single to third base which brought home Ivan Gonzalez before McIntosh doubled down the right field line to plate Darius Hill for the 6-4 deficit.
Strowd exited the mound in the fifth inning after going 4.1 innings and surrendering five earned runs, eight hits and five strikeouts through 74 total pitches.
“We just needed to get him back in the strike zone today and he did that but you’re looking up and they’re hitting everything he’s throwing up there, so we’ll just have to go back and watch the video and try and figure that out,” explained Mazey of Strowd’s performance.
Following Strowd’s rocky performance, the left-hander Reid came on and didn’t allow any runs through 2.1 innings of work before right-hander Zach Ottinger served up a run and two hits while not earning an out in the seventh inning.
West Virginia will host Penn State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Monongalia County Ballpark before hosting Texas in a weekend series beginning on Friday at 7:30 p.m.