Early Offense Helps Kansas Down Iowa, 8-3
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sophomore outfielder Michael Suiter went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI single in the first inning as Kansas scored seven runs in the first four innings to hold off Iowa, 8-3, Tuesday evening at Duane Banks Field.
The Jayhawks win for the fourth time in their last five games and improve to 19-12 overall, while the Hawkeyes fall to 11-16 on the year.
Kansas used a three-run first and a three-run fourth to build a commanding lead for starting pitcher Robert Kahana, who picked up his fourth victory. KU broke on top from the opening inning as Suiter singled home Justin Protacio, who led off the game with a walk, and then came around to score with a pair of stolen bases and a throwing error by the Iowa catcher.
The Jayhawks added a run in the second and then broke the game open in the fourth with three runs on a sacrifice fly, a wild pitch and an RBI double by Alex DeLeon. DeLeon, Suiter and seniors Kevin Kuntz and Jordan Dreiling all had two hits to pace KU’s 12-hit night.
The early offense was all Kahana and relief pitcher Drew Morovick needed. Kahana, making his first start in nearly a year, worked five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with four walks and two strikeouts. He worked out of jams in each of the first three innings, allowing just one run on a double play with the bases loaded.
Morovick worked the final four innings to earn his first save. The sophomore snapped his scoreless innings streak at 17 innings, allowing an unearned run in the sixth, but finished strong by retiring nine of the final 10 Hawkeyes he faced. He allowed one unearned run on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
DeLeon had the only extra base hit of the night, with his RBI double in the fourth, while the Jayhawks racked up four stolen bases.
The Jayhawks will complete the series with Iowa on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Fans can tune into the game on KLWN (1320 AM).