SAN ANTONIO de GUERRA, Dominican Republic – Senior shortstop Kevin Kuntz scored the winning run from second base in the top of the 10th inning as Kansas outlasted the Indians Dominican Academy, 3-2 in 10 innings Thursday at the Cleveland Indians Complex.
The Jayhawks evened their series with the Indians at 1-1 and moved to 5-1 on the trip. KU also played an exhibition game with an amateur team from Boca Chica later in the day.
Against the Indians, offense was tough to come by as the teams combined for five runs and 10 hits in 10 innings.
KU collected four of those hits, including a leadoff single by Kuntz in the 10th inning, which led to him scoring the winning run. After he singled and was sacrificed over to second base, Tucker Tharp hit a high pop up in-between third base and home plate with two outs. The ball was dropped by the Indians’ catcher, allowing Kuntz hustle all the way around from second base on the play, breaking the 2-2 tie.
In the bottom of the 10th, Kuntz started the game-clinching double play after the Indians had put two men on with one out against KU closer Robert Kahana. Kahana earned the victory, pitching three scoreless innings of relief and recording a pair of strike outs.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Tyler Watson started the game for KU and held the Indians hitless over the first three innings. Sophomore Colin Toalson also pitched four solid innings of relief, allowing just one run on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Kansas scored both of its runs in regulation on RBI ground outs – in the second by Connor McKay and in the fifth by Tommy Mirabelli. The Indians’ only offense came in the fourth with a two-run single by catcher Kevin Calderon.
Following the win against the Indians, KU played a seven-inning exhibition game against an amateur team from Bocha Chica at a local city park. Freshmen Jacob Boylan and Colby Wright led the offense with two hits each, while fellow freshman Hayden Edwards started the game.
After the game, KU presented their blue game tops to the Boca Chica team and also donated 36 dozen baseballs, a set of catching gear and a set of batting helmets.
The Jayhawks will complete their series of games in the Dominican Republic on Friday when they face the Indians Dominican Academy for the third time at 10:30 a.m. local time (8:30 a.m. CT) in San Antonio de Guerra.
Fans can follow the team with daily updates on KUAthletics.com, which will also feature a link to Coach Price’s blog that will appear on CollegeBaseballInsider.com during the trip.