CHIAYI CITY, Taiwain -- An early Japan rally was too much to overcome, as the Kansas baseball team (USA Team) lost its first contest of pool play action in the 2018 World University Baseball Championship, 5-1, Sunday afternoon (Taiwan time) in a seven-inning weather shortened contest at Chiayi City Baseball Field.
Japan (2-0) hit up Kansas (1-1) left-handed starter Steve Washilewski (0-1) for three runs in just one and 2/3 innings of work. Righty reliever Jonah Ulane gave up a pair of runs in two and 2/3 innings before the rest of the KU bullpen threw up four zeroes to stymie the Japanese bats.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more from our bullpen," head coach Ritch Price said. "We got in trouble early, but they went out there and threw up the four zeroes to give us a chance. Unfortunately, the rains came, and washed away any chance at a late rally."
The Jayhawks trailed 5-0 headed into the bottom of the third when sophomore-to-be catcher Nolan Metcalf got KU on the board. Metcalf sent a charge into an inside fastball and sent it deep over the left field wall and into the bleachers in the outfield.
That four bagger marked the first for Kansas of the tournament and the first for Metcalf during his Jayhawk career.
That run also stood as the lone tally of the contest for KU, as monsoon-like rains ended the game with one out in the top of the eighth inning. The game was called official after a 45-minute delay of heavy downpours.
Kansas tallied five hits on the day with two coming from sophomore-to-be right fielder Blaine Ray. Junior-to-be designated hitter Jaxx Groshans and senior-to-be center fielder Rudy Karre each added a knock of their own to round out the squad's hit total.
Shortened contests: So far both games Kansas (USA Team) has played in the 2018 World University Baseball Championship have ended short of a nine-inning contest. The Jayhawks run-ruled Hong Kong, 16-1, after six innings in their first contest, while getting washed out in the top of the eighth of their second contest.
Kansas plays Russia Monday, July 9 at 12 a.m. (CT) at Chiayi City Baseball Field. The game will be streamed live on YouTube.com/SSUtv.