NCAA Baseball

Kansas Eliminates Kansas State in 11 Inning Thriller

Kansas Eliminates Kansas State in 11 Inning Thriller

Kansas second baseman James Cosentino hit a walk-off single to complete an 11th inning, three run comeback and send the Kansas State Wildcats packing back home to Manhattan.

After a wild game featuring eight combined errors and an old school inside-the-park home run, you knew the Jayhawks would have a response to the Wildcats’ three run 11th.

With two outs and the season on the line, the Jayhawks called up a pair of Freshmen to extend the game.

Both Dylan Ditzenberger and Jack Wagner singled to bring Cosentino to the plate with runners on second and third.

Cosentino ended the game.

“It was a 3-1 count and I was just trying to get something over the plate,” Cosentino said. “I was just trying to battle, put the ball in play and I got one up.”

Cosentino drove the ball to the gap in right-center field to close out the see-saw matchup between the schools from Kansas.

“Obviously one of the greatest wins I’ve ever been a part of,” said Jayhawks Coach Ritch Price. “To grind out, have a big lead, give it up, and then come back and find a way to take the lead again and tie it late. For them to score three times and for my guys to answer four times in the bottom of the 11th is incredible.”

Cosentino said the Jayhawks didn’t hang their heads after surrendering three runs in the top of the 11th.

“Our mentality in the dugout was ‘just can’t lose’ mentality. We’re not a team to give up, ever,” he said.

Kansas overcame plenty of adversity in a chaotic game. After jumping to an early 6-1 advantage, the Jayhawks saw their lead evaporate.

In the top of the sixth, Kansas State took their first lead off of Caleb Littlejim’s inside-the-park home run. Jayhawk right fielder Blaine Ray allowed Littlejim’s hard hit grounder to slip under his glove and roll to the wall, allowing three runs to cross home plate.

Kansas trailed 11-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Wagner’s one out RBI single set the table for left fielder Brett Vosik to drive in two runs and pull Kansas within one.

The comeback victory was another instance of a young team taking steps forward said Price.

“One of the great things about coaching at KU is that I get to develop a lot of freshmen,” said Price. “We play freshmen at our place.”

The Kansas youngsters are putting things together. They have won 9-of-12 to finish the season.

“We’re rolling a bit right now,” Cosentino said. “I think that’s just what we need going into tomorrow and going forward.”

Kansas awaits the loser of the Texas Tech-West Virginia matchup tomorrow at 3:15 p.m.

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