Diamond Dogs Oust Jayhawks 1-0 With Walk-off Score
The Bulldogs (3-1) posted their first walk-off win of the season by scoring the game's lone run in the last at-bat of regulation time. C.T. Bradford drew a full-count walk to open the ninth inning. Rea then ripped the first pitch he saw to the base of the outfield wall to give the Maroon and White a victory.
"They thought I was bunting so I expected fast ball," Rea said. "I just shortened my stroke and made an adjustment. Even though I walked it off, they gave me grief for it not going over the fence."
Out of the bullpen, Chris Stratton (2-0) dominated. The junior right-hander threw six innings of shutout relief. Stratton allowed one hit, with eight strikeouts. The Jayhawks only reached two base runners in those final six at-bats.
"We competed, they made some great plays behind me all night," Stratton said. "I couldn't do it all by myself. When Ben's pitch count got up, I knew that I would be getting a chance.
Ben Bracewell started for the Bulldogs. Bracewell allowed two hits but walked four in his three innings of work. Bracewell was lifted after facing 15 batters and throwing 57 pitches.
The Bulldogs reached at least one base runner in eight of nine innings before finally breaking through.
"We had the hit-and-run on but Wes has such great instincts," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "I told him to go up there with bunt body language. I thought we would get a fast ball early in the count and fortunately that is what happened."
In the first inning, Adam Frazier reached as a hit batsman but was stranded at second base after a sacrifice bunt. Trey Porter was stranded after a one-out double in the fourth inning. Daryl Norris was stranded after a two-out double in the sixth inning.
Kansas (4-1) received a leadoff double from Jordan Dreiling in the seventh inning. Stratton snuffed that threat with three straight swinging strikeouts.
MSU finished with five hits. Norris, Porter, Mitch Slauter, Bradford and Rea had a hit apiece.
Kansas finished with three hits. James Stanfield had two of those three hits for the Jayhawks, who made the only error in the contest.
In Friday's opener at Dudy Noble Field, Kansas routed Mississippi Valley State, 9-2.
The Bulldogs play both games on Saturday's card. MSU faces Mississippi Valley State at noon and Kansas at 4 p.m.