Kansas baseball fails to capitalize on 7 Oklahoma errors in Big 12 Tournament loss

Despite seven Oklahoma errors, Kansas baseball couldn’t pull off an upset over the No. 1-seeded Sooners in the third round of the Big 12 Tournament, falling 7-5 on Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The Jayhawks now head into the elimination bracket against TCU.

Oklahoma provided ample opportunities for the Jayhawks to take control — four KU runs were unearned — but Kansas couldn’t capitalize for deeper damage, notably struggling with runners in scoring position. Kansas, which totaled only four hits, went 1-for-13 with RISP against the Sooners and left 13 runners stranded.

Kansas had its largest opportunity to blow the game open in the top of the fourth, leading 4-2. But the Sooners escaped serious damage.

After striking out Kansas first baseman Ben Hartl, Oklahoma starter Kyson Witherspoon walked the bases loaded. However, he struck the next two Jayhawks out to end the inning.

From that point forward, Kansas had only four batters reach base.

The Sooners took advantage and tallied three runs in the fourth, including a go-ahead two-run shot from freshman infielder Jaxon Willits to make it 5-4.

Oklahoma recorded two more runs in the bottom of the seventh off an RBI single from infielder Michael Snyder and RBI triple from infielder and Blue Valley High School alum Jackson Nicklaus.

The Jayhawks plated a run off a sac fly in the top of the ninth but never got closer.

Senior right-hander Reese Dutton took the mound for the Jayhawks on Wednesday, allowing four earned runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He was credited with the loss.

Witherspoon lasted four innings, allowing two hits, six walks and six strikeouts before handing the ball over to lefty Carter Campbell for three innings. Witherspoon’s twin brother, Malachi Witherspoon, earned the save.

The Sooners got on the board first with a sac fly from sophomore catcher Easton Carmichael, but the Jayhawks answered with three runs in the second aided by three OU errors.

The Sooners committed two more errors in the third inning, resulting in the Jayhawks’ fourth run. But Oklahoma persevered through all seven errors for the win.

Now in the elimination bracket, the Jayhawks must defeat TCU at 9 a.m. Central (ESPN+) or their tournament run will end. The Horned Frogs beat Kansas State earlier Thursday to advance in the elimination bracket.

If Kansas advances past TCU, it’ll have a rematch against Oklahoma in the Big 12 semifinals.

K-State eliminated from Big 12 Tournament

TCU first had to make it through Kansas State in Thursday’s 9 a.m. game, and the Horned Frogs outlasted the Wildcats in a 9-4 finish.

K-State allowed 14 hits to the Horned Frogs, while TCU starter Ben Abeldt struck out nine in his five innings. The Wildcats, who suffered their first loss to the Jayhawks on Tuesday, were eliminated from the tournament.