The fifth-seeded Kansas baseball team couldn’t overcome pitching struggles, falling 12-8 to No. 4 seed West Virginia in the opening game of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday morning in Oklahoma City.
KU, which was short on starting pitching following a Sunday doubleheader against Kansas State, was hoping to get through game one by mixing and matching relievers. The Mountaineers appeared to be ready, though, scoring five in the first, three in the second and one in the third against three different KU hurlers to take an early 9-1 lead.
The Jayhawks rallied — trimming West Virginia’s advantage to 9-7 and 10-8 at different points — but couldn’t make up the entire deficit while moving to the losers bracket.
Nolan Metcalf led KU’s offense, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
KU (31-25) will play eighth-seeded Kansas State at 9 a.m. Thursday. The Jayhawks are scheduled to start ace and top MLB Draft prospect Ryan Zeferjahn.