University of Kansas

KU baseball falls in opening game of Big 12 Tournament

KU’s Ryan Zeferjahn on how he’s improved since freshman year

Kansas Jayhawks junior pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn discusses how he's improved as a pitcher since his freshman season. Zeferjahn is expected to be a top-100 in pick in next month's MLB Draft.
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Kansas Jayhawks junior pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn discusses how he's improved as a pitcher since his freshman season. Zeferjahn is expected to be a top-100 in pick in next month's MLB Draft.

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.

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Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.

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