Kansas baseball wins tight contest against Kansas State in Big 12 Tournament

Big 12 Baseball Tournament
Big 12 Baseball Tournament / Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/GettyImages

The Kansas Jayhawks got a much-needed win on Tuesday morning, and it couldn’t have come against a better opponent.

KU came into Big 12 Tournament play ranked as the No. 7 seed facing off against in-state rival No. 6 Kansas State. The Wildcats recently got the best of the Jayhawks in a series in Manhattan just two weeks ago – a series KU really needed to win to help improve their NCAA Tournament chances.

The Jayhawks were able to avenge that series loss, however, following a nail-biting 2-1 victory over the Wildcats thanks to some clutch offense late in the game.

Senior designated hitter Lenny Ashby hit a huge triple to left field in the top of the 9th inning – his first of the season. Sam Hunt came in to pinch run for Ashby and then scored following a sacrifice fly to center by Collier Cranford.

Kansas pitcher Hunter Cranton was able to seal the win in the bottom of the 9th by striking out the first two batters and forcing KSU’s Kaelen Culpepper to fly out to left field.

KU’s win on Tuesday was so critical as it keeps the Jayhawks’ postseason hopes alive and keeps them on the winner’s side of the Big 12 Tournament bracket. If they can string together a couple of more wins, they may be able to sneak into the NCAA Tournament after all and end a decade-long NCAA Tournament drought.

The Jayhawks will next face the winner of No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 9 TCU on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.