Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Rare Power Display Powers KU Baseball Past In-State Rival Wichita State

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Rare Power Display Powers KU Baseball Past In-State Rival Wichita State

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- Given how KU baseball's season has gone from a power- hitting standpoint, sophomore designated hitter TJ Martin knew his postgame comments on his sixth-inning home run might raise some eyebrows.

"I knew it (was gone) right off the bat," Martin said. "A lot of people would probably be surprised by that."

He's right -- for a number of reasons.

Martin connected for one of a pair of two-run blasts Tuesday evening for KU as the Jayhawks defeated in-state rival Wichita State 9-3 at Hoglund Ballpark.

On the surface, Martin's comment is surprising because his shot off a hanging curveball barely cleared the left field wall. From a larger perspective, the statement seems confident for a player who hit only his second home run of the season for a Jayhawks (15-20) that entered with eight on the year -- 10 fewer than their nearest Big 12 counterpart (Kansas State, 18).

"We haven't been very physical all season," KU coach Ritch Price said. "Obviously we lost three impact bats from a physical standpoint when (Blair) Beck, (Connor) McKay and Dakota Smith graduated a year ago."

Martin's home run put the game at 7-3 in favor of the Jayhawks, who earlier got a two-run shot from Michael Tinsley, his first of the season. Tinsley entered Tuesday's game against the Shockers (13- 24) fourth in the Big 12 in hitting (.366) and went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

Tinsley has nine hits in his past four games, raising his batting average 30 points to .370 in the last week. Price said his junior catcher is locked in.

"It was nice to see Tinsley get his first home run," Price said. "He railed a couple into the wind earlier in the year that had been caught. He's unbelievable, guys."

Tinsley home run was a third-inning shot to right field that also eked over the fence. …

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