Kansas senior right-hander Thomas Taylor, like he has most of the season, gave the Jayhawks another solid outing but KU led by only one run in its Big 12 Baseball Tournament opener.
Having lost three games by one run during a six-game losing streak, the Jayhawks ended their skid by scoring five insurance runs the final three innings to defeat West Virginia 7-2 on Thursday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Taylor (6-2) surrendered only four hits and two runs in 71/3 innings.
“Anytime you're on a losing streak, in order to get things turned around, it starts with your starting pitcher,” said Kansas coach Ritch Price. “Thomas Taylor gave us the effort we needed to get the lead early until we could keep at them at bay until we could keep adding.”
Jordan Piche, who led the conference in saves, escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth with a line-drive double play.
The Jayhawks (32-24) rapped out 12 hits. Michael Suiter, Kevin Kuntz, Justin Protacio and Tucker Tharp had two hits each.
Kuntz's sacrifice fly and Suiter's RBI single turned a 2-1 lead to a 4-1 cushion in the seventh. Tharp added a two-run double in the eighth to blow the game open.
“We knew we needed to keep adding,” Price said. “Our short game offense was fabulous.”