A season-high 5,697 fans saw Wichita State (24-24) take an early 2-0 lead but the Shockers couldn't hold off No. 23 Kansas (34-16) falling, 8-3, Wednesday night at Eck Stadium.
Ryan Jones led the Shocker offense, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Chris O'Brien went 2-for-4 to record his 13th multiple-hit game of the season.
The Shockers faced KU freshman Lee Ridenhour earlier this season, with Ridenhour and the Jayhawks coming away with a 8-0 win in Lawrence. But Jones made sure there would be no shutout in this game, getting WSU on the board in the second with his third homer of the season.
O'Brien led off the inning with a single to center. With one out, Jones took Redenhour's full-count pitch just over the wall in center to give WSU a 2-0 lead.
Shocker starter Brian Flynn cruised in the early innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven through four innings of work. Flynn worked around doubles in the second and third with big strikeouts utilizing his offspeed pitches.
WSU looked to add to its lead but stranded a runner in scoring position in both the third and fourth inning.
The Jayhawks broke through with a run in the fifth inning, when back-to-back singles put runners on first and third with two outs. Working in his first big jam of the game, Flynn got David Narodowski to fly out to center but not before throwing a wild pitch to allow KU to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
The sixth inning would be Flynn's last, giving up a single to Brian Heere before Tony Thompson delivered the big hit of the game with a two-run opposite field homer to give the Jayhawks their first lead of the game, 3-2. Flynn allowed a two-out single and walk before being replaced by Mitch Caster.
KU kept the momentum going, posting three runs in the seventh to take a 6-2 lead. Heere got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly to center and Thompson added two more RBI to his total with a single to left-center off of new pitcher Jordan Cooper.
Heere capped off the scoring with a two-run homer to right in the ninth to push the KU lead to 8-2.
The Shockers added a run in the bottom of the ninth on a pinch-hit single by Cody Lassley. After falling behind in the count, Lassley fouled off three pitches before lining Paul Smyth's 2-2 offering up the middle to drive in Ryan Jones and push his hitting streak to a career-high eight games.
Smyth limited the damage to just the one run to preserve the 8-3 win.
Flynn took the loss for the Shockers, falling to 1-5 on the season by working 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out eight, just one shy of his career-high.
WSU will be back in action this weekend in Carbondale, Ill., as the Shockers take on Southern Illinois in a three-game set at Abe Martin Field. The Salukis and Shockers open the series on Friday, with the first pitch of game one scheduled for 3 p.m.