GRANVILLE, W.Va. — No. 24 West Virginia dropped the opening game of its weekend series against visiting Kansas Friday night.

West Virginia (22-8, 2-2 Big 12) struggled to produce with runners on base, while Kansas (14-14, 4-3 Big 12) continued its recent hot streak, and pushed its winning streak to six in a row.

A solo home run in the top of the ninth gave the Jayhawks the needed separation, as Kansas took the series opener 5-3.

Mountaineer starting pitcher Ben Hampton struggled Friday. The junior southpaw was responsible for four earned runs, and gave up a pair of longballs in the second inning. The latter of those home runs was surrendered with two outs in the inning and the count full.

West Virginia entered the bottom of the third trailing 4-0.

The Mountaineers broke through in that frame. Dayne Leonard, Caleb McNeely, and Grant Hussey tallied back-to-back-to-back doubles with two outs. McNeely and Hussey’s two-baggers each drove in runs to pull West Virginia back to within two runs.

Hussey continued his recent hot steak, going 3 for 5 at the dish with an RBI. However, he did have two of West Virginia’s 15 strikeouts.

Those doubles were the last time West Virginia’s lineup came through with runners in scoring position. WVU hitters left 11 runners on the basepaths, went just 4 of 19 with runners on base, and only 3 of 15 with runners in scoring position. West Virginia left two runners on the bases three times.

Maxx Yehl pitched effectively for Randy Mazey out of the bullpen. The lanky freshman southpaw threw 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, and registered three strikeouts.

Landon Wallace belted his third home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the sixth. His line-drive homer over the fence into the visitor’s bullpen in left brought the Mountaineers within one, 4-3. But West Virginia could not pull even after that.

These two teams will match up in the second game of this three-game series on Saturday afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Blaine Traxel (5-2, 2.57 ERA) gets the start on the mound for West Virginia.