Groshans paces Kansas to victory at Missouri State
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two, two-out, two-run doubles by sophomore catcher Jaxx Groshans and eight total two-out RBIs by the Kansas baseball team sealed up a Wednesday night victory for the Jayhawks over Missouri State, 9-4, at Hammons Field.
Kansas (20-24) batted .500 (7-for-14) with two outs in the game and .429 (9-for-21) with runners on base to earn its first win since April 10 at Omaha, snapping an 11-game skid. The Bears (27-14) mustered just four hits off Jayhawk pitching, the same pitching that surrendered 12 runs off 12 hits in the first matchup in Lawrence (March 27).
“It was a really good performance all around from our club,” head coach Ritch Price said. “Our players know how tough the last three weeks have been. The one thing this team has done is kept competing and kept grinding. They came in here with a chip on their shoulder determined to get the streak stopped. To their credit, that is what they did.”
In order to get back on track, Kansas used five different pitchers with redshirt-freshman Jonah Ulane (1-2) earning his first-career victory.
Freshman Conner VanCleave started on the bump and pitched two and 2/3 innings before giving way to Ulane. Senior Tyler Davis pitched two shutout innings and redshirt-sophomore Ryan Cyr and junior Zack Leban combined to throw the final three frames.
“We pitched well tonight,” Price said. “We needed quality innings from all those guys, and they gave use exactly what we needed.”
Offensively, Groshans and sophomore second baseman James Cosentino carried the load. Groshans finished 3-for-5 with those two doubles, and four RBIs while Cosentino went 2-for-3 with a walk, hit-by-pitch, single, home run, two RBIs and three runs scored.
“Groshans and Cosentino played one of their best games all year,” Price said. “We went three weeks without a clutch hit it seemed, but tonight, we clutched up in every situation. It was a great win.”
Kansas continues Big 12 play when it hosts West Virginia May 4-6 at Hoglund Ballpark.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Delay: In the bottom of the third inning with two outs, home plate umpire Shawn Arthur removed himself from the contest after he wasn’t feeling well. The game went into a 30 minute delay and in the ensuing inning, Kansas jumped out to a three-run lead it never surrendered. The game finished with a two-man umpiring crew.
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