Jayhawks close regular season with win over WIU
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team used patience at the plate to score a season-high 19 runs, as the Jayhawks defeated Western Illinois, 19-6, in a seven-inning shortened game Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (26-28) drew a season-high 14 walks and added another three hit-by-pitches to earn 17 free passes off the Leatherneck (17-29) pitching staff.
Freshman lefty Conner VanCleave earned the start for the Jayhawks and tossed two innings of two-run ball before giving way to classmate Steve Washilewski (1-1) for the next two and 2/3 frames.
Junior third baseman David Kyriacou boasted a 3-for-4 effort at the dish with four RBIs and two runs scored while sophomore second baseman James Cosentino finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Walk it out: The 14 walks are the second-most in a single game in the Ritch Price era and the most in a contest since May 5, 2017, when the Jayhawks drew 16 against Texas Southern.
Double-digit runs: For the seventh time this season, Kansas plated 10 or more runs in a contest. The 19 runs mark the most the Jayhawks have scored in a single game this season, and are the most since tallying 20 against Texas Southern on May 5, 2017.
Top of 2nd
Western Illinois hit up Kansas freshman starter Conner VanCleave for two runs off three hits and an error. The Leathernecks led it off with a single and a double, then scored the first run of the game on a throwing error by KU shortstop Skyler Messinger. A bunt single followed and KU found itself in an early hole – WIU 2, KU 0.
Bottom of 2nd
The Jayhawks answered with a six spot. Brendt Citta doubled to lead it off and back-to-back walks followed to load the bases. Junior third baseman David Kyriacou singled before a hit-by-pitch and walk brought in the next two runs. Sophomore catcher Jaxx Groshans hit a two-run single and then scored on a throwing error – KU 6, WIU 2.
Top of 3rd
WIU designated hitter Alex Dorethy hit a home run off KU reliever Steve Washilewski – KU 6, WIU 3.
Bottom of 3rd
Kansas scored eight runs off five hits. Sophomore second baseman James Cosentino, redshirt-sophomore Brendt Citta and senior first baseman Owen Taylor each hit two-run singles in the inning – KU 14, WIU 3.
Bottom of 4th
The Jayhawks add three more runs after freshman Tom Lichty hit an RBI-double before Kyriacou followed suit with his own two-run double – KU 17, WIU 3.
Top of 5th
The Leathernecks plated three with help from a two-run home run by catcher CJ Schaeffer – KU 17, WIU 6.
Kansas heads to Oklahoma City for the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Jayhawks will open up the tournament against regular-season conference champion Texas on Wednesday, May 23 at 12:30 p.m.
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