Jayhawks down Seton Hall, win ninth-straight game
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – A three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning propelled the Kansas baseball team to its ninth-straight victory Wednesday afternoon, after it defeated Seton Hall, 7-4, in the Snowbird Classic.
The Jayhawks (13-3) and Pirates (2-10) entered the eighth inning deadlocked at four runs apiece, before KU junior shortstop Benjamin Sems took matters into his own hands.
With junior left fielder Brett Vosik standing on third base and one out, Sems hit a line drive to center field to regain the lead for Kansas that it held through the remainder of the contest.
Sems’ clutch hitting may have solidified the win, but it was his and freshman center fielder Casey Burnham’s speed on the bases that kept pressure on Seton Hall throughout the game. Sems and Burnham each swiped a career-high three bags with Sems scoring a game-high two runs. Sems was also the only Jayhawk to boast a multi-hit effort.
On the mound, sophomore lefty Steve Washilewski gave Kansas a solid six-inning start where he gave up three runs off five hits and two walks, while striking out three batters. Junior Gabriel Sotomayor (1-0) picked up the win in relief, while redshirt-junior Blake Goldsberry (2) picked up the save.
- Kansas extended its winning streak to nine games – its longest since also winning nine in a row to start the 2014 season (Feb. 14 – Feb. 28).
- KU boasted a perfect 5-0 mark during the Snowbird Classic.
- The Jayhawks have not lost a game in the month of March with their last defeat coming on Feb. 23 in the night cap of a doubleheader with Texas Southern.
- Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems stole a career-high three bases.
- Freshman center fielder Casey Burnham also swiped a personal-best three bags.
- Junior reliever Gabriel Sotomayor earned his second career win.
Head coach Ritch Price
On today’s game:
“We grinded today. (Steve) Washilewski was really good, but we struggled a little bit out of the bullpen. We had multiple opportunities early, but couldn’t get it done. We made some big mistakes earlier in the game, but we clutched up late. That is what has to happen. When you make a mistake early, you have to redeem yourself later in the game.”
On Burnham’s and Sems’ efforts:
“(Casey) Burnham is going to be a special player. He can do things on the base paths that very few people in America can do. It is electric what he did on the bases today. And then to have (Benjamin) Sems match that effort, it was special.”
Kansas continues its 12-day road trip when the Jayhawks travel to Queens, New York, for a three-game series at St. John’s March 15-17.
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