Jayhawks out-slug Tigers in first game of doubleheader
MELISSA, Texas – Both aided and degraded by the long ball, the Kansas baseball team blew past the Texas Southern Tigers with a final score of 19-13 at the Melissa Sports Complex Saturday afternoon in the first of a two-game day.
The Tigers (0-6) struck with a grand slam in the opening inning off of senior starting pitcher Ryan Cyr, but the Kansas (4-2) offense came surging back with five runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame.
Following several lead changes, the Jayhawks took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning by way of a seven-run output. The inning was headlined by junior shortstop Benjamin Sems’ first of two home runs on the day, as well as junior second baseman James Cosentino’s first career inside-the-park home run.
With assistance from out-blowing winds, sophomore first baseman Conner VanCleave and junior catcher Jaxx Groshans also sent the ball over the fence. Groshans’ home run was his sixth in as many games on the season.
Redshirt-freshman infielder Dylan Ditzenberger, in his first-career start, went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and three runs scored. In addition to his offensive production, he provided defensive flexibility from both third base and first base.
From that point on, the Kansas bullpen combination of sophomore left-handers Steve Washilewski (1-0) and Daniel Hegarty (1) limited Texas Southern to two runs, clinching the victory in the early game of the doubleheader.
- Junior second baseman James Cosentino hit the first inside-the-park home run for Kansas since March 16, 2016 when Devin Foyle did so against Murray State.
- Cosentino also recorded a career high with four RBIs in the game. In his career, he has recorded three RBIs on four occasions, with the most recent being against Western Illinois on May 20, 2018.
- Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans hit his sixth home run of the season in as many games.
- Freshman infielder Dylan Ditzenberger garnered his first-career start. He made the most of it by going 4-for-4 from the plate – becoming the first Jayhawk to accomplish this feat since Brendt Citta on May 13, 2018.
- Sophomore first baseman Conner VanCleave hit his first-career home run – a two-run shot in the first inning.
- VanCleave set a new career high with three hits against Texas Southern. In addition to hits, he set a new career high with two RBIs.
- Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems sent two balls over the fence in the game, recording his first career multi-home run game.
- Sems tied his career high with five RBIs. His most recent five-RBI game also came against Texas Southern on March 4, 2018.
- Sems set a new career high with four hits. He recorded three hits on four occasions, most recently against West Virginia on May 6, 2018.
- Sophomore left-hander Daniel Hegarty set a new career high with seven strikeouts. His previously recorded four strikeouts on two occasions, with the most recent coming against USC Upstate on February 18, 2019.
- Sophomore left-hander Steve Washilewski tied his career high with four strikeouts. His other four-strikeout contest came against USC Upstate on February 16, 2019.
- As a team, Kansas belted five home runs in the early game matchup. The Jayhawks’ last five-home run game took place against Oklahoma State on April 15, 2006.
The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
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