Jayhawks split series at USC Upstate
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Backed by a strong three and 1/3 innings by its bullpen to close the game, the Kansas baseball team defeated USC Upstate, 5-3, to split the four-game series at Cleveland Harley Baseball Park Monday afternoon.
Freshman lefty Hunter Freese started and pitched the first two and 2/3 innings before turning it over to the KU (2-2) bullpen. Sophomore lefty Daniel Hegarty took over and tossed three innings where he allowed two runs off two hits and walk, while striking out four batters.
It was then freshman Stone Parker and the veteran arms of redshirt-junior Blake Goldsberry (1-1) and redshirt-sophomore Jonah Ulane (1) that shut the door against the Spartans (2-2) with three and 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball.
That strong performance on the mound paved way for the Jayhawks to score a run in each of the last two frames to regain the lead for the final time.
Senior center fielder Rudy Karre led the offense with two RBIs and a run scored. Junior second baseman James Cosentino recorded a solo home run and junior catcher Jaxx Groshans finished the day with a 1-for-1 effort that included a RBI and three walks.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
- Redshirt-junior Blake Goldsberry pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the eighth to earn his first victory on the season.
- Redshirt-sophomore Jonah Ulane earned his first-career save after recording the final four outs of the contest.
- Junior second baseman James Cosentino hit his first home run of the season.
- Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans drew a career-high three walks.
- Freshman first baseman Dylan Ditzenberger connected for his first-career base hit in his debut, driving in an insurance run in the process.
- Junior left fielder Brett Vosik and senior center fielder Rudy Karre each recorded a triple for KU’s first two hits of the day.
Head coach Ritch Price
On today’s pitching performance:
“It was a really good team win. It was a good bounce-back performance after getting swept in that doubleheader. Our bullpen did a really nice job today. I can’t say enough about the job Daniel Hegarty, Stone Parker, Blake Goldsberry and Jonah Ulane did.”
On the offensive performance:
“We had some good performances from guys off the bench. We had some really bad at bats Friday night and some bad at bats on Saturday. That is the result of not being outside a lot. What I liked about today is those same guys that had bad at bats turned around and had good ones. You have to have everyone in your lineup contributing and we saw that today.”
With the cancelation of Wednesday’s (Feb. 20) contest against Omaha, Kansas will resume action against Texas Southern, Feb. 22-24 for a four-game series at Hoglund Ballpark.
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