Kansas bats stay hot in 10-3 victory over Wildcats
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second time in as many days, the Kansas baseball team pounded out double-digit hits and scored in double figures as the Jayhawks claimed the series against Northwestern with a 10-3 win Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
Kansas (4-2) batted .369 in the series as a team with 15 of its 38 hits going for extra bases. The series finale featured three Jayhawks recording multi-hit affairs against Northwestern (2-4) pitching including sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik (3-for-4), redshirt-sophomore right fielder Brendt Citta (4-for-5) and junior left fielder Devin Foyle (2-for-4).
Foyle’s two doubles marked the second time in as many days the switch hitter achieved that feat while Citta’s four base knocks checks in as a career high for the transfer.
“Our hitters are doing a nice job of leaving the off-speed pitch go,” head coach Ritch Price said. “They are seeing the ball elevated and using the whole field. For the most part, they are doing a good job of being fastball efficient. That is a really good weekend for our club offensively. Hopefully we can build on that heading into this weekend as well.”
The offensive prowess by the hitters gave starter sophomore Ryan Zeferjahn (2-0) all the run support he needed to pace the Jayhawks to its second series victory of the season. Zeferjahn pitched a career-high six innings, allowing three runs off four hits while striking out seven batters.
Senior Tyler Davis, redshirt-sophomore Ryan Cyr and junior closer Zack Leban each threw an inning down the stretch to finish it off. Cyr and Leban each faced the minimum with one strikeout apiece, while Davis struck out three of the five batters he faced.
“I was really pleased with Zeferjahn’s performance especially after the way we pitched last night,” Price said. “I thought he was absolutely brilliant for the first six innings that he went out there. I am trying to see him grow up and take another step, and I couldn’t be more pleased with his performance.”
The Wildcats struck first in the top of the second with a solo home run by Willie Bourbon. Kansas answered and scored the next six runs before Northwestern got two back in the top of the seventh. The Jayhawks added one in the bottom of that frame and then three in the home half of the eighth to round out the scoring in their favor, 10-3.
“We feel good about how we have swung the bats these last two series,” Price said. “We have pitched and played well on Friday and Sunday, but we have to get Taylor Turski going on Saturdays. If we can start getting three quality starts with how well we are hitting, we can start sweeping teams. It is good to win a series, but if you keep getting two quality starts, you are going to get beat in one of those games when your opponent pitches great against you as well.”
Kansas is back on the field Monday, Feb. 26, for a single game against Omaha. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. Fans unable to attend can listen to the contest on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Crooked numbers: The day after scoring a season-high 12 runs, the Jayhawks put up three crooked numbers against the Wildcats – none more important than the three-run second. After Northwestern took the early lead with a home run in the top of the frame, Kansas answered back by loading the bases with no outs for senior first baseman Owen Taylor. The switch hitter poked one through the right side to drive in two runs. That gave KU its first lead of the day and that is all it would need.
Double-digit hits: For the third time this season and second time in two days, Kansas reached double figures in the hit column. In those contests, the Jayhawks average nine runs per game off an average of 13.7 hits. However, Sunday’s game marked the first time KU won a contest after connecting for 10 or more base knocks.
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