#KUinTAIWAN: Jayhawks open with victory
CHIAYI CITY, Taiwan – Fighting a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call (Taiwan time), the Kansas baseball team (USA Team) bested Hong Kong, 16-1, to claim its first victory of the 2018 World University Baseball Championship at Chiayi City Baseball Field Friday (July 6) morning.
Junior-to-be Ryan Zeferjahn started on the bump and threw 35 pitches in three innings of work, retiring all nine batters he faced. He gave way to Daniel Hegarty and Nathan Barry to close out the final three frames to seal up the win.
“I was really pleased with the way Zeferjahn threw today,” head coach Ritch Price said. “We were concerned about having some jetlag and being tired. Obviously it starts with starting pitching, and Zeferjahn was as good as he has been. We were able to keep his pitch count at 35 and now he will have four days rest before he goes out there again.”
Zeferjahn’s three-inning performance allowed the KU offense to build a 12-0 lead before his exit. The Jayhawks scored two in the first, six in the second and four in the third.
Sophomore-to-be Skyler Messinger paced that offensive effort with a two-hit day, including a double and three RBIs.
The KU pitching corps held Hong Kong hitless until the fifth inning when two hits and an error allowed its first and only run.
Messinger’s two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning eclipsed the 15-run mercy rule and ended the game in the Jayhawks’ favor.
Undefeated: Dating back to his days as a Team USA assistant in 2008, head coach Ritch Price is undefeated in international play. In 2008, the USA Collegiate National team went 24-0 claiming gold at the 2008 World University Baseball Championship.
Kansas plays Japan Sunday, July 8 at 12 a.m. (CT) at Chiayi City Baseball Field. The game will be streamed live on livestream.com/FISU and at YouTube.com/FISUTV.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.