⚾️ English’s Go-Ahead Homer Helps Kansas Sweep Baylor
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas earned its first Big 12 series sweep since 2019 with a 5-4 comeback victory against Baylor on Sunday at Hoglund Ballpark. The Jayhawks are now 5-0 at home this season after securing the three-game sweep of the Bears.
Deadlocked at four apiece in the eighth, redshirt sophomore Jake English hit a go-ahead home run to lead off the frame to put KU ahead for good at 5-4.
Kansas led at the start when it took the lead in the first inning for a third straight day. Freshman Jackson Kline singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, junior Cowley Community College transfer Janson Reeder hit an RBI double to score Kline and give Kansas a 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last long as Baylor scored two runs in the top of the second. An RBI groundout from Walter Polk and an RBI single by Cole Tremain put the Bears ahead 2-1.
Kansas evened the game for the first of three times in the third inning. Freshman Kodey Shojinaga hit a two-out RBI double to score sophomore Chase Jans and tie the game at 2-2 after three innings.
Baylor (9-19, 2-7 Big 12) took the lead again in the fifth inning. Kolby Branch hit a solo home run that just stayed fair down the left field line. The blast gave Baylor a 3-2 edge.
The Jayhawks responded again with a two-out RBI single from Kline. Sophomore Luke Leto and English were on first and second when Kline dropped a single in front of the center fielder. Again, the game was tied, this time at 3-3 through six innings.
The Bears scored a run on a two-out RBI double in the top of the seventh to take the lead for a third time. At the seventh inning stretch, Baylor held a 4-3 advantage. Then, Kansas used the long ball to help lift them to a win.
Senior Cal transfer Cole Elvis hit a solo home run to left-center field to lead off the seventh inning. The 422-foot home run was the fourth of the season for Elvis and tied the game at 4-4.
The bottom of the eighth started the same way the bottom of the seventh did. This time, it was English with the solo homer to left-center field. The home run was the fifth of the season for English and gave the Jayhawks a 5-4 advantage that they would secure in the ninth.
Junior Nebraska transfer Ethan Bradford started for Kansas and threw 4.0 innings allowing two runs on five hits. Sophomore Tennessee transfer Gavin Brasosky followed Bradford with three innings out of the bullpen where he allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Redshirt junior and San Diego State transfer Hunter Cranton then came on and worked a scoreless final two innings. He earned the win and improved to 2-2 on the season.
Kansas celebrated National Autism Awareness Day on Sunday. The Jayhawks wore special uniforms that featured a puzzle design to help raise awareness for autism. Stadium volume was also silenced 15 minutes before first pitch and was gradually increased by inning throughout the game to create a sensory-inclusive environment.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Hunter Cranton (2-2)
Final line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO
Loss: Hambleton Oliver (2-3)
Final line: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
“I’m really proud of the guys. We had a great week. I thought we played a great midweek and just stuck to the process. I’m so proud of them. Through everything this weekend, I thought we played 27 complete innings of focus and intensity. We took the outcome out of it, which I think you have to. The season is too long and you play too many games to get tied into it. I’m just so proud of them sticking to it and really playing unselfish baseball.” – Coach Dan Fitzgerald
“It feels great. The best part is watching every guy and us as a team get better everyday. That’s what we are trying to do, but still trying to take it one game at a time. We are going to put our nose back to the grindstone and keep getting after it.” – Cole Elvis
• Kansas swept its first Big 12 series since May 17-19, 2019 vs. K-State. The sweep is the first of Dan Fitzgerald’s coaching career at Kansas.
• Kansas is 5-0 at Hoglund Ballpark this season.
• Kansas scored 30 runs against Baylor in three games. The last time Kansas scored 30 runs in a Big 12 series was April 17-19, 2009 at Texas Tech (30).
• Kansas tallied 11 hits marking the first time this season with double-digit hits in three straight games. The last time Kansas had 10+ hits in consecutive games was April 26-May 1, 2022 (five games).
• Elvis launched his fourth home run of the season to tie the game in the seventh inning. He has homered in back-to-back games for the third time in his career. The last time was April 30-May 1, 2021 at Washington when Elvis was at Cal.
• Jans extended his on-base streak to 22 games, which is the longest of the sophomore’s career and the longest by a Jayhawk this season. He finished 2-for-5 with a double.
• Shojinaga went 9-for-14 (.643) this weekend against Baylor. He had three doubles, five RBIs and five runs scored.
Kansas (12-14, 3-3 Big 12) wraps up its five-game homestand on Tuesday afternoon against the Missouri State Bears at 3 p.m. CT. Fans can purchase tickets to the game by contacting the Kansas ticket office at 785-864-3141 or by visiting the ticketing page here.