⚾️ Hammond Homers Twice in Doubleheader Split
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Kansas Jayhawks wrapped up their road trip on Sunday with a doubleheader against Indiana State at Bob Warn Field. The teams split the two games with Kansas taking the first contest and Indiana State narrowly winning the second.
GAME ONE (KANSAS 7, INDIANA STATE 5)
Kansas got out to a 4-0 lead in the game. In the first inning, redshirt senior catcher Nolan Metcalf hit an RBI single to drive in sophomore shortstop Maui Ahuna. Two more runs came around to score in the third on an RBI fielder’s choice from redshirt junior outfielder Casey Burnham and an RBI groundout by Metcalf. A solo home run in the sixth by redshirt freshman Cooper McMurray made the score 4-0.
Indiana State responded by scoring two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to even the score at 4-4.
In the top of the eighth, redshirt junior outfielder Reyce Curnane stepped to the plate with a runner on first and two outs. Curnane took the 0-1 pitch and sent it out to center field for his first career home run and to give the Jayhawks a 6-4 lead. The teams would exchange runs in the ninth to make the score 7-5.
Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Ryan Vanderhei started for the Jayhawks and went five and two thirds innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out seven. Sophomore lefty Stone Hewlett was credited with the win and redshirt senior closer Jonah Ulane earned the save.
GAME TWO (INDIANA STATE 11, KANSAS 10)
The Jayhawks came out on the wrong side of an offensive contest in this one. Redshirt freshman outfielder Jack Hammond had six RBIs in the game with a pair of home runs.
Trailing 5-0 in the third inning, Hammond came up with the bases loaded and hit a grand slam, his first career home run to cut the deficit to 5-4.
Moving ahead to the seventh inning, Kansas trailed 10-5 and was able to trim the score to 10-8. Ahuna had an RBI single in the inning and the other runs scored on a fielder’s choice and error.
KU attempted to come back one last time in the ninth inning. Hammond hit a two-run homer to left-center field making the score 11-10. The Jayhawks would leave a runner stranded on third base to end the game.
Kansas (8-10) will wrap up its stretch of 15 consecutive road games with a midweek matchup at Wichita State followed by the beginning of conference play next weekend at Oklahoma State.
• Kansas hit four home runs on Sunday.
• Kansas hit its second grand slam of the season (Maui Ahuna vs. Illinois on March 6).
• Jack Hammond hit his first two career home runs in the second game. He finished with a career-high six RBIs. He is the third Jayhawk to have a multi-HR game this season (Chase Jans and Tavian Josenberger). His six RBIs were the most by a KU hitter this season and the most since Tom Lichty at Lafayette on March 23, 2021.
• Reyce Curnane hit his first career home run in the first game.
• Cooper McMurray hit his third home run of the season.
• Jonah Ulane recorded his fourth save of the season and 26th career save. Ulane currently ranks fourth in all-time saves at KU. He trails Stephen Villines (40), Don Czyz (31) and Paul Smyth (27).
• Stone Hewlett was credited with his first career win.