Heart of the order propels Jayhawks over Air Force
USAF Academy, Colo. – In one of its most complete offensive performances of the season, the Kansas baseball team defeated Air Force, 11-6, Wednesday afternoon at Falcon Field.
Kansas’ (23-21) two-through-four spots in the batting order combined to go 10-for-16 from the dish, scored six runs and drove in another four. Junior second baseman James Cosentino, junior catcher Jaxx Groshans and junior left fielder Brett Vosik comprised these batters.
Although pegging redshirt senior Ryan Ralston as the starting pitcher, Kansas’ plan was to piece together innings using its bullpen against the Falcons (20-24). Ralston pitched through two innings, but then gave way to eight other pitchers. Ultimately, junior left-hander Nathan Barry (3-0) earned the win.
After putting four runs on the board to match the Falcons’ five through six innings, the Jayhawks’ plated four runs in the seventh inning and three runs in the ninth to bury Air Force.
Cosentino reached base four times in the game and scored each trip. He was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a home run.
Additionally, Vosik hit four singles in the game, good for his 11th multi-hit game of the season.
Freshman right fielder Casey Burnham hit a double and a triple, which combine for the most total bases he’s recorded in his young Kansas career.
- Redshirt-senior Ryan Ralston pitched two innings against Air force, which were his most of the season and his highest total since April 13, 2016 against Omaha.
- Junior left fielder Brett Vosik recorded four-or-more hits for the second time in his career.
- Junior second baseman James Cosentino scored four runs for the first time in his career.
- Freshman center fielder Casey Burnham recorded five total bases for the first time in his career.
Head coach Ritch Price
On the production of his middle-of-the-order at-bats…
“Obviously, it was awesome to watch–to see Cosentino, Groshans and Vosik all hit on the same day–it was fabulous. Look what it does to our lineup–the number of runs that we scored and the number of hits that we had. We’re obviously going into a huge series with Texas and three big series at the end of the Big 12 Conference season. If we can get those guys going, I like our chances.”
On his pitchers’ performances…
“I thought there was a mix of it. There were some guys that threw the ball really well and there were some guys that struggled with their command. I need to pay a huge compliment to Nate Barry… to come into the game with the bases loaded and a two-ball count, I thought it was a fabulous job to get out of that inning.”
On the team’s mindset heading back into Big 12 play…
“You’re trying to get to the same level every time you go on the field. There’s no doubt it’s a step up in competition, there’s a step up in talent you’re competing against, there’s a huge step up in the velocity of the pitching staffs in the Big 12. You have to be at the same level every day. You have to play with the same intensity level, the same focus. And if you don’t, you don’t play well.”
The Jayhawks resume Big 12 play against Texas on Friday, May 3. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.