⚾️ Hegarty, Ahuna Help KU Capture 5-3 Comeback Win Against K-State

MANHATTAN, Kan. — In the first game of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown, the Kansas Jayhawks earned a 5-3 come-from-behind victory against the Kansas State Wildcats on Friday night at Tointon Family Stadium. Daniel Hegarty threw eight-plus innings and Maui Ahuna had the game-tying and go-ahead hits in the eighth and ninth innings.

Win: Daniel Hegarty (5-4)
Final line: 8.0+ IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 SO

Save: Kolby Dougan (1)
Final line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

Loss: Blake Corsentino (3-5)
Final line: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 SO

• Kansas State (23-22) jumped out to a 2-0 lead after solo home runs in the first and second innings by Dylan Phillips and Josh Nicoloff.
• The Jayhawks got on the board in the fourth inning with a solo home run to center field by Caleb Upshaw.
• Kansas State responded with a solo home run of their own in the fifth inning by Jeff Heinrich.
• Kansas loaded the bases to start the sixth inning. Nolan Metcalf got the inning started with a double to right-center, followed by a walk from Upshaw and a single by Jack Hammond. Tom Lichty then hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Metcalf and making the score 3-2.
• In the 8th inning, Ahuna sent the first pitch of the inning over the fence in right-center field to even the score at 3-3.
• With K-State runners on first and third and one out in the bottom of the eighth, Hegarty induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to keep the score deadlocked.
• The first two KU batters in the ninth were retired before the Jayhawks started a two-out rally. A walk by Tavian Josenberger and a single from Payton Allen set the stage for Ahuna. Ahuna lined an RBI single to center field, scoring Josenberger and putting Kansas ahead for the first time in the game. Allen would then come in to score on a wild pitch to push the score to 5-3.
• Kolby Dougan came on for Hegarty after the first man got on base in the ninth and retired the next three men in order to end the game.

Daniel Hegarty: Hegarty pitched eight strong innings on Friday night. Despite allowing 10 hits, Hegarty battled all night and worked his way out of trouble. He picked up his fourth win as a starter after moving into the rotation seven weeks ago.

3: Kansas induced three double plays on Friday night in the first, fifth and eighth innings. Also, Ahuna had three hits at the plate.

“We needed a great performance from Daniel tonight in this environment. Their crowd was fabulous. It was a tremendous college baseball game. When he got into trouble he would make a great pitch and the defense behind him turned three double plays to get him out of innings. The only reason we had a chance to come back tonight was because of how good Daniel pitched tonight. He mixed his three pitches for strikes and he competed. I could not be prouder of Mr. Jayhawk than I am right now.” – Head Coach Ritch Price

“I just use my defense all the time. I have some of the best guys back there – Maui, Tavian, Payton, Cooper (McMurray). They played great for me turning those double plays. I can’t thank them enough.” – Daniel Hegarty

• Hegarty has thrown at least eight innings in three of his last four starts.
• Ahuna had his 10th three-hit game of the season and has 22 multi-hit performances this year.
• Upshaw has at least two hits in seven of the last eight games. He has 16 multi-hit efforts this season.
• Dougan recorded his first career save.
• With a ninth inning walk, Josenberger extended his on-base streak to 23 games.

Kansas (20-27) will play Kansas State in the second game of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT at Tointon Family Stadium. The game will be streamed on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio can be heard on the Jayhawk Sports Network.