⚾️ Ireland Tosses Complete Game Shutout in 5-0 Win Over Belmont
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Junior pitcher Sam Ireland threw a complete game shutout on Saturday afternoon in a 5-0 victory against Belmont at E.S. Rose Park. Ireland, a transfer from Minnesota, is the first Jayhawk to throw a complete game shutout since the 2021 season. He struck out five batters and walked one, while only allowing four hits in his brilliant, 104-pitch, nine-inning gem.
Ireland was able to calmly navigate through the Bruins order all day long. In the third inning, Ireland was faced with runners on second and third with two outs and was able to get a strikeout swinging. The only other time Belmont had a runner in scoring position was in the eighth inning and Ireland worked his way out of it with a liner hit to redshirt sophomore Michael Brooks at third base.
Both teams held each other scoreless through the first four innings. Kansas was able to finally break through offensively in the fifth inning by scoring four runs.
With runners on first and second, freshman Jackson Kline hit an RBI single into right field to give the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead. Kline went on to finish the game with a career-high four hits.
Belmont (4-7) decided to pull their starter after Kline’s RBI single. Redshirt junior Collier Cranford was up next and he took an 0-2 pitch over the left field fence for a 3-run homer, making the score 4-0 in favor of Kansas.
One more run would come across for Kansas in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Chase Jans to push the lead to 5-0.
To end the game in a fitting way, Ireland induced a 6-4-3 double play that closed out the game and got the Highlands Ranch, Colorado native his first career complete game.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Sam Ireland (2-1)
Final line: 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO
Loss: Jordan Zuger (1-2)
Final line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 SO
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Sam Ireland: Ireland tossed his first career complete game and helped the Jayhawks secure their second shutout of the season. He is the first Jayhawk with a complete game shutout since Eli Davis vs. Kansas State on May 14, 2021 threw a 7-inning no-hitter. The last 9-inning complete game shutout was done by Cole Larsen at Omaha on March 13, 2021.
“That was awesome. I’ve never gone out for the ninth, so that was a different experience. It’s a lot of ups and downs. I’m tired, we’ll get some rest and be back here tomorrow to win a series.” – Pitcher Sam Ireland
“Sam was fantastic. He was incredibly efficient and in the zone all day. Then, great defense behind him. He was in leverage counts all day long. I thought offensively our approach was really good at the plate. Jackson Kline is a great example of a guy that’s grinded and worked and has stuck to the plan. He’s going to be a great player for us for a long time.” – Coach Dan Fitzgerald
• Kansas recorded its second shutout of the season (Feb. 24 vs. Oakland).
• Ireland threw his first career complete game.
• Ireland is the first Jayhawk with complete game shutout since Eli Davis vs. Kansas State on May 14, 2021 threw a 7-inning no-hitter. The last 9-inning complete game shutout was done by Cole Larsen at Omaha on March 13, 2021.
• Kline had a career-high four hits, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and run scored.
• Redshirt sophomore Mike Koszewski, a transfer from Wabash Valley College, had his first career three-hit game. He finished 3-for-5 with two doubles.
• Cranford, an LSU transfer, hit his second home run of the season.
• Senior Cole Elvis, a transfer from Cal, recorded his team-high fifth multi-hit game of the season.
Kansas (6-3) will play the rubber match of the three-game series against Belmont on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. CT. Redshirt junior pitcher Hunter Cranton will be on the mound for the Jayhawks.