⚾️ Jans Ties Program Record for RBIs; Jayhawks Drop Finale to K-State

LAWRENCE, Kan. – On a windy Sunday afternoon, the Kansas State Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks, 21-18, in the highest scoring game all-time between the two schools in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown. KU sophomore Chase Jans tied the program record with nine RBIs for the game, a mark that was also set in 1993 by Joel Benninghoff vs. Northwest Missouri State.

After a scoreless first inning, Kansas State’s offense exploded in the second inning. The Wildcats scored 13 runs on 11 hits and one KU error. Seven of the 11 runs came via three home runs, a solo shot, grand slam and two-run blast. K-State held a 13-0 lead after two innings. Kansas did not lay down as the Jayhawks fought the rest of the game.

Kansas cut that deficit in more than half in the third inning. The first run scored on a throwing error, which was followed up by an RBI single from freshman Cooper Kelly. Redshirt sophomore Michael Brooks was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score a third run.

Jans was up next following a pitching change with the bases loaded. He took the first pitch he saw 439 feet out to left-center for his first career grand slam. It was the fifth home run of the season for Jans and made the score 13-7.

K-State came back and scored four runs in the top of the fourth to extend its lead back to 17-7.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kansas was able to get three of those runs back. Catcher Jake English hit a solo home run and Jans hit a two-run single to bring the score to 17-10.

After a run by K-State in the fifth, the Jayhawks scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Jans hit a two-run ground-rule double and Kodey Shojinaga hit an RBI single. K-State led 18-13 after six innings.

Then, in the eighth K-State hit a three-run homer to push its lead to 21-13. Again, Kansas responded with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Jans and Shojinaga each hit RBI singles, senior Cole Elvis had an RBI double and redshirt junior Collier Cranford had an RBI fielder’s choice. Heading into the ninth inning the score was 21-17.

Junior Stone Hewlett worked out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth inning by inducing an inning-ending double play. In the bottom half of the inning, Kansas scored a run on a throwing error to make it 21-18. That was as close as the Jayhawks were able to get.

Win: Kyler Heyne (3-0)
Final line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
Loss: Hunter Cranton (3-3)
Final line: 1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 1 SO

“He’s come a long way and has done a great job. He’s worked really hard and is a great kid. He left some guys on base in his first couple at-bats so he had a chance to shatter [the record]. He’s super talented and it’s been a good season for him.” – Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald on Chase Jans.

• Jans tied the program record with nine RBIs. The record was set by Joel Benninghoff vs. Northwest Missouri State on March 16, 1993. Jans’ previous career high was three RBIs. Jans finished the day 5-for-7 with a double, grand slam, nine RBIs and four runs scored. His five hits were also a career high and his four runs scored tied a career high. Jans has five home runs on the season.
• Kansas and K-State combined to score 39 runs. That is the most combined runs ever scored in a game between the two teams. The previous record was 38 runs on May 15, 1931 in Manhattan (Kansas 22, K-State 16).
• The 39 runs were the most scored in a Big 12 game since April 11, 2008 (Missouri 31, Texas 12).
• The last time Kansas played in a game with 39 combined runs was May 16, 1996 against Missouri in the Big Eight Tournament (Missouri 23, Kansas 16).
• Kansas’ 18 runs were its most scored in a home game since May 5, 2017 vs. Texas Southern (20). The 18 runs were also Kansas’ most in a conference game since May 22, 2004 at Kansas State (Kansas 19, K-State 6), and the most in a home conference game since March 28, 1998 vs. #9 Oklahoma (Kansas 20, Oklahoma 11).
• Shojinaga matched his career high with four hits after going 4-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
• English hit his team-high-tying eighth home run of the season. He is tied with Janson Reeder.
• Hewlett made an appearance in all three games in this series. He has not allowed a run in eight straight appearances (12.1 innings).

Kansas will host Air Force for a two-game midweek series on April 18-19. Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and Wednesday will begin at 3 p.m. CT.