After four saves, and zero runs allowed in his first five appearances of the season, the Kansas baseball coaching staff decided to put redshirt-sophomore Jonah Ulane on scholarship. Coming into the season without a set closer, the Jayhawks gave Ulane a chance and he ran with it.

“For me nothing changes,” said Ulane. “Having the same work ethic and determination to get better is something I had in the back of my mind from day one.”

Since taking on the late inning closer role, he has helped lead the Jayhawk bullpen by pitching 20 and 1/3 innings with eight saves and 31 strikeouts.

“When he gets on the mound, he flips a switch. He’s a guy you don’t want to screw with,” said Jayhawk catcher Jaxx Groshans. “He puts all that energy into one inning, so he is able to be aggressive throwing his slider and throwing as hard as he can.”

That mentality has changed since he has become the closer, but his work ethic has been just as good as it was when he first stepped foot in Hoglund Ballpark.

Ulane has put a lot of time and effort into working with a data driven player development program called Driveline Baseball during the offseason.

As a freshman, he came into KU throwing around 85 mph, but now he has topped 94 mph as a redshirt sophomore.

“Jonah has a closer mentality,” said associate head coach and pitching coach Ryan Graves. “He has always had the mentality and the stuff, but he has put in the work to develop as a complete pitcher.”