⚾ Jayhawks Pounce on Jackrabbits for Season-Opening Victory

MINNEAPOLIS – A pair of home runs and a solid pitching effort gave the Kansas Jayhawks a 7-3 win over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the season opener Friday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Ryan Cyr got the starting nod for Kansas and pitched brilliantly on Opening Day. The Kansas native allowed three runs and struck out a career-high 11 batters over seven innings, while earning the win for the Jayhawks.

South Dakota State’s Adam Mazur matched Cyr for two innings, but the Jayhawks struck first in the bottom of the third, collecting a run off of a ground out by Dylan Ditzenberger.

Kansas struck again in the bottom of the fourth. Anthony Tulimero doubled with one out and then scored on the first long ball of the season — a two-run home run to right field by James Cosentino.

The Jackrabbits rallied back and plated three runs in the top of the fifth.

However, Kansas didn’t back down. Tulimero led off the sixth inning with his second double of the night. After an error and a walk, a single by Casey Burnham brought in Tulimero and Conner VanCleave to give the Jayhawks a 5-3 edge.

A solo shot to center field by Tulimero put South Dakota State away for good, as Kansas took the first game of the series, 7-3.

Nathan Barry and Jonah Ulane made their first appearances out of the bullpen and shut the door for Kansas in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Tulimero had a career day, going three-for-three with a walk, two doubles, an RBI and a home run. It marked the fifth multi-hit game and the second home run of his career. VanCleave also recorded a multi-hit game, going two-for-three with a walk.

B6 – With the bases loaded and two outs, Casey Burnham laced a two-RBI single to center field, plating Anthony Tulimero and Conner VanCleave. The game was tied at three prior to the two runs plated in the sixth.

3 – Tulimero finished the night 3-for-3 at the plate with three extra base hits. He finished with two doubles, a home run and a walk.

11 – Cyr recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts in his seven innings of work. The opening day starter faced 26 batters allowing zero walks, while earning his first victory of the season.

Associate Head Coach, Ryan Graves
On tonight’s performance …

“It was nice team win. Defensively, we played a clean game and Ryan Cyr pitched really well. He gave us seven innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts. Outside of the fifth inning, he pitched a great game. Nathan Barry and Jonah Ulane came in and attacked to close the game out.

“Anthony Tulimero finished with two doubles and a home run and did a great job behind the plate for us. Conner VanCleave added two hits and that helped us offensively.  Overall, it was a good win. South Dakota State’s starter was good early with quality stuff, but we were able to get him out of the game early and attack their bullpen.”

Kansas plays its second game against South Dakota State Saturday at 5:25 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium.