⚾ Jayhawks Storm Back to Beat FGCU, 5-3

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Kansas Jayhawks came from behind to beat the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, 5-3, on Friday night at Swanson Stadium.

Right-hander Ryan Cyr got the starting nod for the Jayhawks and turned in a strong performance for the second straight Friday. He pitched seven innings, striking out four and giving up two runs –one earned – while not walking any batters. He improved to 2-0 on the season in two starts.

Jonah Ulane pitched the final two innings to earn his first save of the season. The win moved Kansas to 3-1 on the young season.

The Jayhawks continued their streak of striking first by scoring in the first inning for the third game in a row. A one-out walk by Dylan Ditzenberger gave the Jayhawks a base runner in the bottom of the first and the Jayhawks’ hottest player stepped up to the plate in Nolan Metcalf. Metcalf, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, wasted no time and doubled to right center to score Ditzenberger.

However, the Eagles were quick to strike back. After a leadoff double in the bottom of the second, an error scored a run and evened the score at one run apiece.

Florida Gulf Coast added another run in the bottom of the third inning after a leadoff home run to give the hosts a 2-1 advantage.

After being set down by FGSU starter Mason Studstill, Kansas started to mount a comeback in the top of the seventh.

It started with a one-out single by Skyler Messinger. Maui Ahuna followed with a single of his own and Tavian Josenberger drew a walk to load the bases with one out to chase Studtsill out of the game.

A wild pitch scored Messinger and a passed ball allowed Ahuna to score, giving Kansas a 3-2 lead. Jack Wagner drew a walk and Ditzenberger stepped up to the plate. He roped a single through the right side to bring Josenberger home.

Cyr was lights out for the rest of the night and Nathan Barry replaced him in the eighth inning. The first two men reached off Barry, and Ulane came in to shut the door for the eighth and the ninth innings.

The Jayhawks added another run in the top of the ninth on a single by James Cosentino to give them a 5-3 advantage going into the bottom of the ninth.

Dylan Ditzenberger and Nolan Metcalf both recorded multi-hit games and an RBI each. Ditzenberger went 3-for-4 with a walk and Metcalf went 2-for-4 with a double.

The Jayhawks and Eagles will meet again on Saturday at 5 p.m., for the second game of the four-game series.