⚾ Jayhawks Walk-Off in Home Opener Over Bluejays
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks (9-6, 0-0 Big 12) captured game one in the series against Creighton (4-4, 0-0 Big East) when Skyler Messinger hit a walk-off solo homerun in the bottom of the 14th inning.
Daniel Hegarty earned his second win of the season after pitching the final three innings of relief. The lefty held Creighton to only three hits against the 14 batters he faced.
Five relievers held the Bluejays scoreless over the final eight innings. Nathan Barry pitched 2.2 innings, while Jonah Ulane tossed two innings.
The Bluejays got an early lead when Alan Roden hit a 2-run home run in the first inning. However, the Jayhawks answered with a Nolan Metcalf RBI single to bring in Dylan Ditzenberger and cut the score in half at 2-1.
In the bottom of the second, Ditzenberger was back up to the plate with Tavian Josenberger and Maui Ahuna on first and second. Ditzenberger picked up his second hit of the game with a double to deep center field and drove in both of the baserunners to give Kansas a 3-2 lead.
The Bluejays tallied three runs in the third to grab back the lead, and again threatened in the top of the fourth. Messinger made a quick stop at third base and tossed it to Tulimero to get Vilches out at the plate. Ryan Cyr picked up his fourth strikeout of the game to close out the inning.
Kansas responded in the bottom half of the inning. Casey Burnham laced a double to right center before scoring two batters later on a wild pitch.
After back-to-back walks in the top of the seventh, the Jayhawks went back to the bullpen and brought in Barry with two on and one out. He needed only one pitch to recorded the final two outs as Creighton hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Jayhawks were able to close the gap when Anthony Tulimero came up to bat with Josenberger on third and Ditzenberger on second. Tulimero launched a sacrifice fly to deep center, plating Josenberger to cut the Bluejay lead to one.
Two batters later, Brett Vosik laced a double through the right side and scored Ditzenberger to tie the game at 6-all.
The two runs scored by Kansas in the ninth would be the last runs for the next five innings until Messinger’s walk-off home run.
It is the first 14-inning contest the Jayhawks have played in since their game against Texas April 17, 2015.