⚾ Kansas Beats Air Force in Eight Innings
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Air Force Falcons, 13-3, in the first game of the midweek series on Tuesday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. Jack Wagner hit a two-run home run to reach the 10-run rule, concluding the game after eight innings.
Air Force (13-12, 7-8 Mountain West) struck early with a solo home run in the top of the first, but the Jayhawks (19-13, 2-7 Big 12) were quick to answer in the bottom of the inning.
Tavian Josenberger walked and was able to steal second and reach third on a throwing error during Skyler Messinger’s at-bat. Messinger singled up the middle on the next pitch and brought Josenberger home, putting the Jayhawks on the board and tying the game.
James Cosentino singled and Dylan Ditzenberger walked to lead off the second. Josenberger put a single up the middle which brought Cosentino home, adding one to the Jayhawk lead.
Maui Ahuna followed with a two-RBI double to clear the bases and bring in both Ditzenberger and Josenberger. Messinger then picked up his second hit and second RBI of the day when he singled through the right side and brought Ahuna home.
The last two runs of the inning came when Conner VanCleave hit a two-run home run, his first home run of the season, and brought the Jayhawks lead up to 7-1.
Air Force cut down the lead in the top of the third when they picked up a pair of runs.
Ryan Vanderhei came to the mound to relieve Sam Brady and pitched a scoreless fourth inning. In the bottom of the foruth, Josenberger hit the first home run of his career and moved the score to 8-3.
Nathan Barry relieved Vanderhei and got the last out in the top of the fifth, stranding three Air Force runners.
The Jayhawk bats remained hot through the bottom of the fifth when they picked up two more runs.
Ditzenberger was up to bat with the bases loaded and just one out. He picked up a RBI as Tony Castonguay scored. In the next at-bat, Josenberger hit a single to bring in Brett Vosik for this third RBI of the day. The Jayhawk lead jumped to, 10-3.
Barry pitched a scoreless sixth inning and picked up a strikeout to end the top of the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Messinger had his third hit of the game with a lead-off double. Three batters later, Blaine Ray had a RBI double to bring in Messinger and make the score 11-3.
The game was scoreless in the seventh inning, but in the bottom of the eighth, Kansas struck again. Seth Sweet-Chick singled which brought Wagner to the plate. Wagner ripped a two-run home run to left center, ending the game, 13-3.
Josenberger led the offense once again, going 3-for-4 with three RBI, three runs and walk. Ahuna, Messinger, VanCleave and Wagner also recorded two runs each. Nathan Barry earned the victory after pitching the final 3.1 innings.
Kansas concludes its midweek clash with Air Force Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark