⚾ Kansas Beats SLU in Extras to Claim Series
ST. LOUIS – It took 12 innings, but the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the St. Louis Billikens 7-5 Sunday afternoon, earning the series win in the finale of the three-game set.
Kansas improved to 5-5 on the season with back-to-back wins over St. Louis, while the Billikens fell to 2-9.
Eli Davis started on the mound for Kansas at the Billken Sports Center and pitched through seven innings while striking out four. Gabirel Sotomayor made a brief appearance before Daniel Hegarty carried the Jayhawks into extra innings.
Kansas jumped on the board first after Maui Ahuna singled, Casey Burnham walked and Dylan Ditzenberger singled to load the bases with one out in the top of the third. A sacrifice fly by Anthony Tulimero drove in Ahuna to give the Jayhawks the lead.
Nolan Metcalf stepped to the plate and reached on an error that resulted in both Burnham and Ditzenberger scoring to give Kansas a 3-0 lead.
The Billikens answered in the bottom of the inning with three runs of their own to tie the game.
It wasn’t until the seventh inning that the Jayhawks struck again.
Ahuna singled to center and Tavian Josenberger drove him in with a double to right field. Josenberger then switched spots with Ditzenberger on a double to retake a two-run lead.
St. Louis was quick to respond again, answering with two runs of its own and tying the game at five runs apiece.
The game stayed tied until the Jayhawks got well into extra innings. In the top of the 12th inning, Burnham walked and quickly advanced to second on a ground out and stole third base, bringing Metcalf to the plate.
Metcalf also drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch while Burnham scored. Wagner then singled to right and drove in Metcalf to give Kansas a 7-5 lead.
Hegarty pitched tremendously in relief for Kansas. The southpaw pitched a career-high 4.1 scoreless innings and struck out five batters while keeping the Jayhawks in the game. Hegarty was awarded the win and Jonah Ulane got the save after recording the final two outs.
Ahuna and Ditzenberger both recorded multi-hit games. Ahuna finished 2-for-5 at the plate, while Ditzenberger also finished 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored.
Kansas returns to Lawrence to host Omaha March 12-14 for a four-game series at Hoglund Ballpark for the Jayhawk’s home opening series.