⚾️ Kansas Shuts Out Wichita State in Home Opener, 4-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas junior Ethan Bradford pitched a career-high 5.1 innings and allowed two hits, while Jake English and Janson Reeder each homered in Kansas’ 4-0 home-opening win against Wichita State on Wednesday.
Kansas improved to 7-4 this season, while head coach Dan Fitzgerald picked up his first win at home on Wednesday. Wichita State fell to 6-6 and 4-4 on the road this season. The two teams will meet again on April 26 in Wichita, Kansas.
After a scoreless first inning, Wichita State’s Mauricio Millan reached base on a dribbler past the pitcher in the top half of the second. With two outs, Kansas’ Jake English caught Millan stealing to end the top-half of the second as the score stood at 0-0.
Kansas continued the action in the bottom of the second, as Cole Elvis doubled to the right-center gap with no outs. After Collier Cranford was hit by a pitch, Jake English pulled a three-run home run to left to put Kansas on the board, 3-0 at the end of two innings.
After a scoreless third inning, Janson Reeder sent a solo shot over the right field wall to increase Kansas’ lead to 4-0 at the end of the fourth inning. Reeder finished 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI and a run scored.
In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Chase Jans reached base with a single past the pitcher. Jans then stole second and would advance to third on a throwing error but would end the inning stranded.
Starting pitcher Ethan Bradford tossed a career-high 5.1 scoreless innings, recording four strikeouts and allowing only two hits.
With Kansas leading 4-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Wichita State was threatening when Payton Tolle singled to center. After retiring Millan on strikes, Stone Hewlett walked a batter to put two runners on with one out. With runners on first and second, Hewlett induced a ground ball to shortstop, which turned into a double play to finish the top half of the seventh inning, 4-0.
In the top of the eighth, the Shockers loaded the bases on a walk and a pair of singles. With one out, Hewlett forced Wichita State’s Garrett Pennington into a 1-2-3 double play to get out of the inning scoreless, once again.
With one out in the ninth, Kansas gave the ball to Kolby Dougan on the mound, who got the final two outs to secure the victory.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Ethan Bradford
Final line: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
Loss: Cameron Bye
Final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 SO
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ethan Bradford: Sophomore Ethan Bradford pitched a career-high 5.1 scoreless innings on Wednesday, allowing only two hits, while striking out four batters. Bradford earned his first-career win as a Jayhawk.
- Kansas improved to 7-4 this season, securing their first win at Hoglund Ballpark this season.
- Kansas improved to 20-25 against Wichita State in Lawrence all-time, while Wichita State holds the series advantage at 51-35.
- Bradford earned his first career win as a Jayhawk after throwing a career-high 5.1 scoreless innings.
- The Jayhawks have now shutout three opponents this season, with wins against Wichita State (4-0), Belmont (5-0) and Oakland (7-0).
- Junior Janson Reeder hit his second-career home run on Wednesday, with his last coming against Oakland on Feb. 26. Reeder also set a career-high with three hits.
- Redshirt sophomore Jake English launched his fourth-career home run on Wednesday, English’s home run on Wednesday pushed across three runners and he now has 10 RBI’s this season.
Kansas will travel Southeast to the First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, S.C., with games against Western Carolina (March 10) and Michigan State (March 11-12) on the schedule. The Jayhawks will remain on the road until they host Creighton to Hoglund Ballpark on March 29 at 6 p.m. CT.