⚾️ Kansas Completes Comeback to Beat Houston 11-9

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After trailing 8-1 in the middle of the third inning, Kansas came storming back to beat Houston 11-9 on Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. The seven-run deficit is the largest that Kansas has overcome to win since the 2021 season.

Chase Diggins, Ben Hartl and Lenny Ashby all had home runs as the Jayhawks had a four-run third inning and a five-run fourth inning that helped them get back into the game.

The combination of J’Briell Easley, Cooper Moore, Tegan Cain and Hunter Cranton combined to throw six innings and allow only one run out of the bullpen. Easley earned his first win of the season and Cranton received his sixth save on the year.

The Jayhawks improved to 28-18 on the season and 14-12 in Big 12 Conference play.

• Houston (25-25, 7-18 Big 12) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Anthony Tulimero hit an RBI single and Cary Arbolida hit a three-run homer to start the game.
• John Nett got Kansas on the board in the bottom of the second with a 2-out RBI single to make it a 4-1 game.
• Houston tacked on four more runs in the third inning. Arbolida hit his second home run of the game, this time a solo shot. Then, two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly made it 8-1 in favor of Houston.
• In the third, Kansas began to mount its comeback. The Jayhawks scored four runs to match the Cougars’ top half of the third inning. Kodey Shojinaga scored on a fielding error for the first run of the inning. Diggins came up next and lined a three-run homer to left field. That cut the deficit to 8-5.
• Kansas took the lead in the fourth inning and never looked back. Hartl led off the fourth inning with a solo homer. With runners on first and second, Collier Cranford hit a 2-run single to tie the game. Two batters later, Lenny Ashby hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit, 2-run homer to give Kansas a 10-8 lead.
• The Cougars cut the lead to one after Kenneth Jimenez hit a solo home run in the fifth to make it 10-9.
• The final run of the game came in the bottom of the fifth on a Jake English RBI single. The run gave Kansas a 11-9 advantage that they would hold the rest of the game.
• Out of the bullpen, Moore had four strikeouts over two innings of work, Cain had one strikeout in a scoreless eighth and Cranton struck out the side to close it out in the ninth.

Win: J’Briell Easley (1-0)
Final line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 SO
Loss: Diego Luzardo (2-1)
Final line: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
Save: Hunter Cranton (6)
Final line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Chase Diggins: Diggins has made a big impact for the Jayhawks since returning from injury, including his three hits today. The Perth, Australia, native hit a huge three-run homer to help the Jayhawks in their comeback. Diggins also had three RBIs and three runs scored.


“I think every game moving forward is a must-win game, but at the same time we have to break it down and go pitch-by-pitch. Win the small battles and then find a way to win the big one at the end. – Chase Diggins

“They’re all must wins at this point. I don’t spend a whole lot of time looking at the bubble. There are people way smarter than me that can figure out the equation and what you need to do. The bottom line is this time of year you need to play really clean baseball and you have to compete at a high level because everyone in our league is really good. I was proud of how the guys bounced back and played today.” – Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald

• Kansas overcame a seven-run deficit to win the game. That is the largest deficit overcome to win by Kansas since erasing a seven-run deficit on March 30, 2021 vs. Missouri for a 10-9 victory.
• Kansas finished with 16 hits in the game.
• Diggins hit his third home run of the season. Since returning from injury, Diggins has multi-hit games in three of his four starts. He finished 3-for-4 with the home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.
• Hartl finished 2-for-4 with a double, home run, RBI, walk and two runs scored. The home run was his ninth of the season.
• Ashby blasted his eighth home run of the year.
• Cranford stretched his on-base streak to 10 games.
• Easley earned his first win as a Jayhawk.
• Nett collected his team-high 20th multi-hit game of the season.
• Moore’s four strikeouts matched his career high.

Kansas will play the rubber match of the series against Houston on Sunday at 12 p.m. CT. Prior to the start of the game, Kansas will honor 13 seniors on Senior Day.