⚾ Kansas Earns Home Opener Victory
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas (6-6) used timely at bats with solid pitching to earn its first home victory of the season, 3-2, against Creighton (4-6) at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Bluejays attacked first, earning the lead after a double scored a run in the third inning. Kansas was quick to respond.
In the bottom of the third, Casey Burnham was hit by a pitch and Benjamin Sems was intentionally walked to bring Nolan Metcalf to the plate. Metcalf reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman that allowed Burnham to cross the plate and evened the score for Kansas.
Kansas struck again in the bottom of the fifth inning after back-to-back-to-back walks by Burnham, Ditzenberger and Sems. Metcalf came to the plate and was hit by a pitch to bring in Burnham and give KU a 2-1 lead.
After Creighton tied the ballgame with a home run in the top of the sixth, Kansas answered in the bottom of the seventh.
Burnham led off the inning with a single and quickly advanced to second on a bunt by Dylan Ditzenberger. The Bluejays intentionally walked Sems to bring Metcalf to the plate. Metcalf responded by lacing a single to left field that scored Burnham and put the Jayhawks back on top.
Nathan Barry (1-1) and Blake Goldsberry each pitched a scoreless inning in relief and Jonah Ulane struck out the side in the ninth to give Kansas the victory.
Metcalf led the offense with two RBIs and Sems went 1-for-1 with three walks and reached base in every plate appearance. Souza-Paaluhi contributed with a 2-for-3 performance, recording a walk and a double.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
T9 – Jonah Ulane entered in the ninth inning with a one-run lead, and tallied three strikeouts to earn his second save of the season.
STAT OF THE GAME
Three Intentional Walks – The Creighton pitching staff walked three Kansas batters intentionally, including Benjamin Sems twice.
HOW KANSAS SCORED
B2 – Casey Burnham was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to a second on a ground out. After Benjamin Sems received an intentional walk, Nolan Metcalf reached on a throwing error by the Creighton third baseman, scoring Burnham.
B5 – With two outs, Kansas earned walks from Burnham and Dylan Ditzenberger. Creighton made a pitching change and Sems earned another walk to load the bases. Metcalf was hit on the first pitch, scoring Burnham.
B7 – Casey Burnham tallied an infield single to the CU first baseman and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Another intentional walk for Sems gave Kansas runners on first and second with one out. Metcalf laced a single through the left side, scoring Burnham.
- Ritch Price improved to 15-3 in home openers at Kansas.
- With the victory, Kansas earned its 1,950 win in program history.
- Nathan Barry earned his first victory of the season.
Kansas hosts Indiana State March 6-8 at Hoglund Ballpark for the Jayhawks’ first home series of the season.