Kansas holds on to beat Kansas State in game one of doubleheader
LAWRENCE, Kan.– It took a full team effort for Kansas to defeat Kansas State in the first game of a doubleheader during the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (30-24, 11-12 Big 12) got the scoring started early when they put up a four-spot in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Nolan Metcalf, junior Benjamin Sems, and sophomore Skyler Messinger recorded back-to-back-to-back singles to give Kansas a 4-0 lead.
Kansas starting pitcher Ryan Cyr (4-6) pitched six quality innings, giving up only two runs, before the Wildcats (25-30, 8-15 Big 12) jumped on him in the top of the seventh frame. His day ended after pitching seven and 1/3 innings and he left the game with the Jayhawks holding on to a one-run lead.
Freshman Jack Wagner stepped up to the plate for Kansas with the bases loaded and two outs and KU up by one run in the bottom of the eighth. He delivered by singling through the right side to plate two insurance runs and give Kansas a 9-6 lead.
Relief pitcher Nathan Barry came in and shut the door for Kansas. He retired seven of the eight batters that he faced and got his first save of the season.
- Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans collected two walks in the contest to increase his season total to 48, which ranks first on the team.
- Freshman designated hitter Jack Wagner slapped the first double of his career. He also notched a new career high in RBIs with three.
- Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems stole his team-leading 13th base.
- Junior second baseman James Cosentino was hit by a pitch for a team-leading 20th time this season.
Head coach Ritch Price
On the most impressive aspect of today’s victory . . .
“I thought the energy in our dugout after being on the field for eight, nine hours yesterday was impressive. I was really pleased with the preparation today and the five seniors walked down the hill and then walked to the ballpark just as we were getting our pregame routine in. They made it fun, made the pregame workout fun. Obviously, Ryan Cyr gave us six good innings and then they got the ball elevated in the seventh. Nate Barry came in and he shut the door for us.”
The final game of the Sunflower Showdown will begin at 5:35 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.