⚾️ Kansas Loses Close One to Western Carolina

GREENVILLE, S.C. — In the opening game of the First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field, the Kansas Jayhawks fell 6-3 to the West Carolina Catamounts. West Carolina scored three runs in the eighth inning to pull away.

Kansas scored first in the game with three runs in the third inning. Sophomore second baseman Tavian Josenberger hit an RBI double in the right-center field gap to drive in redshirt junior Casey Burnham. A couple batters later, sophomore shortstop Maui Ahuna came up to the plate and launched a two-run homer to left field to give the Jayhawks a 3-0 lead.

That would end up being the only inning that Kansas would score the entire game. Western Carolina responded with two runs in the fourth inning on a home run, one run in the sixth to tie the game and then a three-spot in the eighth to take control.

Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Cole Larsen started the game. Larsen threw six and two thirds innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, while walking one and striking out seven. Redshirt senior left-handed pitcher Daniel Hegarty suffered the loss after walking in the go-ahead run in the eighth.

The Jayhawks fell to 6-7 on the season, while Western Carolina improved to 7-7.

Kansas will play its second game of the First Pitch Invitational on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT against Cincinnati. A free video stream will be available on the Greenville Drive’s YouTube channel and live audio can be heard on the Jayhawk Sports Network.

• Maui Ahuna has three home runs in his last four games.
• Ahuna has eight multi-hit performances through the first 13 games, including five contests with three hits. He went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBIs.
• Ahuna has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games dating back to last season.
• Cole Larsen recorded a season-high seven strikeouts. The seven strikeouts matched his total from his first three starts combined.