⚾ Kansas Splits Doubleheader with Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. – The Kansas Jayhawks (6-6, 0-0 Big 12) used pitching and a relentless offense to win the first game against the Omaha Mavericks (4-6, 0-0 Summit League), 7-3, but dropped the second game of the doubleheader, 9-7, on Friday afternoon at Tal Anderson Field.

Game 1 (Kansas 7, Omaha 3)

The Kansas Jayhawks took full offensive control in game one of the doubleheader against the Omaha Mavericks on Friday morning at Tal Anderson Field.

Seasoned veteran Ryan Cyr started on the bump for Kansas and earned his third win of the season while striking out seven. The three runs that the Mavericks got off of the righty were all unearned through the 6.2 innings he pitched.

The Jayhawks’ offense got started in the top of the second inning when Brett Vosik led off with a walk. Skyler Messinger was quick to bring him in, launching his first home run of the season into left field, giving Kansas a 2-0 lead.

Kansas loaded the bases following the home run and Anthony Tulimero singled to left field to bring Maui Ahuna and Tavian Josenberger across the plate and increased the lead to four.

The Jayhawks scored another run in the top of the sixth, prompting the Mavericks to start a rally of their own.

A leadoff single for the Mavericks spelled trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Omaha responded with three runs to decrease the Kansas lead to two.

After the three run-seventh inning, Daniel Hegarty came out of the bullpen and ended the Omaha rally. The southpaw went on to pitch the remainder of the game, surrendering only one hit through 2.1 innings.

Messinger laced a double to plate two additional runs in the top of the ninth to give Kansas its seven run total.

Messinger led the offense, going 2-for-5 with two extra base hits and four RBIs. Tulimero and Josenberger both recorded multi-hit games as well, with Tulimero going 2-for-4 with two hits, two RBIs and a walk. Josenberger finished 2-for-2 at the plate with two walks of his own.

Game 2 (Omaha 9, Kansas 7)

A grand slam in the seventh inning by the Omaha Mavericks was too much for the Kansas offense to overcome as they fell, 9-7, in the second game of a doubleheader.

Everhett Hazelwood started on the hill for the third time this season and pitched through 5.2 innings. Hazelwood recorded six strikeouts.

Kansas struck first after a Tulimero double drove in Josenberger for a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning.

The Mavericks tied it at one run apiece in the bottom of the second.

Nolan Metcalf broke the tie after he launched his third home run of the year into left field in the top of the third to give the Jayhawks a 3-1 lead.

The Jayhawks added another in each of the fourth and fifth innings and held a commanding 5-1 lead.

The Mavericks found rhythm at the plate and got back on the board in the fifth inning, plating three runs to cut the Kansas lead to one.

The Jayhawks added another run in the sixth following a leadoff double by Logan Williams, who advanced to third on a ground out and crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Ahuna.

The seventh inning proved costly for the Jayhawks. A single, a double and a walk loaded the bases for the Mavericks and all three runs were brought in on a grand slam that gave Omaha an 8-6 lead.

Kansas got a run back in the top of the eighth, but Omaha responded with a run of its own to keep the two-run advantage, 9-7.

Messinger and Tulimero both recorded multi-hit games for the second-straight game. Messinger went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored while Tulimero went 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI.

Kansas concludes the four-game series with Omaha with a second doubleheader starting at 10 a.m., at Tal Anderson Field Saturday.