⚾️ Kansas Tops No. 19 Mountaineers in Series Opener 5-3

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Kansas extended its winning streak to six games after knocking off the No. 19-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers Friday night, 5-3 at Monongalia County Ballpark. Kansas has now won four straight conference games as well.

The Jayhawks (14-14, 4-3 Big 12) got the offense going in the second inning when redshirt sophomore catcher Jake English blasted his sixth home run of the year. Kansas wasn’t done in the second inning however, as sophomore Chase Jans hit his third home run of the season. The two-run shot completed a three-run second inning for the Jayhawks.

In the bottom half of the second, after surrendering a leadoff single and a walk to follow, starting pitcher Collin Baumgartner struck out the next three Mountaineers to retire the side and preserve the 3-0 lead for Kansas.

In the next inning, Kansas would extend its lead to 4-0 as junior Janson Reeder scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom half of the third, the Mountaineers would cut the Jayhawk lead in half, to make the score 4-2.

Junior Thaniel Trumper entered the game in relief for Baumgartner in the fifth inning with runners on first and third and no outs. Trumper escaped the jam through a rundown, a strikeout and a lineout to end the inning. Trumper struck out six Mountaineers total and only gave up one run in three full innings of work to earn the win.

West Virginia (22-8, 2-2 Big 12) hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to trim the Jayhawks lead to 4-3.

The Jayhawks added an insurance run in the ninth inning, as senior Cal transfer Cole Elvis crushed his fifth home run of the season to push the Kansas lead to two heading to the bottom of the ninth.

Junior lefty Stone Hewlett came on to get the final out of the eighth inning and closed the game for the Jayhawks in the ninth. He struck out two batters, including the final Mountaineer to record the save.

Baumgartner tossed four innings in the start, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out six batters and issued four walks.

Win: Thaniel Trumper (2-2)
Final line: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 SO
Loss: Ben Hampton (2-1)
Final line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 SO
Save: Stone Hewlett (2)
Final line: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

“I’m really proud of how the guys competed. Their starter is really good, and we got him out early, and I thought our guys had a great approach against him, and really the whole game.” – Coach Dan Fitzgerald

• Kansas extended its winning streak to six games. The Jayhawks have also won four straight conference games.
• The win is the first over a ranked opponent since April 3, 2022 vs. No. 4 Texas Tech (8-5). It is the first ranked win on the road since May 20, 2021 at No. 5 Texas Tech (7-4).
• Kansas recorded a season-high 15 strikeouts. That is the most strikeouts since Feb. 21, 2021 vs. South Dakota State (16). It is the most in conference play since April 13, 2019 vs. Oklahoma State (15) and the most on the road in conference play since May 11, 2018 at Kansas State (17).
• Jans extended his on-base streak to 24 games, which is the longest of the sophomore’s career and the longest by a Jayhawk this season. He went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. The home run was his third of the season. Jans now has 8 multi-hit games this season.
• Trumper matched his career high with six strikeouts.
• English hit his sixth home run of the season, which is tied with Reeder for the most on the team.
• Jackson Kline now has an 11-game on-base streak after going 1-for-3 with a walk.

Kansas will take on West Virginia tomorrow in the second game of the series with the Mountaineers. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. CT at Monongalia County Ballpark.