⚾️ Kansas Wins Inaugural Buck O’Neil Classic 7-6
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On a night created to honor Buck O’Neil, the Kansas Jayhawks won a 7-6 thriller over the Texas Southern Tigers at Legends Field in the inaugural Buck O’Neil Classic. Sophomore shortstop Maui Ahuna drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Kolby Dougan (1-2)
Final line: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO
Save: Jonah Ulane (5)
Final line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO
Loss: A.J. Winger (0-2)
Final line: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
HOW IT HAPPENED
• After a scoreless first three innings, the Jayhawks broke through in the fourth. Redshirt freshman first baseman Cooper McMurray hit a sacrifice fly to score Jack Hammond.
• A four-run fifth inning built a 5-0 lead for Kansas. Sophomore second baseman Tavian Josenberger hit an RBI triple, Ahuna had an RBI double, redshirt senior catcher Nolan Metcalf had an RBI single and came around to score on an error.
• Texas Southern battled back with two runs in the sixth inning and four runs in the seventh inning to take a 6-5 lead.
• Kansas tied the game back up in the bottom of the seventh when Metcalf scored on a passed ball.
• In the eighth, the Jayhawks pulled ahead for good on Ahuna’s sacrifice fly to make the score 7-6.
• Redshirt senior closer Jonah Ulane came in for the ninth inning and got the save.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Tavian Josenberger: While wearing his No. 22 jersey to honor Buck O’Neil, Josenberger went 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and an RBI. Josenberger also presented the pregame lineup card at home plate to the umpires.
NUMBER OF THE GAME
22: Buck O’Neil wore No. 22 when he played for the Kansas City Monarchs. The entire Kansas baseball team had a No. 22 patch on their jerseys for the game.
“Tonight was about Buck O’Neil and his legacy. I was honored to be a part of it and it was a tremendous atmosphere. To have it be such an outstanding college baseball game, I think it was a game that Buck O’Neil would have really enjoyed watching himself tonight. We tried to honor one of the greatest baseball men of all time.” – Head Coach Ritch Price
• Josenberger has hit safely in 11 straight games, with six of those contests being multi-hit efforts.
• Upshaw extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He went 2-for-4 on the night and has eight multi-hit games this year.
• Ulane recorded his fifth save of the season and 27th career save. Ulane is currently tied for fourth in all-time saves at KU. He trails Stephen Villines (40), Don Czyz (31) and Paul Smyth (27).
• Ahuna had his 18th multi-hit game of the season.
• Metcalf scored two runs and collected two hits. He now has 10 multi-hit games this season.
Kansas (15-20) will play the second and final game against Texas Southern at Hoglund Ballpark on Wednesday at 12 p.m. The time of the game was adjusted due to weather. The game will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio can be heard on the Jayhawk Sports Network.