⚾ Kansas Wins Series Over Omaha After Doubleheader Victories
OMAHA, Neb. – The Jayhawks used a complete-game shutout by Cole Larsen to capture game one of the day, 9-0, before winning the series over Omaha with a 10-7 victory in the series finale at Tal Anderson Field.
Kansas moved to 8-6 on the season, while Omaha moved to 5-8.
Game 1 (Kansas 9, Omaha 0)
Kansas defeated Omaha in the first game of a doubleheader behind a brilliant complete-game shutout performance by Larsen on Saturday morning.
Larsen made his third start of the year and threw the first complete game shutout of the season. The righty struck out six batters and only allowed one extra base hit through nine innings of work.
The last Jayhawk to throw a complete-game shutout was Ryan Cyr, May 4, 2019 against Texas.
With Larsen on the mound, the KU offense got to work. The Jayhawks took a one-run lead in the top of the third after a double by James Cosentino and an error that allowed him to score.
The game developed into a pitcher’s duel for the next three innings, with both hurlers matching each other pitch-for-pitch. It took until the seventh inning for the Jayhawks to break through.
A double, single and walk loaded the bases for Kansas in the top of the seventh inning which brought Cosentino back to the plate. He drew a five-pitch walk and brought in another run.
A single by Maui Ahuna paired with a throwing error by the Mavericks drove in two more runs and gave the Jayhawks a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Kansas wasn’t done. The Jayhawks added a four-run eighth inning, highlighted by another double by Cosentino, to take a commanding 8-0 lead.
In the top of the ninth, freshman Tony Castonguay pinch hit for Dylan Ditzenberger and launched the first hit and home run of his career into left field.
Cosentino recorded a multi-hit game for Kansas, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and two RBI.
Game 2 (Kansas 10, Omaha 7)
In the second game of the doubleheader, Kansas used offensive bursts to top host Omaha, while four pitchers combined to keep the Mavericks at bay.
Four Jayhawks recorded multi-hit games, while five recorded RBI in the victory. Tavian Josenberger finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a career-high three RBI, while Ditzenberger and Jack Wagner each recorded two RBI. Ditzenberger led KU with three hits in game two.
Eli Davis got the starting nod in game two for the Jayhawks and struck out seven batters on the day, tying his season-high. The southpaw pitched through six innings and kept Kansas in the game, allowing only three runs.
Kansas once again struck first, scoring two quick runs in the top of the first inning after a fielder’s choice and an error by the Mavericks.
However, Omaha was quick to respond and answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning.
The Jayhawks captured the lead back in the top of the fourth inning. A pair of back-to-back singles brought Josenberger to the plate with two runners on. He grounded out, scoring a run and securing a RBI. A single up the middle by Ditzenberger brought in another run and gave Kansas the 4-2 lead.
Omaha added a run in the fifth before the Jayhawk offense started up again.
Josenberger and Ditzenberger were back at it in the top of the sixth. Josenberger singled to left field, scoring Ahuna. Ditzenberger doubled through the left side in the next at bat and scored Burnham from third.
A sacrifice fly in the next at bat by Anthony Tulimero scored the third and final run of the inning.
The Jayhawk offense continued its hot streak, adding two more runs in the seventh inning to hold the 9-3 advantage.
Omaha tried to mount a late comeback against the Jayhawks, bringing in two runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to four.
The Jayhawks added an insurance run in the ninth, before the Mavericks responded with two of their own in the last half inning.
Kansas continues its road trek to start the season with a single-game at Missouri State Wednesday, March 17 at 3 p.m.