⚾️ Larsen Pitches Complete Game in 6-2 Win
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas Jayhawks clinched a series win with a 6-2 win against the Illinois State Redbirds on Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Cole Larsen threw a complete game in the victory.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Cole Larsen (1-5)
Final line: CG, 9.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO
Loss: Erik Kubiatowicz (1-2)
Final line: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 SO
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Kansas jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by redshirt senior catcher/first baseman Nolan Metcalf.
• Illinois State (12-13) evened up the game in the fourth inning on a solo home run from Jake McCaw.
• Sophomore second baseman Tavian Josenberger helped take back the lead with an RBI ground-rule double in the fifth inning.
• The Redbirds answered back once again in the sixth with an RBI single to tie the score at 2-2.
• Two runs in the bottom of the sixth put the Jayhawks ahead for the remainder of the game. Redshirt freshman outfielder Jack Hammond had an RBI fielder’s choice and redshirt senior outfielder Caleb Upshaw hit an RBI single.
• A pair of insurance runs came around to score in the eighth inning when redshirt junior third baseman Dylan Ditzenberger hit a two-out, bases-loaded, two-run single to make the score 6-2.
• Larsen worked around a leadoff double in the ninth by getting a groundout, fly out and groundout to seal the victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cole Larsen. Larsen threw his first complete game of the season and earned his first win of the year. With the game tied 2-2 and runners on first and second with one out in the sixth inning, Larsen induced an inning-ending double play to escape the jam. He also forced a double play to end the eighth inning.
NUMBER OF THE GAME
9. Larsen threw nine innings on Saturday afternoon. He is the first Jayhawk this season with a complete game. Larsen was the last KU pitcher to throw nine innings on March 13, 2021 at Omaha.
“He was really special. He got the comebacker in the top of the eighth to make the 1-6-3 double play to get out of the inning and have the lead. I was thrilled we scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to have a little cushion in the ninth inning. The cowboy wanted the baseball and it was his ballgame. There was no way I was going to take the ball out of his hand. We needed a tremendous performance today and Cole Larsen was really special.” – Head Coach Ritch Price
“I would say after the fourth inning that I knew my arm would feel pretty good the rest of the game. My stuff was biting pretty good and I knew it was going to be a good day all around. We played great defense today.” – Cole Larsen
• Kansas clinched the series win on Saturday. It’s the third series win of the season.
• Larsen threw his first complete game of the season and the third of his career (March 13, 2021 at Omaha and February 28, 2021 at Florida Gulf Coast, 6 innings). The complete game was the first of the season for a Jayhawks pitcher. The last KU pitcher to throw nine innings was Larsen on March 13, 2021 at Omaha.
• Larsen earned his first win of the season.
• Ditzenberger finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. He has back-to-back multi-hit games for the first time this season.
• Upshaw went 3-for-4 with an RBI. It was his second game this season with three hits.
• Metcalf recorded his ninth multi-hit game of the season after going 2-for-3 with an RBI, walk and run scored.
• Maui Ahuna went 2-for-5 with a run scored. He has 15 multi-hit games through the first 29 games this season. Ahuna extended his on-base streak to nine games.
Kansas (12-17) will look for the series sweep on Sunday against Illinois State at 1 p.m. CT. The game will stream on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio can be heard on the Jayhawk Sports Network.