⚾️ Late Inning Offense Holds Off Illinois State for 13-9 Victory

LAWRENCE, Kan. — On a windy Friday evening at Hoglund Ballpark, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Illinois State Redbirds 13-9. The offense broke out, scoring five runs in the first and eight runs in the seventh, having four players register multi-hit games and finishing with double-digit hits.

Win: Daniel Hegarty (3-3)
Final line: 7.0 IP (career high), 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

Loss: Derek Salata (2-4)
Final line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 7 SO

• Illinois State (12-12) came out swinging in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Ryan Cermak hit a solo home run to start the game.
• Kansas responded with five runs in the bottom of the first. Redshirt senior outfielder Tom Lichty had a 2-run single, followed by back-to-back home runs from redshirt freshman outfielder Jack Hammond and redshirt senior outfielder Caleb Upshaw to make the score 5-1.
• Neither team scored again until the seventh inning.
• Two runs in the top of the seventh by the Redbirds was answered with eight runs in the bottom half of the inning by KU.
• A balk, hit by pitch and Lichty sacrifice fly brought in the first three runs of the inning. Hammond, redshirt freshman first baseman Cooper McMurray and redshirt junior third baseman Dylan Ditzenberger each had run-scoring hits to bring the lead to 13-3.
• Illinois State cut into the lead with six runs in the eighth inning making it a 13-9 game.
• Following a walk to leadoff the ninth inning, sophomore Kolby Dougan got Illinois State to fly out, strikeout and groundout to end the game.

Daniel Hegarty. Hegarty tossed his second consecutive quality start, allowing only three runs over seven innings, while walking none and striking out four. His seven innings pitched were a career high.

8. Kansas scored eight runs in the seventh inning. The eight runs were the most scored by the Jayhawks in an inning this season and the most in an inning since scoring eight runs in the seventh inning against Missouri on March 30, 2021.

“When I began starting, my mindset was to fill up the zone and let my defense work. I have some of the best guys in the middle infield, great outfielders and great defenders all around. Coach Graves and I talked about just filling up the strike zone and letting the defense do its job.” – Daniel Hegarty

• Kansas scored 13 runs, its seventh time this season with at least 10 runs.
• Kansas’ eight runs in the seventh inning was the most in an inning this season. The last time KU scored eight runs in an inning was March 30, 2021 vs. Missouri.
• Kansas hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning (Jack Hammond and Caleb Upshaw). They are the second pair with back-to-back home runs this season (Chase Jans and Tavian Josenberger on March 9 at Charleston Southern).
• Hegarty threw a quality start for the second consecutive week. He has started the last three Friday’s and allowed four runs or fewer in all three starts.
• Hammond went 2-for-5 with a triple, home run, four RBIs and two runs scored. The triple was the first of his career.
• Lichty finished 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. The three RBIs match his season high (March 13 vs. Michigan State).
• Ditzenberger had two hits on the night.
• Upshaw hit his fourth home run of the season. He is tied for the team lead in home runs with Maui Ahuna and Hammond.
• Josenberger went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Josenberger has eight multi-hit games this season.
• Ahuna extended his on-base streak to eight games.

Kansas (11-17) will play game two of the series against Illinois State on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The game will stream on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio can be heard on the Jayhawk Sports Network.