⚾️ Lichty, Ahuna Power Jayhawks to Series Sweep
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas Jayhawks secured a series sweep on Sunday afternoon with a 10-5 victory against the Illinois State Redbirds at Hoglund Ballpark. Redshirt senior outfielder Tom Lichty hit two home runs and sophomore shortstop Maui Ahuna also homered and went 3-for-3, upping his season average to .446 through 30 games. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Ryan Vanderhei tossed a career-high seven innings and matched his career high of nine strikeouts.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Ryan Vanderhei (5-2)
Final line: 7.0 IP (career high), 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 9 SO (ties career high)
Loss: Sean Sinisko (1-3)
Final line: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 SO
HOW IT HAPPENED
• After a scoreless first two innings, Kansas burst out for five runs in the third inning. A 2-run triple by redshirt freshman outfielder Jack Hammond, an RBI double from redshirt senior outfielder Caleb Upshaw and a 2-run homer by redshirt senior outfielder Tom Lichty made the score 5-0 after three.
• Illinois State (12-14) trimmed the lead to 5-3 following a run in the fourth and a 2-run homer in the fifth.
• Lichty came up again in the fifth with two runners on and two outs. He sent a three-run blast out to left-center field to push the lead to 8-3.
• A two-run homer off the bat of Ahuna in the sixth inning extended the advantage to 10-3.
• Ryan Vanderhei struck out nine over seven innings and finished his outing with a strikeout looking in the seventh inning.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Tom Lichty. Lichty had his first career multi-home run game. He finished 3-for-4 with two home runs, a season-high five RBIs and two runs scored.
NUMBER OF THE GAME
408. Ahuna’s home run traveled 408 feet. The exit velocity was 97 miles per hour and its launch angle was 28 degrees.
“Ryan Vanderhei walked out there today and gave us another quality start. The way the field was playing with the wind blowing out it was going to come down to starting pitching. All three of our guys pitched as well as they possibly could and gave us an opportunity to win and we broke out with the bats. Now, we need to keep that momentum going into next week.” – Head Coach Ritch Price
“Going into today we knew that Illinois State had a good offense. The key was getting the slider down and getting the fastball in the zone. I just tried to give the team a chance to win today anyway possible.” – Ryan Vanderhei
• Kansas secured its first three-game series sweep of the season and the first since a four-game series sweep vs. Creighton from March 19-21, 2021.
• Kansas recorded 12 hits on Sunday afternoon. The Jayhawks have at least 10 hits in five straight games for the first time since February 17-March 2, 2013 (eight games).
• Lichty went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a season-high five RBIs and two runs scored. It was his first career multi-home run game. He is the fifth Jayhawk to have a multi-HR game this season (Nolan Metcalf, Jack Hammond, Chase Jans and Tavian Josenberger).
• Vanderhei’s seven innings were a career high and his nine strikeouts matched a career high. He earned his fifth win of the season.
• Ahuna finished 3-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs a walk and two runs scored. His five home runs this season lead the team. He extended his on-base streak to 10 games.
• Ahuna has 16 multi-hit games through the first 30 games, including eight three-hit performances this season.
• Tavian Josenberger went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored. He has a six-game hitting streak.
Kansas (13-17) will wrap up its four-game homestand against Nebraska-Omaha on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. CT. The game will stream on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio can be heard on the Jayhawk Sports Network.