⚾️ Metcalf, Kansas Finish Trip with 13-9 Victory
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Nolan Metcalf hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to help lead the Kansas Jayhawks to a 13-9 win over the Air Force Falcons on Wednesday afternoon at Falcon Field. Metcalf had the first five-hit game of the season for Kansas, finishing the day 5-for-5 with a career-high three doubles, his first career grand slam and career highs of six RBIs and five runs scored.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Payton Allen (2-1)
Final line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
Loss: Stevan Fairburn Jr. (0-1)
Final line: 3.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Kansas jumped out early for a second straight day with four runs in the first inning. Redshirt senior Nolan Metcalf came up with two runners on and hit an RBI double. Sophomore Maui Ahuna would then score on a passed ball before redshirt senior Caleb Upshaw hit a long two-run homer to left-center field.
• In the second inning, redshirt freshman Cooper McMurray led off with a solo home run on the first pitch to make the score 5-0.
• KU added two more runs in the third inning on a Metcalf RBI double and an RBI single by redshirt freshman Jack Hammond.
• Air Force (19-22) would cut the lead to 7-5 after a two-run homer in the third inning and three runs in the fourth inning.
• Both teams would exchange RBI singles in the fifth inning with Hammond delivering the hit for the Jayhawks to make the score 8-6.
• Again, both schools would exchange runs in the eighth with KU scoring on an RBI fielder’s choice from redshirt senior Tom Lichty and Air Force scoring on a wild pitch.
• Metcalf stepped up again in the eighth inning with the bases loaded this time and delivered a grand slam for his fifth hit of the day. That pushed the score to 13-7.
• The Falcons were able to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but the Kansas lead was too much.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Nolan Metcalf: Metcalf had a career day at the plate. He set new career highs with three doubles, six RBIs and five runs scored. The grand slam that he hit was the first of his career and his five hits matched his career high. Metcalf had four extra-base hits for the first time in his career.
NUMBER OF THE GAME
475: Caleb Upshaw’s home run in the first inning traveled 475 feet. The exit velocity on the ball was 106 miles per hour and the launch angle was 32 degrees.
“Tremendous offensive performance by our guys today. To be 5-for-5 with three doubles and a grand slam, that’s obviously the greatest game of his KU career. Not only is he playing big time offense, he’s playing big time defense. Then, Payton Allen goes from third base to the mound and pitches four innings for us when our bullpen was short. He was the difference in the ballgame.
One of the great things about playing Tuesdays and Wednesdays is it gives you momentum with your offense moving into the weekend. We have had two good offensive days in a row so we should feel confident going into the weekend with West Virginia.” – Head Coach Ritch Price
• Metcalf is the first Jayhawk with three doubles in a game since Michael Tinsley vs. Benedictine on March 30, 2016.
• Metcalf is the third Jayhawk to hit a grand slam this season (Maui Ahuna and Hammond).
• Metcalf’s six RBIs matched the most by a Jayhawk this season (Hammond on March 20 at Indiana State).
• Metcalf’s five hits were the most by a Jayhawk this season and the most since Skyler Messinger at Lafayette on March 23, 2021.
• Upshaw hit his team-high eighth home run of the season.
• Tavian Josenberger extended his on-base streak to 17 games.
• McMurray hit his fifth home run of the season.
• Ahuna had his 21st multi-hit game of the season.
Kansas (17-24) will host West Virginia in Big 12 play for a weekend series at Hoglund Ballpark beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. Tickets for the weekend can be purchased by clicking here. The game will be streamed on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio can be heard on the Jayhawk Sports Network.