GREENVILLE, S.C. – In a game that featured steady offensive production from both sides, the Kansas baseball team defeated Furman, 11-7, on Friday night at Latham Stadium.
Junior starting pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn (4-2) paced the Jayhawks (21-19) through six innings against the Paladins (17-25). He ran into trouble in the seventh, though, when he was charged two more earned runs, bringing his game total to six. Despite struggling with control at times, the right-hander punched out nine batters while walking three.
The Paladins took the lead in the first inning on a home run by catcher Dax Roper. The lead didn’t last long, as junior left fielder Brett Vosik launched a grand slam over the left field wall in the third inning.
Furman’s three seventh inning runs brought them within one run, but Kansas stormed back with three runs of its own in the final two innings and didn’t allow another score.
Sophomore first baseman Nolan Metcalf put forth his best performance as a Jayhawk, going 5-for-5 from the plate with a walk, a run and a RBI.
Sophomore third baseman Skyler Messingerwas also perfect from the dish, recording four hits in four at-bats. In addition, he walked twice and scored three runs.
Relief pitchers Daniel Hegarty, Blake Goldsberry and Jonah Ulane combined to pitch the final two and 2/3 innings and allowed one run.
- Sophomore first baseman Nolan Metcalf’s five hits were a new career high, eclipsing his previous total of three against then-No. 20 West Virginia on April 21, 2019.
- Sophomore third baseman Skyler Messinger recorded a new career high in hits with four. His previous best was three against Morehead State on March 31, 2018.
- Messinger scored three runs in the matchup, marking a new career high. Previously, he scored twice against then-No. 25 Oklahoma on March 24, 2019.
- Messinger also tied his career high with two walks against Furman. He last had two walks against Northern Illinois on March 1, 2019.
- Junior left fielder Brett Vosik doubled his previous career-high RBI total of two by driving in four baserunners against Furman. He’s knocked in two RBIs 11 times in his career, most recently against Central Connecticut State on March 12, 2019.
- Vosik’s grand slam was Kansas’ first since Ty Denzer achieved the feat on April 24, 2015 against Samford.
- Senior center fielder Rudy Karre extended his hitting streak to seven games.
- Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans extended his hitting streak to six games.
Head coach Ritch Price
On sophomore first baseman Nolan Metcalf’s performance…
“It’s really helped us offensively, big time, starting with last weekend’s series. Combine that with what he did today, it’s been really nice to see. [His batting average] was under .200 going into last weekend, and now it’s up to .300. He’s turning it around in a hurry.”
On sophomore third baseman Skyler Messinger’s performance…
“It’s been nice to see. The back end of our lineup actually contributed big time today, and it ended up being a great team win.”
The Jayhawks take on Furman in the second game of the series tomorrow, with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.
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