⚾️ Offense Leads KU to 13-7 Victory Against Michigan State
GREENVILLE, S.C. — On a brisk afternoon, the Kansas Jayhawks beat the Michigan State Spartans 13-7 in the final game of the First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field. Kansas scored 10 runs over the final four innings to seal the game.
Kansas got the scoring started in the second inning courtesy of a two-run homer off the bat of redshirt freshman first baseman Cooper McMurray. However, Michigan State was able to answer with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-2 lead.
The teams would exchange runs in the fourth inning to make the score 4-3. The Kansas offense then began to break out in the sixth.
Five KU runs crossed the plate in the sixth inning. A bases-clearing, three-run triple by Ahuna, a wild pitch and a ground-rule RBI double by redshirt senior outfielder Caleb Upshaw gave Kansas an 8-4 advantage.
Kansas would add to its lead in the seventh with three more runs. Ahuna had an infield RBI single and redshirt senior outfielder Tom Lichty hit a 2-run double down the right field line. Ahuna finished with a career-high 5 RBIs.
Michigan State responded with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but that was all they would get the remainder of the game.
In the ninth, KU added two insurance runs on an RBI groundout by redshirt sophomore Zac Cox and an RBI single from Lichty. Lichty had his first multi-hit game of the season.
On the mound, redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Ryan Vanderhei started and earned the win. He threw six innings, allowing four runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out four. Sophomore righty Kolby Dougan and redshirt senior lefty Daniel Hegarty handled the last two innings.
Kansas finishes its road trip with a 4-3 record and improves to 7-7 overall. Michigan State falls to 7-7 on the season.
The Jayhawks will now go on another road trip to Springfield, Missouri, and Terre Haute, Indiana. Kansas will play on Wednesday against Missouri State at 3 p.m. CT before taking on Indiana State for a three-game series over the weekend. All the games will be live streamed on ESPN+ and live audio can be heard Jayhawk Sports Network.
• Kansas finished its season-long 11-day road trip with a 4-3 record.
• Kansas scored a season-high-tying 13 runs.
• Kansas drew a season-high 11 walks. That is the most walks in a game by a KU team since March 23, 2021 at Lafayette (14). In contrast, Kansas struck out a season-low-tying four times.
• Maui Ahuna recorded a career-high 5 RBIs. He went 2-for-2 with a triple, 5 RBI and three walks.
• Ahuna has nine multi-hit performances through the first 14 games, including five contests with three hits.
• Ahuna has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games dating back to last season.
• Tom Lichty had his first multi-hit game of the season and a season-high 3 RBIs.
• Casey Burnham matched his career high with three hits.
• Cooper McMurray hit his second home run of the season.
• Zac Cox tallied his first career RBI.