Sems, Jayhawks sweep Missouri State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Backed by strong pitching, the Kansas baseball team completed the season sweep over Missouri State, defeating the Bears, 11-6, Tuesday evening at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (17-15) used five pitchers, including three southpaws, to disrupt a Missouri State (11-21) offense that entered the night on a hot streak.
Junior reliever Nathan Barry (2-0) earned the win with a career-high two and 2/3 innings pitched. He held off the Bears after sophomore starter Steve Washilewski gave Kansas four innings.
Washilewski has struck out 15 batters in nine and 1/3 innings of work spanning two starts against the Bears.
The Jayhawk bats stayed hot from the weekend and blasted Missouri State pitching for 11 runs off 16 hits, including six doubles and a home run by sophomore second baseman James Cosentino.
Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems boasted a 4-for-5 performance with a double, two runs scored and a RBI. Sophomore third baseman Skyler Messinger tied a career-high knocking in three RBIs.
Missouri State starter Nick Schmidt (0-1) earned the loss after he allowed three runs off four hits in two innings pitched.
- Kansas designated hitter Tom Lichty has six hits and six RBI’s in his last six games
- In the last four games, junior shortstop Benjamin Sems is hitting .529 (9-for-17) with six RBIs.
- In his two starts against Missouri State this season, sophomore starting pitcher Steve Washilewski has 15 punchouts and three earned runs in nine and 1/3 innings pitched.
- Senior right fielder Blake Shinkle recorded his first hit on the season roping a two-run double to give the Jayhawks a five-run lead.
- The Jayhawks have scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2018 season. They lost 12-18 and won 10-3 on back-to-back days against Northwestern on February 24th and 25th.
- Kansas has won five of their last six games against Missouri State. Before that, the Jayhawks were winless in eight-straight games versus the Bears.
Head coach Ritch Price
On the state of the team heading into the weekend against Oklahoma State:
“There is nobody in the country that has played a tougher schedule than we’ve played the last month. It’s been four top-25 teams with really tough mid-week games as well. It has prepared us. We are making progress with the bats, we did it against Baylor, and we continued it last weekend. We’re making progress with the bat, this team has played phenomenal defense all year. We need good weekend starting pitching and if we continue to make progress with the bats, we have got the chance to be a good team.”
On Benjamin Sems heating up with the bat:
“I think he’s doing a better job laying off the off-speed pitch out of the zone which is what was getting him out here a couple weeks ago. He’s doing a really great job of being on time with the fastball and staying in the middle of the diamond. He’s made some good adjustments and it’s paying off for him.”
On Steve Washilewski’s performance this season:
“When he’s in the zone, he’s effective. He’s gotten quick with his fastball, but his changeup and his breaking ball takes his fastball. That’s what he’s been good at, throwing strikes and letting us play defense. Tonight, he walked more guys than usual.”
Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems
On how his offensive approach has changed:
“Honestly, nothing’s really changed. I’m just getting a little lucky; balls are finally starting to drop. Just continuing to build up my confidence.”
The Jayhawks continue Big 12 play April 12-14 when they play host to Oklahoma State at Hoglund Ballpark.