Summer ball motivates Jayhawks into fall baseball

LAWRENCE, Kan. –As the school year begins, members of the KU baseball team return from summer ball after leaving lasting impressions on their respective programs.

Two Jayhawks found themselves selected to their league’s All-Star game. Seniors Luke Bakula and Chase Kaplan were on the roster for the South All-Stars game in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) and West Coast League (WCL), respectively.

Bakula played for the New Bedford Bay Socks putting up 48 hits, 15 RBIs and a batting average of .300. Six of those hits were extra-base knocks (four doubles, one triple and one home run). Bakula was tied for fifth place in the league for most hits and was named the starting designated hitter in the all-star game.

Kaplan ended his third summer with the Corvallis Knights with a 2.41 ERA and a 3-1 record. He picked up six saves throughout the season striking out 31 batters in 16 games. He added another save to the books in the all-star game before being named to the First-Team All-WCL.

Another two KU players found themselves in the playoffs over the summer. Sophomore Jaxx Groshans appeared in six playoff games for the Orleans Firebirds and sophomore Brett Vosik appeared in the lone playoff series for the Elmira Pioneers.

In the playoffs, Groshans batted .421 average, with eight hits and three RBIs. On the season, he held a .291 average and put up 17 RBIs. Of the Magnolia, Texas native’s 34 hits, he hit three doubles and four home runs. 

Vosik had two at-bats in the last playoff game of the series, hitting a single and scoring once against the Jamestown Jammers. While the Pioneers lost that series, they had a winning season and Vosik helped them to a 27-23 record. The Omaha, Nebraska native put up 12 RBIs and had 29 hits in 32 games played.

Senior Owen Taylor spent his summer with the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks. He batted a .333 clip with 18 RBIs. The Grand Junction, Colorado native amassed 30 hits on the season with three homeruns.

Freshman, Jonah Ulane, put up a 4-2 record and a 2.97 ERA on the season. He pitched 42 1/3 innings for the Danville Dans in 28 appearances, throwing 75 strikeouts and
earning nine saves. Sophomore Ryan Zeferjahn pitched well enough for the Falmouth Commodores to earn a 2.40 ERA with 6 saves in 13 appearances.

Sophomore Benjamin Sems racked up a .350 batting average with 20 RBIs and five homeruns for Great Bend in 27 games while Brendt Citta held a .284 batting average with 19 hits and six RBIs for the Nevada Griffons.

Incoming freshman Conner Van Cleave saw action this summer both in the field and on the mound in the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League. He batted .259 and had three RBIs. On the hill, he earned a 3-0 record with a 1.89 ERA, pitching a total of 19 innings.

The Jayhawks look to continue this momentum into the fall as they begin their individual workouts.




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