The Kansas Jayhawks baseball program completed a three-game weekend sweep of the #20 St John’s Red Storm at Hoglund Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.
In Game 1 on Friday afternoon, a 5-run third inning sparked by first baseman Owen Taylor’s 2-run homer led the Jayhawks over the Red Storm by a 7-4 score. Leadoff hitter CF Rudy Karre went 4-for-5 with a triple and two run scored to jumpstart the KU offense. Jackson Goddard (4-0) pitched five innings and Ryan Cyr faced the minimum in three innings of relief to ice the series opener.
Game 1 Highlights:
#KUbaseball rallied from an early 3-0 deficit yesterday to beat No. 20 St. John's 7-4 #RockChalk pic.twitter.com/sTKO5NtL6f— Kansas Baseball (@KUBaseball) March 10, 2018
In Game 2 on Saturday afternoon, KU starting pitcher Taylor Turski (1-2) was nearly perfect through 4.2 innings before back-to-back doubles by St. John’s ended the no hitter and the shutout. KU pitchers limited St. John’s to five hits on the day as KU posted a 6-1 victory. RF Brendt Citta went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored, and an RBI to lead the Jayhawk offense.
Game 2 Highlights:
️ Big series win for the Jayhawks!! pic.twitter.com/5gwOuBEA6z— Kansas Baseball (@KUBaseball) March 11, 2018
In Game 3 on Suday afternoon, KU held off a ninth inning rally to sweep the Red Storm by a 6-5 score. Starting pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn went 6 IP with five strikeouts and only two runs allowed. Ryn Cyr (2-1) picked up the win in relief, and closer Zack Leban picked up his 7th save of the season despite a shaky ninth inning that saw St. John’s score two runs and put the tying run on third base with just one out. However, Leban was able to induce a popup to second and a groundout to end the game.
The big blow for KU came in the bottom of the 7th inning, when pinch hitter Skyler Messinger stepped up to the plate in a 3-3 game with two men on. Messinger sent a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall to give KU the cushion it would eventually need to clinch the game and the sweep.
7️⃣ Messinger put a charge into that one for his first-career home run and a three-run #KUbaseball lead!!! KU 6, SJU 3. pic.twitter.com/Jabjh5APrP— Kansas Baseball (@KUBaseball) March 11, 2018
It was KU’s first weekend sweep of a top-25 team since #19 Texas Tech back in 2014.
Kansas moves to 11-4 on the season and will host Omaha in a midweek affair on Wednesday, March 14. Big 12 play opens up next weekened as KU travels to Austin, Texas, for a three-game set with the Longhorns.