After dropping the series opener on Tuesday, Kansas baseball’s bats came alive to take down Air Force by a score of 11-6 on Wednesday.
The Falcons got the scoring started early with a four-hit, two-run second inning that was immediately countered by RBIs from senior center fielder Rudy Karre and junior second baseman James Cosentino.
Karre and Cosentino led the Jayhawks with two RBIs each on the day.
Kansas used a total of nine pitchers on the day as redshirt senior starter Ryan Ralston was chased early after just two innings. Redshirt junior reliever Nathan Barry (3-0) earned the victory after getting out of a jam and allowing just one hit over two total innings.
"To come into the game with the bases loaded and a two-ball count, I thought it was a fabulous job to get out of that inning," Kansas coach Ritch Price said in a Kansas Athletics press release.
A throwing error in the bottom of the fifth put the Falcons up 5-4, but the Jayhawks’ offense wasn’t quite finished. In the top of the seventh, Groshans drove in Cosentino with a double, sophomore Tom Lichty knocked in Groshans with a pinch-hit single and Lichty scored on a fielder’s choice by sophomore first baseman Conner VanCleave.
This four-run outburst gave Kansas a lead which it never relinquished.
"Obviously, it was awesome to watch — to see Cosentino, Groshans and Vosik all hit on the same day — it was fabulous," Price said. "Look what it does to our lineup — the number of runs that we scored and the number of hits that we had.
The Jayhawks added three more insurance runs in the top of the ninth as Karre, Lichty and junior left fielder Brett Vosik each drove in a run.
Redshirt sophomore closer Jonah Ulane continued his strong season as he closed out the Falcons in the ninth inning, allowing one earned run in the process. Air Force’s Joe Martinez took the loss after allowing five hits and four earned runs over two innings.
Now after a slight break, the Jayhawks will head back into conference play against Texas.
"There's no doubt it's a step up in competition, there's a step up in talent you're competing against, there's a huge step up in the velocity of the pitching staffs in the Big 12," Price said in the release. "You have to be at the same level every day."
Kansas will return to Lawrence for a three-game set with Texas at Hoglund Ballpark with the first game beginning at 6 p.m. Friday night.