Kansas baseball grinded out a close game Sunday on the road against St. Louis, winning in extra innings 7-5. The Jayhawks ended the weekend on a high note, taking the series against SLU 2-1.
Redshirt sophomore left-hand pitcher Eli Davis got the start for the Jayhawks, going up against sophomore Scott Youngbrandt for the Billikens. Davis pitched well for KU in his first two starts, allowing just three runs between the games to go with 13 strikeouts.
Both pitchers were taking care of business until the third inning came. Freshman shortstop Maui Ahuna got things going for Kansas in the top of the third with a single to left field. A sacrifice bunt got Ahuna over into scoring position. Redshirt sophomore Dylan Ditzenberger hit a single, followed by redshirt freshman Anthony Tulimero's sacrifice fly, and the Jayhawks got the first run on the board. Redshirt junior first-baseman Nolan Metcalf then reached on an error, bringing in two more runs for the Jayhawks.
St. Louis was able to answer right away in the bottom half of the third inning. Davis lost his command a little bit, walking the first two batters. SLU tied the game up 3-3 after a single, a passed ball and an RBI groundout.
Ahuna was able to get it going again in the seventh for KU with his second base hit of the game. Freshman Tavian Josenberger followed with a double bringing in Ahuna. Another double smacked by Ditzenberger gave Kansas the lead 5-3.
Once again, SLU was able to answer in the bottom of the inning, tying the game up 5-5 after a double and a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Billikens made it interesting, putting two runners on base with no outs. Redshirt junior Daniel Hegarty came in for relief for Davis, and was able to get a strikeout and a double play to get out of the jam.
The game then went into extra innings after strong performances out of the bullpen for both teams.
The opportunity came for the Jayhawks in the 12th inning, after a leadoff walk by redshirt sophomore Casey Burnham. SLU recorded two outs, but a wild pitch was able to score Burnham. Shortly after, redshirt sophomore outfielder Jack Wagner singled to right field, extending the lead to 7-5 in favor of Kansas.
Redshirt junior right-hand pitcher Jonah Ulane came in to close it out for the Jayhawks in the bottom of the 12th inning, earning his third save of the season.
Hegarty earned the win, who came up very big for KU. In 4.1 innings pitched, he allowed no runs on just two hits and one walk, and struck out five batters. He potentially saved the game for the Jayhawks getting the double play to retire the bottom of the eighth inning.
Kansas outed SLU for the weekend series 2-1, bringing their record to 5-5 on the season. The Jayhawks have their home opener on Friday for a weekend series against Omaha. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.