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The Kansas Jayhawks traveled to Morgantown, West Virginia riding a hot streak. But despite the recent wins, there were legitimate questions about if they could continue playing well on the road and against some of the better teams in the conference. They answered that question emphatically this weekend, taking two out of three from the No. 19 Mountaineers. The Jayhawks would, unfortunately, snap their seven-game winning streak but would improve their overall record to 15-15.

Game 1

The ace of the Jayhawks, Collin Baumgartner, took to the mound in game one tossing four innings. He would surrender six hits, two runs, four walks, and strike out six Mountaineers. Baumgartner was followed by Trumper, Cranton, and Hewlett. These three pitchers shut the door on a potent West Virginia offense. They would finish the game, giving up only three hits, two walks, and striking out nine. Trumper tied a career-high with six strikeouts. When the pitching staff pitches at an elite level, they can compete with anyone.

The Jayhawks' offense got to a talented West Virginia starting pitcher, Ben Hampton. Kansas would force Hampton out of the game in 3 2/3 innings as he would give up seven hits, four runs, three walks, and four strikeouts. Head coach Dan Fitzgerald was pleased with the approach saying, “I’m really proud of how the guys competed. Their starter is really good, and we got him out early, and I thought our guys had a great approach against him and really the whole game.” Chase Jans continues to be hot at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs, and a run. Jans would extend his on-base streak to 24 games. Jake English would smash his sixth home run of the season, and Cole Elvis would connect for his fifth. The Jayhawks would win game one 5-3.

Game 2

Sam Ireland would take the baseball in game two pitching, 5 1/3 innings, and giving up seven hits, five runs, two walks, and five strikeouts. Similar in game one, three bullpen arms would follow the starter and essentially shut the door on the Mountaineers. Brasosky, Dougan, and Hewlett would finish the game giving up two hits, two runs, three walks, and four strikeouts. Heading into this series, the West Virginia bats were hot, and it would be a challenge for the Kansas pitching staff.

The Kansas bats proved they could overcome adversity as they started very slow in the first three innings of game two. The offense would erupt for six runs in two innings, starting in the 4th. Janson Reeder initiated the cascade of runs with an opposite-field home run getting the Jayhawks on the board, and this would carry over into the 5th. Mike Koszewski would lead off the inning with an HBP followed by a Jackson Cobb triple, scoring Koszewski. Freshman Jackson Klein, who has seen more time in the leadoff spot, would hit into a fielders choice scoring Cobb and tying the game 3-3. Cole Elvis had himself a weekend as he would connect for a three-run home run, his second in two days giving the Jayhawks a lead that they would not relinquish. Elvis said, “What it really comes down to it, we stick to our process and approach really well. It makes it really easy when guys have great at-bats, and guys find barrels.”

English would also homer in back-to-back games, his second time this season resulting in his seventh of the season. English leads the Jayhawks with seven overall. As discussed in the preview, we are beginning to see this Jayhawks' offense drive the baseball resulting in extra-base hits and home runs. Head coach Dan Fitzgerald said, “I could not be prouder of the guys. They have stayed really true to the process and competed at a high level. You have to keep hitting the rock, and at some point, it breaks. Right now, they’re doing a great job of that and have a great two-strike approach.”

Game 3

The Jayhawks did not fair well against the Mountaineers in game three, snapping their winning streak. Ethan Bradford would take to the mound pitching only a 1/3 of an inning, giving up two hits, five runs, two walks, and zero strikeouts. In the previous two games, the bullpen found a way to shut the door, but in game three, West Virginia got to the Kansas pitching staff. Hunter Cashero completed two innings of work, only giving up two hits. He would hand the baseball to Gavin Brasosky, who pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up four hits, three runs, two earned runs, and one strikeout. Trumper, Grant, and Evers would follow, giving up five hits, four runs, one walk, and one strikeout. The Mountaineers would combine for 13 hits, 12 RBIs, and only struck out twice.

The Jayhawks' offense was halted by Mountaineers' starting pitcher, Robby Porco. Porco would toss six innings, giving up three hits, two runs, one earned run, one walk, and an astounding 12 strikeouts. In total, the Jayhawks would strike out 14 times. Even though the offense hit a wall, Cole Elvis managed to go 2-for-5 in his third consecutive game with a home run. He would collect two RBIs and a run. Elvis would tie English with his seventh homer of the season and for the lead on the team.

This series was a confidence booster for the first-year coaching staff and the players. Kansas is now 5-4 in Big 12 play which is the best start since 2014. The Jayhawks have also now won back-to-back Big 12 series, which is the first time since 2017. Head coach Dan Fitzgerald was pleased saying, “I’m certainly happy with the series win, but not in any way happy with how we played today. I thought we did some really uncharacteristic things. The intent was great, and our want to win was awesome. We were locked in, had great preparation, and felt like we were ready to go. It got away from us in the first. We have all heard the adage that ‘you’re only as good as your starting pitching’. Bradford has been great for us a bunch of times, and today he was off. We had plenty of opportunities. They gave us plenty of opportunities to get back in the game, but we didn’t capitalize on anything. We got out of the process a little bit and have to get back to doing things the right way.”

The Jayhawks will now prepare to take on Texas Southern for a two-game series. This series is a part of the Buck O'Neil Classic, which begins on Tuesday, April 11th at 6:00 PM CST. Game one will be played at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas with Wednesday's game being played at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence, Kansas, at 3:00 PM CST.