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The Kansas Jayhawks got a fantastic opportunity to work on everything we covered in our series previews here on Blue Wings Rising as they they took advantage of the Baylor Bears in a three game series. The offense managed to score a total of 30 runs in three games, and the pitching staff limited the damage. The Jayhawks are now 12-14 this season.

Game 1

Game one was about the offense, as the Jayhawks' bats were hot from the first pitch. Kansas would tag Baylor's starting pitcher Mason Marriott with eight hits, five runs, and one walk in only three innings of work. The Jayhawks would combine for 16 hits, 12 RBIs, and walked four times. The only downside of the day for the offense was nine strikeouts. Freshman Kody Shojinaga went 4-for-5 driving in two RBIs and scoring one run. Shojinaga is having an impressive start to Big 12 play. In 21 at-bats, he has 11 hits, three doubles, five RBIs, and six runs. His slash line is noteworthy as it is .524/.524/.667. Cole Elvis also had a great game going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and drove in three RBIs. He is having a great start to Big 12 play, hitting .375/.423/.729 in 24 at-bats. Elvis has nine hits, four doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs, and has walked twice.

Collin Baumgartner pitched well, going 6 2/3 innings and giving up three runs on 109 pitches. He did allow ten hits and walked one batter but managed to strike out four. Baumgartner would hand the baseball to Kolby Dougan. Dougan finished the game by completing 2 1/3 innings, giving up two hits, one run, zero walks, and three strikeouts. Head coach Dan Fitzgerald said, “I think if you look at what we did well today, we had a great approach, and they stuck to it, and they didn’t come off of it. I thought the process was good, and I thought, obviously Baumgartner was awesome, as he has been, the only difference is we gave him runs support tonight.”

Game 2

Game two was very similar to game one from an offensive perspective. Kodey Shojinaga was an absolute terror for the Bears, going 4-for-5, scoring four runs, and driving in two. Shojinaga matches a career-high four hits in back-to-back games, last completed by former Jayhawk Maui Ahuna on March 19th and 20th in 2021. Cole Elvis also produced, going 3-for-4, driving in four RBIs, and scoring one run. He also slugged his third home run of the season. Kansas had 14 hits, 12 RBIs, 13 runs, and an impressive 11 walks. Coach Fitzgerald said, “I am proud of how our guys competed. When you compete at a high level, you give yourself an opportunity to have great things happen. Winning a series is a big deal, but it is like every other game now we have a new one to get ready for. I am proud of the guys and proud of their focus. I thought we have been very focused the last few games, and I am proud of how they have gone about it.”

Starting pitcher Sam Ireland completed five innings, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out two. It was not the best showing for Ireland, but when the offense manages thirteen runs, you have some flexibility. Ireland would hand the baseball to Thaniel Trumper, who would complete 2 1/3 innings, and he would hand the baseball to Stone Hewlett, who would finish the remaining 1 2/3 innings. Trumper and Hewlett would combine for two runs, two walks, and four hits.

Game 3

The Kansas Jayhawks honored World Autism Awareness Day by wearing an alternate jersey. Hoglund Ballpark created a sensory-inclusive environment as they silenced the stadium at 12:45 PM. The sound gradually increased each inning.

The bats were hot once again for the final game of the series. The only difference is the Jayhawks did not score as many runs, relying on their pitching staff to lockdown the Bears. Three players would have a multi-hit game Kline, Leto, and Jans. Jake English was the highlight going 1-for-1 with three walks and two runs. English came up clutch in the eighth inning and connected for a solo home run, his fifth of the season, putting the Jayhawks up 5-4. The Jayhawks are now 5-0 at home with their first Big 12 sweep since 2019 against the Kansas State Wildcats.

The Kansas pitchers had to lock in as Ethan Bradford started. He would toss four innings, giving up five hits, two runs, and one walk on 60 pitches. Bradford would hand the baseball to Brasosky. He would throw three innings giving up four hits, two runs, and three strikeouts. Finally, Hunter Cranton would finish the game, shutting down the Bears for two innings, giving up zero hits, runs, and walks. Coach Fitzgerald said, “I’m really proud of the guys. We had a great week. I thought we played a great midweek and just stuck to the process. I’m so proud of them. Through everything this weekend, I thought we played 27 complete innings of focus and intensity. We took the outcome out of it, which I think you have to. The season is too long and you play too many games to get tied into it. I’m just so proud of them sticking to it and really playing unselfish baseball.”

The Jayhawks will complete their five-game homestand with the Missouri State Bears coming to Hoglund Ballpark on Tuesday, March 4th, at 3:00 PM CST.