MINNEAPOLIS – Kansas scored runs in bunches to defeat South Dakota State, 13-1, and claim the decisive game of a season-opening three-game college baseball series Sunday morning at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Jayhawks, 2-1 overall, took advantage of a leadoff walk to score in the bottom of the first, then pulled out to a 4-0 lead with a three-run third inning. Nolan Metcalf drove in the initial run of the third inning with a single up the middle and later scored with Anthony Tulimero on a two-run double by Skyler Messinger.
SDSU loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the fifth, but could only plate one run against Kansas starter Eli Davis. Jordan Sagedahl led off with an infield single and scored on a single to right field by Jess Bellows. However, the next two Jackrabbit hitters were retired on a foul out and a double-play grounder to end the threat and the inning.
Bellows tallied two of SDSU’s seven hits in his collegiate debut.
Kansas put the game out of reach on a three-run homer by Metcalf, his second round-tripper of the series, in the bottom of the fifth. The Jayhawks tacked on two more runs in the sixth thanks to back-to-back doubles by Maui Ahuna and Casey Burnham, then put four runs on the board in the seventh on a Messinger single for his third RBI of the game and a pinch-hit run-scoring triple by Blaine Ray.
Metcalf was 4-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the Jayhawks’ 13-hit attack.
Jackrabbit starter Ryan Bourassa took the loss after allowing four runs through three innings. He struck out three and walked four. Six different SDSU pitchers took to the mound in the game.
Davis and Jayhawk reliever Cole Larsen combined for 16 strikeouts in the contest. Davis earned the win after striking out seven and walking three in five innings. Larsen pitched four shutout innings and struck out nine Jackrabbits in being credited with a save.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to play a four-game series Feb. 26-28 at Northern Colorado. Friday’s series opener is set for a 2 p.m. Mountain Time (3 p.m. Central) first pitch at Jackson Field in Greeley, Colorado.
• SDSU 8, Kansas 5
Cody Carlson pitched into the sixth inning and Luke Ira homered and drove in a career-high four runs to lead South Dakota State.
All of SDSU’s runs came in only two innings. Trailing 1-0, the Jackrabbits hung a 5-spot on the board in the top of the fifth inning, sending eight men to the plate. Freshman Jordan Sagedahl was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a bunt single by Jamie Berg. After Landon Badger reached on an error to load the bases, Ira gave the Jackrabbits the lead with a two-run single to center field. Drew Beazley made it 3-1 with a run-scoring double, while the last two runs of the inning scored on sacrifice flies by Ryan McDonald and Derek Hackman.
Kansas drew back within a run with a three-run bottom of the sixth. A double by Brett Vosik plated the first run and knocked Carlson out of the game, but not before the senior left-hander from Rapid City racked up six strikeouts en route to his first victory as a Jackrabbit.
The Jayhawks’ Nolan Metcalf then greeted SDSU reliever Jack Sullivan with a two-run homer to left-center to make it a 5-4 game.
SDSU pushed the lead back to four runs with a three-run top of the eighth. Colton Cox was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and scored on a Jayhawk error before Ira provided the final cushion with a two-run homer to center field.
Kansas trimmed the lead to 8-5 with an unearned run of its own in the bottom of the eighth, but Bret Barnett came on to record the final four outs for the save. SDSU turned its third double play of the game for the first two outs of the final inning.
Four Jackrabbit pitchers combined to tally 10 strikeouts in the game. Besides Carlson’s six K’s, Eli Sundquist notched three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings and Barnett’s lone strikeout ended the game.
The Jackrabbits finished with an 8-5 advantage in hits. Beazley was 3-for-5, with Ira going 2-for-5.
• Kansas 7, SDSU 3
MINNEAPOLIS – Kansas scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and tacked on single runs each of the next two innings to pull away.
The Jayhawks’ rally came after SDSU tied the game at 3-all with a three-run top of the fifth. Wyatt Andersen started the Jackrabbit outburst with a double to right-center and scored on a base hit by Derek Hackman. Freshman second baseman Avery Mellman then stepped to the plate and launched a game-tying two-run home run to center field.
SDSU reliever Brett Mogen, who struck out the side in order in the bottom of the fifth for his first inning of work, appeared to work around a leadoff double by Anthony Tulimero in the sixth by retiring the next two hitters before an error extended the inning. After a walk, Casey Burnham singled home both Tulimero and Conner VanCleave for the go-ahead runs.
Tulimero pushed the Kansas lead to 6-3 with a solo homer in the seventh and Skyler Messinger scampered home on a wild pitch in the eighth after leading off the frame with a single to center. Tulimero was 3-for-3, adding a pair of doubles and scoring three times in leading the Jayhawks’ nine-hit attack.
Kansas scored the first run of the game on an RBI groundout in the home half of the third and upped its lead to 3-0 in the fourth on a James Cosentino two-run home run in the fourth off Jackrabbit starter Adam Mazur.
Mazur struck out four over four innings in a no-decision, while Mogen took the loss despite fanning six in three innings of work.
Ryan Cyr worked the first seven innings for Kansas to earn the victory. He struck out 11 and did not walk a batter while allowing six hits.
Jamie Berg was the lone Jackrabbit with more than one hit, going 2-for-3 at the plate.