KU baseball claims 1st win in Taiwan

Originally published July 6, 2018 at 12:34 p.m., updated July 6, 2018 at 12:33 p.m.

Ryan Zeferjahn and the Kansas baseball team got off to a good start during the 2018 World University Baseball Championship at Chiayi City Baseball Field Friday morning.

Zeferjahn, who will be a junior next spring, helped list the USA Team to a 16-1 win over Hong Kong in the first game of pool play. Zeferjahn threw 35 pitches in three innings of work, retiring all nine batters he faced. Daniel Hegarty and Nathan Barry then closed out the final three frames to finish off the win.

"I was really pleased with the way Zeferjahn threw today," Kansas head coach Ritch Price said in a team release. "We were concerned about having some jetlag and being tired. Obviously it starts with starting pitching, and Zeferjahn was as good as he has been. We were able to keep his pitch count at 35 and now he will have four days rest before he goes out there again."

The Jayhawks supported Zeferjahn's performance with a 12-0 advantage in the first three innings. They scored two in the first, six in the second and four in the third. Skyler Messinger, who will be a sophomore, paced the offense with a pair of hits, including a double and three RBIs. His two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning finished off a 15-run mercy rule.

Kansas plays Japan Sunday at 12 a.m. (CT) at Chiayi City Baseball Field. The game will be streamed live on livestream.com/FISU and at YouTube.com/FISUTV.