Mesa, Ariz. A six-run eighth inning helped Kansas University’s baseball team clinch its first win of the season Thursday, as the Jayhawks defeated Washington, 11-8, on the first day of the Big 12/PAC 12 Challenge.
Seniors Justin Protacio and Dakota Smith and freshman Matt McLaughlin recorded three hits apiece, and the Jayhawks had 18 base knocks on the day.
Senior Blair Beck fueled the KU offense early by belting his second home run of the season in the second and then legging out a triple to lead off the fourth.
Sophomore Stephen Villines earned the win by coming on to punch out Will Sparks to end the eighth and then striking out the side in the ninth.
The Jayhawks, 1-3, will be back in action at 5:30 p.m. tonight against Utah for its second game of the four-day long Big 12/PAC 12 Challenge. KU ace Drew Morovick is slated to take the mound against Utah’s Dalton Carroll.
Kansas will take on Utah today at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona before playing the final two games of the Big 12/PAC 12 Challenge against Washington State and Oregon State on Saturday and Sunday in Surprise, Arizona.
Washington 031 300 010 — 8 10 1
Kansas 021 200 06x — 11 18 1
W — Stephen Villines (1-0). L — Brandon Choate (0-1).
2B — Colby Wright 2, Dakota Smith 2, Connor McKay, KU; Will Sparks 2, Chris Baker, Alex Schmidt, Jack Meggs, UW.
3B — Blair Beck, KU.
HR — Blair Beck, KU; Austin Rel, UW.