Alex DeLeon’s 3-run HR lifts Jayhawks over Baker

COURTESY: KU Sports Information

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Kevin Kuntz and junior Tucker Tharp each had two hits and multiple stolen bases, while Alex DeLeon hit a three-run homer as Kansas downed Baker University, 7-1, Wednesday night in a non-conference game at Hoglund Ballpark.

The Jayhawks improve to 25-15 overall, while Baker falls to 6-34.

KU’s offense used a two-run second inning and a four-run fourth to claim its 25th victory of the season – more than it had all of 2012. After spotting the Wildcats a 1-0 lead, the Jayhawks took the lead in the second as Tharp collected an RBI single and sacrifice fly by Justin Protacio.

The Jayhawks put the game away in the fourth as Kuntz delivered an RBI single and DeLeon blasted his fifth home run of the season into the trees beyond the left field fence. The inning was set up by a walk to Tharp and a hit by pitch to start the inning. KU drew eight walks and took free bases on four hit-by-pitches.

KU’s bullpen did the rest as the tandem of Drew Morovick, Junior Mustain, Colin Toalson and Hayden Edwards combined for seven scoreless innings, allowing just four base runners. The Wildcats collected just one hit – a pinch-hit single in the ninth by Nathan Growcock – over the final four frames.

Morovick earned his third victory of the season, matching his total from his freshman season. The sophomore righty went three innings in relief of Tanner Poppe and allowed no runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout. Mustain pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts.

KU’s offense produced just six hits in the game, but the Jayhawks scored seven runs with the help of eight walks and six stolen bases. Kuntz became the fourth different Jayhawk to record three stolen bases in a game this season. KU’s season total of 76 steals is the most since 2003, when it recorded 80 stolen bases.

The Jayhawks will return to conference play on Friday when they travel to West Virginia to meet the Mountaineers for the first time in program history. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT.

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