Jayhawk baseball powers past Missouri Valley College

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COURTESY: KU Sports Information

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Alex DeLeon and sophomore Connor McKay both homered and combined for five RBIs as Kansas earned its third-straight win with a 10-1 triumph over Missouri Valley College at chilly Hoglund Ballpark Thursday evening.

The Jayhawks move to 20-12 on the year, while the Vikings fall to 2-22.

Kansas scored three runs in three different innings while six different Jayhawk pitchers held Missouri Valley to just one unearned run on six hits. Senior Tanner Poppe evened his record to 2-2, tossing the first four innings and allowing just one infield hit in the fourth. The senior right-handed pitcher recorded no walks and four strikeouts in the game.

DeLeon and McKay provided half of the total offense. With Kansas leading 5-0 and a man on base, DeLeon hammered a 2-0 pitch high into the trees beyond the left field fence for his third home run of the season. Three innings later, after Colby Wright walked and Marcus Wheeler singled, Connor McKay hit his first home run of the season, driving the first pitch over the wall in left-center.

It marked the first multi-homer game by the Jayhawks since May 1, 2012, when KU hit three home runs at Arkansas-Little Rock. DeLeon, Wheeler and senior Jordan Dreiling all had two hits on the day to pace KU’s 11-hit attack.

The only blemish against the Jayhawk pitching staff came with the help of an error with two outs in the eighth inning. Along with Poppe, sophomore Colin Toalson and freshman Hayden Edwards made scoreless relief appearances.

Kansas improved to 20-12, flipping its record from this time a year ago. With 20 wins in its first 32 games of the season, KU has its best record at this point since 2009, when it was 21-11.

The Jayhawks will resume conference play on Friday, when they open a three-game Big 12 series with Texas at Hoglund Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m., and can be heard live on KLWN (1320 AM).

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