After Friday's victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kansas baseball coach Bobby Randall said he thought his team was anxious and pressing at the plate.
After Saturday's 8-7 and 13-1 doubleheader sweep of the Panthers, it appeared many of those worries vanished.
"I'm proud of these guys and what they've been doing," Randall said. "At times we've been struggling a little offensively but we scored a lot of runs today."
The Jayhawks scored nearly half as many runs Saturday as they had all season in running their record to 8-0, the best start in team history.
"It's nice to be 8-0, but our job is to play really good baseball and develop that caliber of baseball," Randall said. "We're still not quite all the way there defensively and offensively but that's to be expected. We haven't had that many practices outside. We'll be better later on, but last weekend the Big 12 went 24-4, so we know what's ahead of us."
Kansas appeared ready to take on all challengers early in the first game, leading 7-1 through five innings.
With the score tied at one, Lance Hayes reached first on an infield single. He then dislocated his left pinky while stealing second, but popped the finger back in place, stole third and scored on a single by Ryan Baty.
Ryan Klocksien doubled to score two more runs, and the Jayhawks scored three more runs in the next two innings and added what turned out to be a key run in the eighth.
The Panthers fought back from the six-run deficit, chasing Dan Olson from the mound with three runs in the seventh inning. They scored three more runs in the top of the ninth, but Chris Smart finally retired Ryan Dolan to end the game and tie the 1956 Jayhawks for the team's best start.
Jake Wright shut out the Panthers in the first inning of the nightcap. Hayes put the Jayhawks up 1-0 in the bottom of the first with a home run that dropped just over the left-field wall. The hit was Kansas' first leadoff homer since 1999.
The Jayhawks added another run in the inning and five more in the second, highlighted by two-run triple by Matt Tribble.
Tribble finished the doubleheader 5-for-8 with four runs scored and three RBIs.
"In the past couple games I was a little bit impatient so I was just trying to put better swings on better pitches and it kind of worked out well today," Tribble said.
Wright had a perfect game until John Vanden Berg's home run led off the fifth inning. He settled down and faced just two batters more than the minimum in his six innings, and Chris Jones worked the final three innings for his first save.
"I think our pitching's surprising everybody right now," Randall said. "I think our pitchers are very pleased with what they've done so far. I think they like what's going on."
Hayes went 3-of-8 with a double, six runs scored and two stolen bases. He also reached on a walk, a fielder's choice and an error.
Kansas 8, Wis.-Milwaukee 7
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 100 000 303 7 9 3
Kansas 013 210 01x 8 9 3
W Dan Olson (3-0). L Korey Keller (0-1).
2B Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Steve Guden, Brent Buechel, Vanden Berg; Kansas: Lance Hayes, Ryan Klocksien, Brandon Shepard.
Kansas highlights: Lance Hayes 2-for-5, 3 runs, 2B, 2 SB; Matt Tribble 2-for-4, 2 runs, RBI, SB; Ryan Klocksien 2-for-4, 2B, run, 3 RBI; Brandon Shepard 2-of-4, 2B, run, RBI, SB.
Kansas 13, Wis.-Milwaukee 1
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 000 010 000 1 4 4
Kansas 252 004 00x 13 12 0
W Jake Wright (2-0). L Mikel Schaffer (0-1). S Jones (1).
2B Kansas: Ryan Baty, Kevin Wheeler. 3B Kansas: Matt Tribble. HR Wisconsin-Milwaukee: John Vanden Berg; Kansas: Lance Hayes.
Kansas highlights: Lance Hayes 1-for-3, HR, 3 runs, RBI; Matt Tribble 3-for-4, 3B, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Pat Holmes 3-for-3, run, RBI; Kevin Wheeler 3-for4, 2B, run, 4 RBI.