Ritch Price Earns Win No. 300 in KU Victory over Middle Tennessee
Feb. 17, 2012
- Coach Price
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Junior catcher Alex DeLeon went 2-for-5 with a three-run double and a total of four RBIs, while sophomore Frank Duncan earned his first collegiate victory as Kansas downed Middle Tennessee, 7-3, to give Ritch Price his 300th victory at KU Friday afternoon at Reese Smith Jr. Field.
Price, who has been at Kansas since 2003, becomes the second Jayhawk head coach to amass 300 victories at the school – joining Floyd Temple, who won 483 games from 1954-81.
Price’s latest club fell behind early, but used some clutch hitting for a come-from-behind victory.
After Middle Tennessee jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second, Duncan and the Jayhawk bullpen went into shutdown mode. The Kansas staff held the Blue Raiders to just one hit – a single to leadoff the ninth – over the final seven innings.
Meanwhile KU’s offense made quick work of the early deficit.
In the bottom of the third, KU tied the score with two-out RBI singles by DeLeon and freshman left fielder Michael Suiter. The rally started when Kevin Kuntz, who had three hits in the game, led off with a seeing-eye single and right fielder Tucker Tharp walked.
The Jayhawks took the lead in the fourth when Dreiling doubled down the right field line and Kuntz collected a two-base hit into the left field corner.
DeLeon broke the game open in the sixth. After Kuntz led off with a single, Tharp and senior Zac Elgie delivered back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases. With one out, the Kansas catcher slammed a 2-2 fastball down the left field line to plate all three runs, clearing the bases and staking the Jayhawks to a 7-3 lead.
Duncan struggled early, but picked up the win. The 6-foot-2 sophomore went 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with four walks and three strike outs.
Relief pitchers Jordan Luvisi and Jordan Jakubov allowed just two base runners over their 2 1/3 innings of work, while Tanner Poppe recorded two strikeouts in the ninth.
The Jayhawks earned their first season-opening win since the 2009 season when Shaeffer Hall – in attendance at Friday’s game – pitched a no-hitter against Air Force.