Strong Pitching Leads to 2-1 Jayhawk Victory

Feb. 22, 2008

Final Stats | Box score in pdf

KONA, Hawaii –

Sophomore Wally Marciel pitched six strong innings, while the Kansas bullpen backed him up with three innings of hitless relief as the Jayhawks scratched out a 2-1 triumph over Hawaii-Hilo Friday afternoon at Simmons Field in Kona, Hawaii. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

KU improves to 4-2 in season-openers under Price with all of them in Hawaii. The Vulcans fall to 1-3 on the year.

The Jayhawks scored the winning run in the top of the sixth on a quirky play. With two outs and senior Ryne Price on first, junior Buck Afenir hit a towering pop-up into shallow center field that fell for a base hit. Hustling from the crack of the bat, Price came in to score the deciding run.

The bloop single was one of two hits on the day for Afenir. Freshman Tony Thompson also chipped in a 2-for-4 effort in his collegiate debut, while Price went 1-for-2 with an RBI double to right field in the fourth inning.

This was more than enough support for Marciel and the Jayhawk relievers. KU’s sophomore starting pitcher scattered five hits over six innings, allowing just one walk and collecting four strikeouts. After his team staked him to a one-run lead in the top of the sixth, Marciel pitched around a leadoff walk and an error to hold the lead.

Sophomore Brett Bollman struck out the side in the seventh, while senior Hiarali Garcia retired the heart of the Vulcan batting order in the eighth. After hitting the leadoff hitter in ninth and allowing him to reach third, junior Paul Smyth retired the final two hitters one a line drive to first and a ground out to second to record his first save of the season.

The Jayhawks and Vulcans will meet again in a doubleheader Saturday at Simmons Field beginning at 10 a.m. (2 p.m. CST).