Jayhawk Bats Explode in Hawaii-Hilo Series Finale

Feb. 24, 2008

Final Stats | Box score in pdf


After struggling to find their groove in the first four games of the season, the Kansas bats woke up in a big way. Senior Joe Southers went 4-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored, while Preston Land and Justin Ellrich both homered as the Jayhawks trampled Hawaii-Hilo, 16-4, in the second game of a doubleheader played Sunday at Simmons Field in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

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The Vulcans took the first game (4-3), and consequently, the five-game series 3-2.

The offensive attack in the second game Sunday, however, did not resemble anything the Jayhawks had done in the first four games of the series. The team banged out 16 hits and scored 16 runs, more than doubling their run production in the first four games of the season.

After being held scoreless in the first three innings, KU muscled up in the top of the fourth, scoring eight runs and sending 11 men to the plate. The big blow came with two outs as Land hit his first home run of the season, to right-center field.

The Kansas first baseman had started the inning with an infield single, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the game.

The Jayhawks also put up a six-spot in the sixth inning as KU sent 11 men to the plate in that inning. Southers led off the inning with a triple over the right fielder’s head and also singled in his second at-bat of the inning. Erik Morrison collected a two-run double down the right field line, while Matt Berner, Casey Larson, Ryne Price and Eric Snowden, also drove in runs in the inning.

In all, 11 different Jayhawks collected hits, while nine different players collected RBIs.

On the mound, junior Sam Freeman impressed in his first start, scattering nine hits over six innings. The 6-foot-1 lefty allowed two earned runs, while striking out four in his Jayhawk debut.

Kansas (2-3) will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. for a mid-week game Wednesday at 3 p.m. against the 35th-ranked Razorbacks at Baum Stadium.