Walz, Jayhawks Hold Off Iowa, 5-2
Feb. 28, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas pitcher T.J. Walz bounced back from a rough start by tossing six solid innings and recording eight strikeouts as Kansas downed Iowa, 5-2 in a non-conference game played Monday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks improve to 2-3 on the season, while the Hawkeyes fall to 1-4.
Walz, the ace of KU’s pitching staff, was roughed up by TCU in his first start and took the loss in a relief stint against Creighton last week, but rebounded against Iowa Monday. The 6-foot-1 senior from Omaha, Neb., allowed just one run on two hits over six innings.
For the second-straight start, he walked five, but managed to pitch his way out of trouble nearly every inning. After allowing a run on a double by Tyson Blaser and a single by Bryan Niedbalski, the senior pitcher held the Hawkeyes hitless over his final four frames.
KU’s offense produced just enough to support its senior pitcher. The Jayhawks tied the game in the third inning when Jason Brunansky scored on an error and took the lead in the fourth with two runs on a bases loaded walk to Brunansky and a hit by pitch with the sacks full.
The Jayhawks added two more runs in the sixth on an RBI single by sophomore Alex DeLeon and another hit by pitch with the bases loaded.
Iowa’s pitching staff walked five and hit five over the first six innings. Brunansky and DeLeon led the Jayhawks’ six-hit attack, collecting two hits a piece. The two-hit game was the first of DeLeon’s career.
KU’s Tanner Poppe recorded his second career save by pitching the final three innings and recording four strikeouts.
The Jayhawks will look to keep the momentum Tuesday when it closes out the homestand with a doubleheader against Southern Utah, beginning at 3 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.