KU Holds Off Leathernecks, Win 5-4

March 3, 2006

Box Score


The University of Kansas (11-4) defeated Western Illinois (2-7), 5-4, on Friday in its home opener at Hogland Ballpark.

<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Leading 5-0 after six innings, the Leathernecks scored three unearned runs in the seventh and one in the eighth before senior Don Czyz came into the game to record the final four outs for his seventh save of the season.

Junior Sean Land recorded the victory to improve to 4-1 on the season. Land allowed only three hits and no earned runs in six innings of work while striking out four. Juniors Brendan McNamara and Ryotaro Hayakawa pitched in relief before Czyz entered with two outs in the eighth.

Junior Kyle Murphy got the Jayhawks going in the bottom of the first with a double. After stealing his first of three bases on the day, Murphy scored on a wild pitch. Sophomore John Allman notched an RBI single to plate senior Jared Schweitzer and give KU a 2-0 edge after one.

Allman added another RBI single in the fourth and was 2-for-4 on the day. Murphy reached on a bunt single in the sixth inning, stole second and moved up to third and eventually scored on back-to-back balks.

The Leathernecks used two throwing errors by Sean Land to get on the scoreboard in the seventh inning. Singles by James Bina and Ryan Schmidgall capped WIU’s three-run frame. Pinch hitter Steve Kapp recorded an RBI in the eighth inning but was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple.

Czyz struck out two batters and allowed one hit in 1.1 innings of work. KU out-hit WIU, 11-8, in the game.

KU and WIU will play the second game of the series Saturday at 1 p.m. The Jayhawks will throw Ricky Fairchild (3-1, 5.40 ERA) against Ryan Schmidgall (0-0, 0.00 ERA).

Game Notes: KU is now 4-0 in home openers under Ritch Price and 41-8 all-time in home openers at Hogland Ballpark … John Allman and Erik Morrison extended their hitting streaks to five games, both career highs … KU is now 10-0 all-time against Western Illinois … Don Czyz picked up his 19th career save.