Kansas Fends Off North Dakota, 7-4, in Home Opener
March 6, 2012
Final Stats | | Kahana Gives KU a Lift
- Coach Price
- J. Marasco
LAWRENCE, Kan.–Behind solid pitching from freshman Robert Kahana and a grand slam by senior Zac Elgie, the Kansas baseball team took down North Dakota, 7-4, Tuesday afternoon in its home opener at Hoglund Ballpark.The Jayhawks snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 6-5, while North Dakota dropped to 0-5 on the season.Making his first collegiate start, Kahana pitched four perfect innings, needing just 46 pitches to get through those innings. The freshman recorded a career-best four strikeouts to pick up his first win. His third baseman, Elgie, smashed grand slam over the left center wall to give KU a 4-0 lead before UND had recorded an out in the first. Elgie hit his second home run of the season and second career slam. He leads the team with 12 RBIs this season. KU snagged another run off of a balk before freshman outfielder Michael Suiter extended the lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run to left field, marking his first career homer.UND would rally with four runs in the middle innings, but senior Jordan Jakubov and junior Tanner Poppe slammed the door. The tandem combined to pitch four innings and allowed no runs on two hits, while tallying nine strikeouts. Jakubov, a senior from Wichita, Kan., recorded six punch outs in three innings of work.After a pair of rough outings over the weekend, Poppe rebounded by striking out the side in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season.Redshirt junior Jake Marasco, who entered the game with a .167 batting average, tied a career high with four hits in five at-bats, including a fifth inning double to left field to produce KU’s seventh run. The Jayhawks will continue the midweek series with North Dakota Wednesday at Hoglund Ballpark. The game is set to begin at 3 p.m.