Kansas Baseball Sweeps North Dakota State
March 9, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
KU’s offense scored 24 runs and banged out 29 hits in a doubleheader sweep of North Dakota State Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. Junior Nick Czyz pitched six shut out innings and struck out 11 in the opener, which KU won 13-0. Senior Erik Morrison paced a 14-hit attack with three hits and three RBIs in the Jayhawks’ 11-9 triumph in the nightcap.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Kansas wins its sixth game in a row to improve to 8-5 overall, while the Bison dropped their sixth straight to start the season.
Czyz was the story of the first game, allowing four hits over six scoreless innings. He struck out a career high 11 Bison hitters and retired seven via ground ball outs. The 6-foot-2 lefty threw a good mix of offspeed pitches and pounded the corners with his fastball.
His offense broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. KU score six runs in the inning on just two hits. After Robby Price walked to load the bases with two outs, the Jayhawks scored four runs without swinging the bat. A walk, a hit batsman and two wild pitches led to four Jayhawks crossing the plate.
Morrison delivered the knockout blow, a two-run double down the left field line to stretch the lead to 8-0 and cap the six-run inning. It marked the sixth time this season Kansas has scored five runs or more an inning.
Robby Price went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Joe Southers collected a pair of hits as well. In all, 13 different Jayhawks collected hits in the game.
KU’s offense took over in the second game as well, scoring 11 runs on 14 hits.
The Jayhawks broke the second game open with a six-run sixth inning. Morrison, who had five RBIs in the twinbill, singled in two runs, while Joe Southers doubled in two more as the Kansas bats enjoyed another big inning.
After replacing Sam Freeman in the second inning, senior Andres Esquibel picked up the win on the mound going six strong innings in relief. The 6-foot-2 righty allowed two hits and no runs over his six innings of work. He walked one and struck out three.
However, the Bison rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning and had the tying run on second base when junior Paul Smyth recorded a ground out and a strikeout to end the game. It was the third-year pitcher’s second save of the season.
KU’s six-game win streak is a season-high and marks the longest since May of 2007.
The Jayhawks will play host to Tabor College Tuesday at Hoglund Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.