Price, Morrison Power KU to Eighth Straight Win
March 12, 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –
Senior Ryne Price went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs, while Erik Morrison was a homer short of hitting for the cycle as Kansas won its eighth straight game, 11-7 over Missouri State Wednesday afternoon at Hammons Field.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
KU’s eighth straight victory moves the team to 10-5 overall, while the Bears drop to 8-4. The win also carried importance for head coach Ritch Price. After winning his 800th career game as a head coach on Tuesday, the veteran skipper earned his 400th win at the NCAA Division I level.
Price’s 400th win did not come easy, however. After taking a 4-0 lead after three innings, the Jayhawks needed to rally from a 5-4 deficit and hold on in the ninth.
With two runners on in the ninth, junior Paul Smyth induced a ground out to end the game.
Kansas got off to an early lead when senior Erik Morrison hit his first triple of the season to left center. He scored on a ground out to short by Casey Larson.
The Jayhawks added three more runs in the top of the third to extend the lead to 4-0. With one out, senior John Allman was hit by a pitch and junior Preston Land drew a walk. That set up senior Ryne Price to drive in his team-leading 18th run of the season with a seeing-eye single through the right side.
Morrison followed with a two-run double to deep center that cleared the bases. It was the senior short stop’s third extra base hit in three at bats.
Missouri State struck back with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brayden Drake hit a two-run homer to left field. Then, after a pair of outs, a single and an error, Dallas Hord lined a three-run homer over the center field wall to give MSU a 5-4 advantage.
However, the Jayhawks put up a five-spot of their own in the top of the seventh. KU sent 10 hitters to plate. After back-to-back singles and a hit batsman, Ryne Price singled home the tying and go-ahead runs. Morrison then delivered another RBI with a single through a drawn-in infield to stretch the lead to 7-5. KU capped the rally by scoring two more runs on an error and a wild pitch.
MSU came back with a run in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out single by Nolan Keane.
Ryne Price added insurance runs in the eighth with a two-run homer to right field. It was the senior catcher/outfielder’s third home run of the season and 27th of his career to move him into third place all-time at KU.
While Price and Morrison led KU’s 11-hit attack, senior John Allman chipped in two hits and three runs scored, while first baseman Preston Land scored a pair of runs.
Sophomore Brett Bollman recorded his first win in a Kansas uniform, pitching 2 2/3 innings of relief. The 5-foot-9 sophomore allowed two runs on three hits and struck out four. Smyth worked a scoreless ninth.
The Jayhawks will travel to Austin, Texas for a weekend series against the 10th-ranked Longhorns. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. from UFCU Disch-Falk Field.