Morrison Powers Kansas Baseball Past Western Illinois
March 18, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Freshman third baseman Erik Morrison blasted the first two home runs of his collegiate career and drove in a season-high seven runs as the University of Kansas baseball team downed Western Illinois 13-7 on Friday at Hoglund Ballpark.
The win is the fifth in a row for the Jayhawks and improves their overall record this season to 18-8.
“I am very pleased with our performance today,” said Kansas head coach Ritch Price. “It was very difficult to pitch with the wind blowing like it was today. It was exciting for us to get Matt Baty back in the line-up, which was the best thing that came out of today’s game. Erik Morrison was very special today, we believe that he is going to develop into a impact player.”
The Leathernecks (4-15) tallied the game’s first run in the top of the first inning on an RBI grounder by Kyle Malan.
Kansas countered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the first as junior designated hitter Matt Baty lead off the game with a single to left field and advanced to second on his 13th steal of the season. Baty came around to score with two outs in the inning on an RBI single by junior outfielder Gus Milner.
The Jayhawks used a pair of long balls to open a 4-1 advantage in the bottom of the second inning. With one out in the frame and the bases empty, junior infielder Jared Schweitzer slammed his second home run of the season just inside the foul pole in left field. After freshman second baseman Ryne Price singled in the next at bat, Morrison stepped in and connected on the first home run of his collegiate career, a two-run blast over the wall in left field.
Western Illinois scored a run in the top of the third inning when T.J. Kistner scored from third base on a throwing error by Kansas catcher Sean Richardson.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Jayhawks took control of the game with a five-run frame to open a 10-3 advantage. Morrison plated two runs with a single in the inning and junior outfielder A.J. Van Slyke added to his team lead in RBI by driving in his 27th and 28th runs of the year with a double to left center. Ryne Price added a RBI single in the inning as the Jayhawks collected four hits in the frame.
The Leathernecks chased Kansas starter Mike Zagurksi in the top of the sixth inning by plating a pair of runs to cut the KU lead to 10-5. Junior pitcher Kodiak Quick entered the game with two outs and retired the first batter he faced with a groundout to get the Jayhawks out of the inning.
Zagurski (4-2) picked up the win in the contest by pitching 5 2/3 innings and yielding four earned runs while striking out two batters.
Morrison connected on his second long ball of the afternoon in the sixth inning with a pair of runners on base. His seven RBI on the day are the most by a Jayhawk in a game this season.
Western Illinois plated a pair of runs in the top of the eight to trim to the KU lead to 13-7, but could not get any closer as they dropped their 12th straight contest.
Kansas and Western Illinois will take the field for game two of the series on Saturday with a 1 p.m. match-up at Hoglund Ballpark.