Kansas Baseball Rallies to Down Western Illinois
March 19, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior outfielder Gus Milner singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the University of Kansas baseball team defeated Western Illinois 6-5 on Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark to win their sixth straight contest.
The win ties the Jayhawks’ longest winning streak this season and improves their overall record to 19-8.
“There were three big innings where they were able to load the bases against us and our pitchers were able to get out of it,” said Kansas head coach Ritch Price. “That was a big key in the game, our pitchers ability to work out of those jams.”
“I really think that our team is progressing well,” Price added. “Our freshmen are emerging and we are getting a lot better defensively. Sean (Richardson) Ritchie (Price) and Matt (Baty) are premier players in the Big 12 and they are beginning to carry our team.”
Milner, who finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate, gave the Jayhawks an early lead in the game as he drove in junior shortstop Ritchie Price with a single in the bottom of the first inning.
The Leathernecks pushed across a run of their own in the top of the second inning to tie the game at 1-1.
In the top of the fourth, WIU left fielder Joe Pacyga drove a 1-1 pitch from Kansas starter Sean Land over the wall in center field to give the Leathernecks their first lead of the game at 2-1.
After the Leathernecks plated a run in the top of the fifth inning to take a 3-1 lead, the Jayhawks rallied in the bottom of the inning to knot the game at 3-3. Pinch hitter Mike Dudley led off the inning with a double to center field and scored in the next at bat when senior designated hitter Travis Dunlap doubled to right center. Dunlap came around to score later in the inning on an error by WIU.
Kansas took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as senior catcher Sean Richardson connected on his third home run of the season off WIU starter Pat Kohorst.
Korhorst pitched well in the loss, throwing eight innings while surrendering only eight hits to the Jayhawks.
Western Illinois regained the lead in the top of seventh inning as they pushed across a pair of runs against KU reliever Don Czyz, who entered the game after senior reliever Andrew Rebar pitched a pair of scoreless innings.
Czyz (1-1) recovered to pitch the final three innings of the contest, allowing only the two runs in the seventh to pick up his first win of the season.
Junior Matt Baty scored on an RBI double by junior shortstop Ritchie Price to tie the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh.
After neither team scored in the eighth inning and Czyz kept the Leathernecks off the board in the top of the ninth, KU went to the bottom of the ninth looking for its second last at bat victory of the season. With one out, Ritchie Price reached on an error and moved to third base on a single by junior outfielder A.J. Van Slyke. With runners on the corners and only one out, Milner stepped to the plate and singled through the left side to secure the victory.
Kansas goes for the sweep of the three-game series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. match-up at Hoglund Ballpark.