Jayhawks Rally For Two Wins Thursday

March 20, 2008

Final Stats


The Kansas baseball team had the rally caps working Thursday at the Florida Spring Classic. In two games, KU erased early deficits to earn a pair of victories, 7-6 over Central Connecticut State and 8-6 over Dartmouth at IMG Academy Park. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The Jayhawks improve to 13-8 with the two wins.

In the first game, senior Ryne Price had two hits, while Buck Afenir had two RBIs in a 7-6 triumph over the Blue Devils from CCSU.

The Jayhawks trailed 4-3 after five innings, but came back roaring in the sixth. KU scored the tying run and the go-ahead run on an infield single by Erik Morrison and a wild throw from the CCSU pitcher. Morrison scored on a single to left by designated hitter Buck Afenir as KU took a 6-4 lead.

KU stretch its advantage to 7-4 on Preston Land’s RBI double in the seventh, plating John Allman.

Junior Paul Smyth entered in a bases loaded jam in the seventh and worked out of it with a pair of strikeouts. The third-year righty pitched three innings of relief for his third save of the season.

Senior Matt Lane, a Lawrence native, pitching 1 1/3 innings of relief to earn his first win in a Jayhawk uniform. Lane allowed just one base runner on a walk, pitching in relief of Hiarali Garcia.

Robby Price’s two-run double with two outs in the ninth lifted KU to an 8-6 come-from-behind win over Dartmouth in the second game of the day.

With two outs and Joe Southers at first base, Casey Larson collected his fourth hit of the afternoon – singling to right field. Larson became the third different Jayhawk to record a four-hit game this season.

That set up Price, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, to play hero with a double to the right-center gap. The sophomore second baseman’s three runs batted in matched a career high.

The ninth inning rally came on the heels of a furious comeback by the Jayhawks.

The Big Green led 5-0 after four innings on the strength of two Damon Wright home runs.

The Jayhawks cut the deficit to 5-2 on an RBI single by Matt Berner and a triple by Larson, who was a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.

Buck Afenir’s three-run homer tied the score at 5-5 in the top of the sixth, however the Big Green responded with a solo shot by James Wren in the bottom of the inning.

KU equalized the score again on a double by Larson and an RBI single by Robby Price.

Senior Andres Esquibel scattered nine hits and six runs over eight innings of work. It was the longest start by a KU pitcher this season.

Sophomore Brett Bollman pitched a perfect ninth for his first save in a KU uniform.

The 5-0 deficit marked the largest that KU has overcome to win a game this season.

The Jayhawks (13-8) will play Ohio State (noon CST) and UMBC (4 p.m. CST) in action Friday at the Florida Spring Classic.