Price's Historic Home Run Lifts Kansas Past UMBC, 4-1
March 21, 2008
BRADENTON, Fla. –
Senior Ryne Price hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to break a one-all tie, while freshman T.J. Walz pitched seven strong innings as the Jayhawks knocked off Maryland-Baltimore County, 4-1, Friday evening at Robert C. Wynn Field on the campus of Manatee Community College.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The Jayhawks improve to 14-9 overall, while the Retreivers fall to 5-9. KU claimed victory Friday with former Jayhawks and current major leaguers Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Zagurski in the stands.
Price’s 30th career home run was the difference. His two-run blast gave him the Kansas career record for homers, bettering former Jayhawk – and current Texas Ranger – Travis Metcalf by one.
With one on and nobody out in the seventh, the Kansas right fielder sent a 1-2 pitch high over the fence in left-center field to give KU a 3-1 lead. Senior Erik Morrison, who had two hits in the game, singled and stole second following Price’s home run. He scored on a wild pitch to stretch the lead to 4-1.
This was more than enough support for Walz and the Kansas bullpen. The freshman righty scattered seven hits over 6 2/3 innings in his first collegiate start. Walz recorded five strikeouts.
He gave way to sophomore Brett Bollman, who retired Wink Nolan to end the threat in the seventh and worked a perfect eighth.
Junior Paul Smyth earned his fourth save of the season by striking out a pair in the ninth.
Morrison and Price led the offense with two hits each.
The Jayhawks (14-9) will play Northwestern in a three-game series to wrap up play in Bradenton, Fla. for the week. KU and the Wildcats will meet in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CST Saturday at Wynn Field.