Morrison's Single Propels Kansas to Wild 12-11 Win
March 23, 2008
BRADENTON, Fla. –
Senior Erik Morrison’s two-out, two-strike single in the top of the eighth brought in Ryne Price with the game-winning run as Kansas rallied from an early five-run hole to knock off Northwestern, 12-11, in a non-conference game played Easter Sunday at IMG Academy Park.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The Jayhawks improve to 15-9 overall, including 4-2 during the week in Florida, while the Wildcats fall to 4-8.
Morrison’s RBI single was the end to a game that saw a barrage of runs. The two teams combined for 23 runs and 25 hits. Kansas overcame four errors and an 8-3 deficit after the second inning.
Trailing by five, the Jayhawks struck for four runs in the top of the third. Robby Price and John Allman led off the inning with back-to-back doubles, while Buck Afenir singled to cut the deficit to 8-5. With two outs, senior Casey Larson tripled down the right field line to get KU within 8-7.
In the next inning, Afenir hit a two-run homer to right center to give him five RBIs for the game. The Kansas catcher became the fourth different player to collect five RBIs or more in a game this season. His two-run blast gave KU a 9-8 lead.
However, the Wildcats tied the game on a Chris Lashmit homer in the bottom of the fourth and took an 11-9 lead in the fifth on Jake Goebbert’s two-run homer to right. It was the Northwestern first baseman’s fourth hit and sixth RBI of the day.
Not phased, KU tied the game again in the sixth on RBI hits from Allman and Ryne Price. It was Price’s 32nd RBI in 24 games this year.
In the eighth, Ryne Price doubled to left center on a bloop hit that was overrun by the Wildcats’ center fielder. Morrison then delivered the winning run with a soft line drive to left, scoring Price.
Afenir and Allman led KU’s 14-hit attack with three hits each. While Ryne Price chipped in two hits and two RBIs. All nine of KU’s starting players recorded at least one base hit.
Sophomore Brett Bollman silenced the Wildcat bats, allowing just two hits and no runs over two innings of work for his second victory of the season. Junior Paul Smyth retired all six batters he faced, including a strike out to end the game and record his fifth save of the season.
Kansas improved to 4-3 in one-run games this season after going 3-11 in one-run contests a year ago. During the week, KU overcame five-run deficits in two of its wins and nearly came back from an eight-run deficit against Illinois on Wednesday.
The Jayhawks (15-9) will play host to Chicago State in a two-game series beginning Tuesday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.