Big Inning Helps Jayhawks Rally Past Baylor, 9-8
March 26, 2010
WACO, Texas –
Junior Tony Thompson had three hits, including his first home run of the season, while Kansas scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning to erase an early four-run deficit in a 9-8 come-for-behind triumph over Baylor Friday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
The Jayhawks win their third straight to improve to 14-8 overall and 1-0 in the Big 12, marking the second-straight season KU has won its conference opener. Baylor snaps a seven-game home winning streak and falls to 12-8 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Junior T.J. Walz earned his fourth victory of the season despite surrendering seven runs in the first three innings. Baylor scored five runs in the third inning off the Kansas ace to take a 7-3 lead.
However, Kansas fought back. The Jayhawks sent 11 men to the plate in the fifth inning to score five runs, including four unearned against Baylor starting pitcher Shawn Tolleson. After a one-out walk to Robby Price, Brian Heere singled and Thompson walked to load the bases for Jimmy Waters.
The Kansas left fielder hit a hard ground ball off the glove of Baylor first baseman Max Muncy, scoring a run. Senior Brett Lisher followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 7-5. Sophomore James Stanfield then delieved an RBI single through the left side to cut the deficit to one. KU scored its final two runs of the inning on a walk and an infield single by Casey Lytle.
Meanwhile, after the third inning, Walz settled down, retiring 14 of the final 17 men he faced. The junior pitcher scattered eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in the game.
KU’s bullpen then closed the door as senior Travis Blankenship and junior Brett Bochy combined to allow one run on two hits over the final 2 1/3 innings to preserve the narrow lead.
Thompson led the Jayhawk offense with three hits, hitting a solo homer in the third inning and singles in the first and eighth. Price scored what ended up being the winning run with a one-out triple down the left field line, scoring on an RBI single by Heere.
The Jayhawks banged out 12 hits against the Bears, scoring nine runs.
The win was just the second in 22 all-time meetings for Kansas in Waco. The only other time KU has won at Baylor Ballpark was 2006, when the Jayhawks took the middle game of the three-game series 6-5 on March 18.
The Jayhawks will look to win the series Saturday with the second game of the three-game series at 3 p.m. The game can be heard via internet broadcast at www.kuathletics.com.