Jayhawk Rally Falls Short at No. 25 Missouri
March 31, 2007
COLUMBIA, Mo. –
Sophomore Buck Afenir hit a pair of home runs, while Preston Land had a two-out, two-run double in the top of the ninth, but the University of Kansas fell just short. Despite scoring ninth inning runs for the second straight game, the Jayhawks fell to No. 25 Missouri, 8-7, in a Big 12 baseball game Saturday at Taylor Stadium. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The teams even their three-game set with KU falling to 16-16 overall and 3-5 in the conference, while the Tigers improve to 21-8 and 3-2 in Big 12 play.
For the second straight night, KU made things difficult on the Missouri bullpen, putting the tying run on second base with two outs. However, Scooter Hicks got pinch hitter Eric Snowden to fly out to center field to end the game.
Snowden’s fly out came on the heels of Land’s two-run double, which brought the Jayhawks within one. After Missouri retired the first two hitters of the inning, junior Ryne Price doubled, and Afenir walked setting up the KU first baseman for his 17th and 18th RBIs of the season.
The Border Showdown rivals traded the lead three times in the early innings before Missouri’s Evan Frey hit a three-run homer to right field to give the Tigers a 6-4 advantage. A lead they would not surrender.
Afenir was one of three Jayhawks with two hits in the game. The sophomore catcher had KU’s first multi-home run game since Erik Morrison went deep a pair of times against Oklahoma State in last year’s Big 12 tournament. Morrison and Ryne Price were the other two Jayhawks to collect multiple hits Saturday.
KU starting pitcher Zach Ashwood suffered his third loss of the season. The 6-foot-4 lefty worked 4 2/3 innings and scattered seven hits and four earned runs. Ashwood was hurt by three Jayhawk errors, which led to a pair of unearned runs.
Junior Hiarali Garcia saw his first conference action of the season, working 1 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits while collecting a pair of strikeouts.
The game, which was scheduled to start at 2 p.m., was delayed 2 ½ hours due to heavy rains in central Missouri.
The teams will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.