Late Inning Heroics Lifts KU Over #29 Missouri, 3-2
April 1, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Two clutch plays and stellar late inning pitching lifted the University of Kansas (19-11, 3-5 Big 12) over No. 29 Missouri (16-10, 6-2 Big 12) in front of 1,971 fans Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Trailing 2-1 with two outs in the eighth inning, sophomore Erik Morrison blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence to give the Jayhawks a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Senior Ritchie Price scored on Morrison’s team-high seventh homer of the year after leading off the frame with a single.
Missouri scored twice in the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Freshman Andy Marks came in for KU starter Ricky Fairchild with one out in the sixth inning and retired the only batter he faced before being relieved by junior Brendan McNamara.
After allowing one hit, McNamara finished the sixth inning and held MU off the scoreboard in the seventh. Senior Don Czyz replaced McNamara to start the eighth frame.
Czyz (4-0) would earn his fourth victory of the season by pitching the final two innings, allowing two hits and striking out two batters. Making his 18th appearance of the season, Czyz lowered his ERA to 0.85.
After the lead off batter reached on an error to open the ninth inning. Hunter Mense followed with a single to put runners on first and second with two outs. Czyz buckled down and got Trevor Helms to pop out on a bunt attempt and pinch hitter Ryan Lollis to strike out swinging.
With two outs, Gary Arndt took the first Czyz offering and hit the ball foul down the left field line. KU’s left fielder John Allman gave chase and made a sliding catch before colliding into the stadium fence to make the game-winning grab.
Fairchild held Missouri to four hits in 5.1 innings in gaining a no-decision. The senior struck out two Tigers while walking six.
Sophomore Brock Simpson led the bottom of the first inning off with a single up the middle against Missouri’s junior all-american Max Scherzer. Ritchie Price moved Simpson to second with a sacrifice bunt and Jared Schweitzer followed with a walk. Senior Gus Milner then ripped an RBI single to score Simpson and give KU a 1-0 lead.
Working on a pitch count, Scherzer went 4.0 innings, striking out two and allowing five KU hits. David Cales (2-1) took the loss, giving up two runs in 3.2 innings.
The Jayhawks and Tigers will play the rubber game of their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. KU will send senior Kodiak Quick (4-2, 2.47 ERA) to the hill while Mizzou will counter with freshman lefty Rick Zagone (2-0, 1.65 ERA).
Game Notes: Missouri left 16 men on base to KU’s eight … Preston Land extended his hitting streak to seven games … The announced crowd of 1,971 was the fourth largest ever at Hoglund Ballpark … Senior Don Czyz is now two appearances shy of tying the Big 12 record for career appearances (111) … KU now leads the Border Showdown 13.5 to 10.5.