Walz, Jayhawks Blank No. 7 Baylor, 6-0
April 4, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Sophomore right-hander T.J. Walz tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just five base runners, while Tony Thompson went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run as Kansas stunned No. 7 Baylor, 6-0 in a Big 12 baseball game Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks even their three game series with the Bears and improve to 18-11 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Baylor drops to 19-8 overall and 6-5 in the Big 12.
Walz, who also beat then-No. 4 Arizona State on March 14, brought his best stuff Saturday. The 6-foot-1 righty scattered three hits, a walk and a hit batsman over nine innings to improve to 3-0 on the season. He is one of four Jayhawks with three victories to his credit.
The sophomore righty retired the lead-off hitter eight of the nine innings he pitched, and set down 10 men in a row at one point. He ended the game by covering first on a double play to put the final exclamation point on his day.
Meanwhile, the Kansas offense scored six runs to hand Baylor freshman Logan Verrett his first loss since his junior year of high school. Verrett entered the game tied for the Big 12 lead in wins with seven, but allowed five runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings.
Kansas broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning as Jason Brunansky led off with a double and scored on a wind-aided double by Brian Heere. Tony Thompson then drove in the Kansas right fielder with a base hit through the left side of the infield.
The Jayhawks put the game away in the sixth. Afenir doubled home Heere, who walked with one out and then scored on Thompson’s team-leading seventh home run of the season. Senior Nick Faunce capped the inning with an RBI double, one of two hits on the day for the Jayhawk left fielder.
Faunce also made the play of the day defensively in the fourth inning, robbing Baylor’s Ben Booker of extra bases with one out and a runner on first. The senior made a diving catch going toward the foul line to keep the shut out in tact.
The Jayhawks earned their sixth win of the season over a Top 25 team. Prior to Saturday, the Bears held a 34-5 lead in the all-time series. All five of KU’s previous wins were by one run.
KU will go for their first series victory over the Bears since 1997 with Sunday’s finale at Hoglund Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for noon.