Jayhawks Best Nebraska, 5-4
April 8, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Junior Jason Brunansky went 3-for-4 and drove in what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning, while closer Colton Murray recorded his sixth save of the season by pitching out of jams in both the eighth and the ninth as Kansas overcame three errors in a 5-4 victory over Nebraska Friday night at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks improve to 14-16 overall and move to 5-5 in the Big 12, while the Huskers fall to 20-12 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
In a back-and-forth game, Kansas delivered the knock out blow with a two-out rally in the fifth. With two down and Brandon Macias on second base in a tie game, Brunansky lined a sharp single over the shortstop to plate the go-ahead run.
The Jayhawk bullpen made the lead stand up as freshman Frank Duncan and Murray held the Huskers scoreless over the final three innings. Murray entered the game in the eighth with the bases loaded and coaxed an inning-ending ground out off the bat of Josh Scheffert.
In the ninth, Murray walked the leadoff man Michael Pritchard, and after a sacrifice and a ground out, put Cody Asche on with an unintentional intentional walk. However, the junior closer put the final exclamation point on the night by fanning right fielder Kash Kalkowski to end the game.
KU starting pitcher T.J. Walz earned his fourth victory of the season, going six innings and allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. All but one of Walz’ runs were unearned.
Kansas scored two runs in both the first and third innings with the top of its batting order. In the first, Macias was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a bunt single by Brunansky when the throw got away from first baseman Kurt Farmer. KU took advantage with an RBI ground out by Jimmy Waters and a wild pitch to take a 2-0 lead.
After Nebraska took a 3-2 lead in the third on a two-run homer by Asche, the Jayhawks scored two runs in their half of the third with three-straight singles by Macias, Brunansky and Waters and an Elgie sacrifice fly.
The top three hitters in KU’s batting order combined to go 8-for-11 with five runs scored and three RBIs.
The Jayhawks will look to take their third Big 12 series of the season on Saturday when they face Nebraska at 2 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.