Jayhawks Unload on Nebraska, 11-5, Take Series Win
April 10, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Senior Jimmy Waters and junior Jason Brunansky each homered and combined for six RBIs as Kansas scored a season high 11 runs to pummel Nebraska, 11-5, in the rubber game of a three-game Big 12 series at Hoglund Ballpark Sunday afternoon.
The Jayhawks take the series and have now won each of the their first three conference sets at home. KU improves to 15-17 overall and 6-6 in league play, while the Huskers drop to 21-13 overall and 3-6 in the Big 12.
With a strong westerly wind whipping around Hoglund Ballpark at nearly 35 mph, the Jayhawks and Huskers played home run derby early before KU scored three runs in the fifth to take control.
After Nebraska scored four runs in the top of the fifth to tie the contest at five, the Jayhawks answered back. Brunansky, who had seven hits in the series, started things with a solo shot to left field to break the tie. The inning continued as Waters was hit by a pitch and came around to score on back-to-back singles by junior Zac Elgie and sophomore Jake Marasco. Senior Casey Lytle capped the inning with an RBI double to plate Elgie and stretch the KU lead to 8-5.
Freshman relief pitcher Frank Duncan took care of the rest. Duncan, who pitched 1 2/3 innings on Friday night, tossed three shutout innings allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. It marked the freshman’s 12th scoreless appearance of the season.
The Jayhawks added insurance runs in the seventh on a sac fly by Jordan Dreiling and two more in the eighth on an RBI double by Waters, who collected a season-high four RBIs in the game.
Kansas freshman Alex Cox earned his first victory of the season, despite surrendering five runs over five innings. Cox actually allowed just one hit – a solo homer to Bryan Peters in the third – prior to the Huskers’ four-run fifth.
The Jayhawks had a four-run inning of their own in the bottom of the third. After errors on consecutive at bats by Nebraska’s Chad Christensen, Brunansky plated the first KU run with a squeeze bunt down the first base line. Waters then followed with a three-run blast to left field that cleared the fence by at least 10 feet in the air.
The Jayhawks collected six extra-base hits in the game, including a pair of homers. The six extra-base hits tied a season-high, matching the five doubles and one homer the team collected in the March 11 win over Eastern Michigan.
Brunansky led the KU offense with three hits, while Waters, and Lytle each chipped in two apiece.
KU will look to keep its momentum going on Tuesday night with a midweek game at Iowa. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.