Jayhawks Unload on No. 17 Oklahoma State, 13-6
April 11, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Brian Heere and Buck Afenir each had three hits and combined for seven RBIs, while reigning Big 12 Pitcher of the Week T.J. Walz posted a career high 10 strikeouts as Kansas earned its fourth-straight win, 13-6 over 17th-ranked Oklahoma State Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks clinch their second series win over a Top 25 team this season and improve to 22-12 overall and 6-5 in conference play. The Cowboys fall to 21-13 and 4-7 in the Big 12.
KU’s offense carried the team throughout the afternoon as the Jayhawks scored 13 runs on 13 hits, their most productive day against a conference opponent this season. Heere, who had five hits Tuesday at Iowa, went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and four RBIs. Afenir also had three hits and finished with three RBIs.
The Kansas catcher helped the Jayhawks claim an early lead in the bottom of the first, cracking his fourth home run of the season following a Robby Price single.
After Oklahoma State tied the score on back-to-back doubles by Michael Dabbs and Tyrone Hambly, Heere gave the home team the lead for good with his second home run of the season. KU tacked on a fourth run on a walk, a wild pitch and a Tony Thompson single.
The Jayhawks broke the game open in the fifth as eight men came to the plate in a four-run inning. Heere and Afenir both singled and scored on a bases loaded walk to Thompson, which ended the day for Oklahoma State starting pitcher Tyler Blandford. Blandford entered the day with a 6-0 record, but allowed eight runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
KU plated the final two runs of the fifth inning on an error by the second baseman to build an 8-2 lead.
With Kansas still holding a six-run lead in the seventh, Heere delivered the knock out blow, a bases clearing double to center. In his last eight games, the Kansas sophomore is batting .593 (16-for-27) with eight RBIs and 14 runs scored.
On the mound, Walz picked up his fourth victory of the season recording 10 strikeouts. He is the first Jayhawk to tally double-digit strikeout totals since Nick Czyz struck out 11 against North Dakota State on March 9 of last year.
The KU sophomore scattered eight hits over 6 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs with just two walks.
KU’s series win over the Cowboys is the first since the Jayhawks took two of three in the teams’ 2005 series in Lawrence.
The Jayhawks earned their second series victory over a Top 25 team with Saturday’s win. Prior to this season, KU had not won a three-game series against a ranked team since 2006.
Thompson’s third inning single extended his streak to 11 straight games with a base hit. He had a 14-game hitting streak earlier this season. The Kansas third baseman has hit safely in 28 of KU’s 34 games this season.
The teams will wrap up the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on KLWN (1320 AM).