Kansas Rally Falls Short at Nebraska

April 16, 2010

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Kansas senior Robby Price and junior Jimmy Waters hit late home runs, but it was too little too late. Nebraska used a five-run second inning and a two-run error in the bottom of the seventh to score an 11-7 Big 12 victory over the Jayhawks in the series opener at Haymarket Park Friday night.

Kansas drops its fourth-straight conference game, and falls to 20-14-1 overall and 3-6-1 in the Big 12. The Huskers improve to 18-16 overall and 5-8 in conference play.

The Jayhawks took an early lead in the top of the first, and then watched the home team score 10 consecutive runs to take command of the game. The big inning for Nebraska was the bottom of the second, where the Huskers sent 10 men to the plate in a five-run inning.

Cody Asche and Boomer Collins hit back-to-back home runs to erase KU’s early lead, while D.J. Belfonte, Kale Kiser and Adam Bailey each collected RBI hits. Nebraska’s offense was also boosted by a two-run error on a bunt attempt in the seventh inning, which led to three runs in the inning.

Nebraska starting pitcher Michael Mariot baffled the Kansas hitters through seven innings – at one point retiring 19 of 20 hitters – the only Jayhawk hit between the second and seventh innings was a single by Brian Heere to lead off the fourth.

Down 10-1, Kansas tried to mount a rally with an RBI single by Casey Lytle and a three run homer by Price – two of three Jayhawks with two hits in the game. Price extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games, which is tied for the sixth-longest in KU history.

Waters added a two-run homer in the top of the ninth, however, Nebraska closer Casey Hauptman retired the next three hitters to end any thoughts KU had of trying to rally.

Collins led the Nebraska offense with three hits – finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

The Jayhawks will look to bounce back Saturday in game two of the three-game series at 4:05 p.m. The game can be heard on KLWN-AM (1320) in Lawrence, and at www.klwn.com.