Early Deficit Haunts No. 24 Kansas Baseball
April 18, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas –
Junior Brett Bollman pitched 4 2/3 innings of solid relief out of the bullpen, while junior Robby Price went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, however it could not dig Kansas out of an early hole. Texas Tech scored seven runs in the first four innings and held on for a 7-5 triumph over the Jayhawks Saturday at Dan Law Field.
Tech earns the series win, dropping KU to 24-14 overall and 7-7 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders move to 18-23 overall and 9-8 in the conference.
Kansas scored five runs over the final four innings, and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs after a two-run double by Price. However, Tech closer Chad Bettis ended the threat by inducing a ground out off the bat of Brian Heere.
After Tech plated the first seven runs of the afternoon, Kansas fought back behind home runs by a pair of seniors. In the sixth inning, Buck Afenir cut the deficit to 7-2 with his fifth home run of the season. It was also the catcher’s 26th career round-tripper, tying him for sixth all-time at KU with fellow backstop Jeff Niemeier.
The Jayhawks inched closer in the seventh as Preston Land homered for the second straight day, a solo shot over the left field fence. It was Land’s 20th career home run.
KU put two men on in the ninth against Bettis, and Price doubled off the right fielder’s glove to cut the deficit to two.
Tech’s big inning came in the fourth, when the Raiders scored four times and knocked KU starter T.J. Walz out of the game. Walz went 3 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and six runs with a season-high four walks.
Bollman, however, kept the Jayhawks alive, going 4 2/3 innings, holding the home team to one run on one hit with no walks and three strikeouts.
Other than Price, Afenir collected a pair of base hits, including the home run, while freshman Jason Brunansky also went 2-for-3.
Kansas will look to salvage the final game of the series Sunday at 1 p.m.