Waters Goes Deep Twice to Power Kansas

April 18, 2010

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Kansas left fielder Jimmy Waters hit two home runs Sunday and drove in four runs, while freshman Tanner Poppe earned his first Big 12 victory as the Jayhawks downed Nebraska, 6-1 to earn the series victory at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park.

The Jayhawks win a series in Lincoln, Neb., for the first time since 1996, and improve to 22-14-1 overall and 5-6-1 in the Big 12. The Huskers fall to 18-18 and 5-10 in conference play.

Waters two home runs, coming in the third and the eighth, proved to be the difference offensively for the Jayhawks. The junior collected four hits in the weekend series against Nebraska – all of them left the yard.

The junior came up with two men on and one out in the third and blasted a 1-1 fastball into the right field seats staking Kansas to a 4-0 lead. Waters’ second homer – a solo shot to left center – gave him a team-high eight round-trippers on the season.

That was all the run support starting pitcher Tanner Poppe would need. The right-handed freshman went six innings allowing one run on four hits with two walks and no strikeouts. Poppe retired eight men via fly outs, and induced three inning-ending double plays.

After Kansas scored a run in the first, Nebraska put its first two men on in the bottom of the inning. However, Poppe ended the inning with a line out to Waters in left and a double play ball off the bat of Chad Christensen.

Nebraska’s only run came on a sacrifice fly in the sixth by Adam Bailey. Bailey, the league’s home run leader, went 1-for-13 against Kansas pitching on the weekend.

KU’s bullpen tandem of Wally Marciel, Thomas Taylor and Travis Blankenship worked the final three innings, allowing no runs on one hit with four strikeouts.

The Jayhawks win their second Big 12 series on the road this season, which is one more than they did last year. KU improved to 4-5 in conference away games this year.

KU will be in action again Tuesday when it hosts Benedictine College in a non-Division I game at Hoglund Ballpark at 6 p.m. Admission for the game is free of charge.