Kansas Falls Short at No. 9 Nebraska, 8-6
April 19, 2008
LINCOLN, Neb. –
Junior Buck Afenir and senior Casey Larson both homered, while four different Jayhawks collected two hits, but it was not enough to even the series in Lincoln. Nebraska catcher Mitch Abeita hit a fourth inning grand slam to power the ninth-ranked Huskers to an 8-6 triumph over KU Saturday at Hawks Field.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The Huskers win the series and improve to 28-6-1 overall and 13-3-1 in conference play. KU falls to 24-18 overall and 4-10 in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks collected 12 hits in the game, but couldn’t get the big hit when they needed it, leaving 10 men on base, including six in scoring position.
Nebraska, meanwhile, took advantage of an error and three walks to earn its second win of the series.
KU broke out to a 2-0 lead after the top of the fourth on a pair of RBIs from third baseman Tony Thompson. However, NU answered with Abeita’s grand slam with nobody out in the fourth.
The Jayhawks fought back to tie the score in the fifth on Afenir’s sixth home run of the season, however the Huskers answered with one in the fifth and two in the sixth to chase starting pitcher Andres Esquibel after 5 2/3 innings.
KU cut the deficit to 7-6 on a two-out RBI single by Preston Land in the seventh and a solo home run by Casey Larson in the eighth. But every Jayhawk rally seemed to have an answer as Nebraska increased the deficit to two runs with back-to-back infield hits in the eighth.
John Allman, Afenir, Erik Morrison and Land all had two hits for Kansas, while Afenir and Thompson both drove in a pair of runs.
After allowing just one hit in eight innings in his previous start, Esquibel was hit hard the second time through the batting order. The 6-foot-1 righty surrendered seven runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Kansas will look to salvage the final game of the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m.