Jayhawks Overpower No. 27 Oklahoma, 9-4
April 29, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. –
Senior Kyle Murphy went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and four RBIs, while junior Andres Esquibel pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief as the University of Kansas earned its first Big 12 series victory of the season with a 9-3 triumph over No. 27 Oklahoma Sunday at Dale Mitchell Park.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The Jayhawks improve to 22-26 overall and 8-13 in conference play, while the Sooners fall to 28-17 and 8-10 in Big 12 play.
Kansas scored six unanswered runs after OU had pulled even at three with one run in the bottom of the fifth. After the Sooners loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth inning, Esquibel came on in relief of starting pitcher Wally Marciel. The 6-foot-3 junior got a pop out, an RBI ground out and a strike out to end the threat.
The righty went 3 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit, while fanning three. KU backed the strong relief effort with three runs in the sixth, a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Murphy led the effort, going 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and four RBIs, while John Allman, Erik Morrison and Casey Larson each had two hits.
Oklahoma took an early 2-0 lead with single runs in the bottom of the first and second. Aljay Davis had an RBI single in the first inning, while Joseph Hughes added OU’s second RBI single in the second.
KU fought back with three runs in the fourth. After Allman led off the inning with a sharp single to left, Buck Afenir slammed his sixth homer of the season to left center tying the game at two. The Jayhawks grabbed a 3-2 lead after a pair of walks and an RBI single by Larson.
The Sooners tied the score on an RBI ground out by first baseman Aaron Baker.
Kansas regained the lead with three runs in the sixth with a two-run double by Kyle Murphy and an RBI single by Robby Price. The Jayhawks loaded the bases with nobody out on a wild pitch strikeout, a walk and a single by Brock Simpson. That set up Murphy’s two-run double down the right field line, which broke the 3-3 tie.
Allman and Murphy added insurance runs with homers in the seventh and eighth. Allman’s homer, a solo shot to center field, was his third of the season, while Murphy’s was a two-run shot down the left field line.
It marked the fourth time this season that Kansas hit three home runs in a game. The KU defense turned a season-high four double plays in the game and stranded 11 Oklahoma base runners.
The Jayhawks will play host to the University of St. Mary tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.