Kansas Rebounds to Defeat K-State and Even Series

April 30, 2005

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior outfielder A.J. Van Slyke and freshman second baseman Ryne Price each tied a career-high four RBI as the Jayhawk offense came alive to pounded out 15 runs on 11 hits in a 15-11 defeat of in-state rival Kansas State on Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark.

The victory improves KU’s overall record to 28-21 this season and its conference mark to 5-11, while Kansas State drops to 23-19 and 7-13 inside the conference.

“Today was a huge game for us,” said Kansas head coach Ritch Price. “I was very pleased at the way that we bounced back from last night’s performance. It allows us to come out tomorrow and be able to accomplish our goal for the weekend and give us something to build on.”

For the second time in the series, the Wildcats were able to take the first lead in the ball game in first inning on unearned runs. KSU was able to plate a pair of runs in the inning following a throwing error from KU first baseman Erik Morrison.

Kansas responded with five runs of its own as it batted around in the home half of the first inning. Center fielder Matt Baty and shortstop Ritchie Price lead the inning off with singles and Slyke plated the first run of the inning with a RBI ground out to second base. Freshman designated hitter John Allman drew a bases-loaded walk and Ryne Price collected a three-run double for KU in the frame.

In the top of the second inning, Kansas State responded with a five-run inning of its own to regain the lead at 7-5. In the frame the Wildcats chased Kansas starter Tyson Corley, who lasted only 1 1/3 innings while yielding five earned runs on five hits. Sophomore Sean Land replaced Corley and got the Jayhawks out of the frame with no further damage.

In the bottom of the third inning, KU was able to tie the contest at 7-7. Ryne Price delivered a RBI on his second double of the game and came around to score on a RBI single off the bat of Morrison.

Ryne Price finished the game 2-for-5 at the plate with a run scored and four RBI.

The Jayhawks got two more runs in the home side of the fourth inning as first baseman Jared Schweitzer plated a run on a sacrifice fly and Sean Richardson scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

KSU’s third baseman Barrett Rice knotted the game at 9-9 as he slammed his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot off Land with one out in the top of the fourth inning.

Ritchie Price and Van Slyke drove in runs for Kansas in the bottom of the fifth as the Jayhawks took their third lead of the ball game at 11-9.

After KSU tallied a run in the top of the sixth cutting the Jayhawks’ lead to 11-10, Schweitzer stepped to the plate needing a hit to extend his career-long hitting streak to 17 games. The Sherwood Park, Alberta, native prolonged the streak in a big way, as he slammed his third home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. The long ball expanded the KU lead to 12-10.

Kansas State pushed across a run in the top of the seventh inning on a RBI single from catcher David Baker to cut the KU lead 12-11.

The Jayhawks again responded to the KSU run with a pair of their own in the bottom of the frame. After Ritchie Price drew a two-out walk to extend the inning, Van Slyke slammed a monster home run for his team-leading tenth long ball of the season.

Junior closer Don Czyz held the Wildcats scoreless for the final 2 1/3 innings to collect his sixth save of the season.

Kansas baseball is back in action on Sunday when it sends senior lefty Mike Zagurski to the hill for the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.