Jayhawks Sweep Sooners, 9-4
May 4, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Sophomore Robby Price collected three hits, while freshman T.J. Walz scattered nine hits over 6 2/3 innings as Kansas completed a series sweep over Oklahoma for the first time in nearly 30 years with a 9-4 triumph over the Sooners Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The Jayhawks, who had not swept OU in a baseball series since taking two games in a 1979 set, improve to 29-22 overall and 8-13 in conference play. Oklahoma falls to 29-20-1 overall and 6-14-1 in the Big 12.
Kansas State’s (7-14) extra inning win over Missouri keeps them a game back of Kansas who sits in seventh place, while Oklahoma (6-14-1) and Texas Tech (6-15) trail the Wildcats for the final spot in the Big 12 Baseball Championship. KU is just a half-game back of Baylor for the No. 6 spot in the league standings.
After scoring 30 runs on 32 hits during the first two games of the series, KU’s bats continued to dominate as the Jayhawks banged out 13 hits and scored nine times. Sophomore Robby Price led the charge – going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and made the play of the day in the field.
After Oklahoma had cut the Kansas lead to 5-4 on an Aljay Davis sacrifice fly, relief pitcher Sam Freeman faced a first-and-second jam with two men out in the seventh. OU first baseman Aaron Baker hit a line drive up the middle that looked destined to tie the game, until Price made a diving stab to preserve the lead.
Following the diving catch, Price collected a one-out single in the bottom of the inning and scored on John Allman’s RBI double to left, stretching the lead to 6-4. Junior Buck Afenir then put the game out of reach with a towering two-run home run to left-center. It was the catcher’s eighth round-tripper of the season.
Kansas jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning on a solo home run by Ryne Price – the senior’s 11th of the season – and RBI hits from Preston Land and Casey Larson. The Jayhawks added single runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth to back Walz.
The freshman righty retired nine of the first 11 Sooners he faced to record his fourth victory of the season. Walz allowed four runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings, recording a pair of strikeouts. Freeman and Brett Bollman each recorded outs in relief, while Paul Smyth collected his 10th save and collected a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.
Smyth’s 10 saves are tied for the third-most by a Jayhawk and one behind Jimmy Walker’s 11.
Robby Price led the charge offensively, with three hits, while senior Erik Morrison and freshman Tony Thompson each collected a pair of base knocks. Eight of KU’s nine starting position players recorded hits in the game.
Kansas’ offense scored 39 runs in the three game series with Oklahoma – the most by a Jayhawk team in a Big 12 series. KU’s win was also the team’s ninth-straight at Hoglund Ballpark, dating back to an April 2 victory over Saint Mary.
The Jayhawks will look to continue their hot streak at home when the play host to Oral Roberts in a non-conference game Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.