Thompson, Jayhawks Roll Past Wichita State, 8-3
May 6, 2009
WICHITA, Kan. –
Sophomore Tony Thompson hit his team-leading 15th home run of the season and collected four RBIs, while five different Kansas players collected two hits as No. 23 Kansas recorded an 8-3 victory over Wichita State Wednesday night at Eck Stadium.
The win earns KU a season-series sweep of the Shockers for the first time since 2000. The Jayhawks improve to 34-16 overall, including 17-3 in midweek games. Wichita State falls to 24-24.
Thompson’s 15th homer of the season, a two-out two-run shot to right, gave KU the lead in the sixth, and broke the game open with a two-run single in the seventh. The sophomore’s 66th RBIs this season lead the Big 12 and are the fourth-most by a Kansas player in team history.
With one out in the sixth, and KU trailing by a 2-1 score, Brian Heere started things with a single to right. Then one out later, Thompson slammed an 0-2 pitched over the right field fence to give the Jayhawks the lead.
The offense staked starting pitcher Lee Ridenhour to a 3-2 lead, giving him his fifth victory of the season. Ridenhour went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Wichita State broke out on top in the second inning against Ridenhour with a two-out, two-run homer off the bat of Ryan Jones.
However, Kansas responded with a run in the fifth on a pair of two-out hits by Zac Elgie and Jason Brunansky and a wild pitch.
KU took a commanding lead in the seventh, scoring three runs on a sacrifice fly by Heere and a two-run single by Thompson. The third baseman’s 65th and 66th RBIs on the season give him the most by a Jayhawk sophomore and the fourth-most by a Kansas player all-time.
In the ninth, after a Robby Price walk, Heere hit his fourth home run of the season to give the Jayhawks an 8-2 advantage.
That’s all the Kansas pitching staff would need, relievers Travis Blankenship, Brett Bollman and Colton Murray held the Shockers scoreless over their 2 2/3 innings of work. Senior Paul Smyth allowed a run in the ninth, but set down the final three WSU hitters to clinch the Jayhawk win.
After starting the season at 1-7 on the road, Kansas has gone 7-3 away from Hoglund Ballpark in its last 10 games.
The Jayhawks will look to continue their road dominance with a three-game series at Missouri this weekend. The series opens Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Simmons Field. All three games will be carried on KLWN (1320 AM).