Kansas Rolls Past Nebraska, 10-5

May 18, 2007

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Three different Jayhawks had three hits Friday evening, while Andres Esquibel picked up his seventh victory of the season as the University of Kansas downed Nebraska, 10-5, at Hoglund Ballpark.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The Jayhawks, who have now won a season-high six in a row, improve to 28-28 overall and 9-15 in Big 12 play, while the Huskers fall to 27-23 and 12-13 in the conference.

With Baylor’s victory over K-State and Oklahoma’s win over Texas Tech Friday evening, KU remains one-half game back of the final spot in the Big 12 Championship.

Friday evening, KU used the bats of juniors John Allman and Brock Simpson as well as freshman Robby Price, who each had three hits, to score 10 runs.

Allman had the big hit, an RBI triple to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth as part of KU’s second three-run inning of the night.

The Jayhawks tagged Nebraska starting pitcher Tony Watson for four runs in the first two innings, including a three-run second to take a 4-2 lead. After sophomore Preston Land tied the game at two with a sac fly to deep left, junior Joe Servais and John Allman collected RBI singles.

The Huskers took the lead at 5-4 with single runs in each of the next three innings. However, KU tied the game in the fifth on Simpson’s RBI single, which scored Erik Morrison and took the lead in the sixth on Allman’s RBI hit.

The Jayhawks added two more runs in the inning on Simpson’s two-run single to center, stretching the lead to 8-5. Allman and senior Kyle Murphy added sacrifice flies in the seventh and eighth, respectively for the margin of victory.

Esquibel, who did not pitch in the Chicago State series, entered the game with a one-run deficit in the fifth inning and retired the first nine Nebraska hitters he faced. The 6-foot-3 junior earned his seventh victory of the season, allowing just one hit and no walks in 3.1 innings of relief.

Sophomore lefty Andy Marks started the game for KU and tallied a pair of strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Marks became just the 11th pitcher in Jayhawk history to amass 90 k’s in a season. He ties former teammate Kodiak Quick for eighth in single-season strikeouts with 91.

The Jayhawks will look to inch closer to a Big 12 Championship berth Saturday in game two of the series at 6 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.

Game Notes: Former Jayhawk third baseman Travis Metcalf received a call up by the Texas Rangers after Hank Blalock was placed on the disabled list. Metcalf, who played at KU from 2002-04, holds the team’s single-season and career record for home runs. Metcalf was hitting .294 with 11 doubles and six home runs at Class AA Frisco at the time of the call-up.