Jayhawks, Czyz Stop Texas A&M, 6-2

May 20, 2006

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For the second consecutive night, University of Kansas senior relief pitcher Don Czyz closed the door on a Texas A&M comeback to help the Jayhawks record a 6-2 victory over the Aggies Saturday night at Hoglund Ballpark. Czyz picked up his NCAA leading 17th save of the season while KU improved its record to 37-23 overall and 12-14 in the Big 12.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Kansas was leading 4-2 when Czyz entered the game with runners on first and second base and no outs in the eighth inning. The Overland Park, Kan., native struck out the first two batters he faced and then coaxed a dribbler in front of home plate that catcher Dylan Parzyk easily retrieved and threw to first for the innings final out.

Czyz added another strikeout in the ninth to give Kansas to close out the game. Freshman Paul Smyth picked up the victory in relief of starter Sean Land. Smyth pitched the seventh inning to earn his fourth win of the season.

Land recorded a solid start despite earning a no-decision. The lefty allowed just three hits and two runs (one earned) in 6.0 innings of work.

The Aggies scored the first run of the game in the second inning. Ryan Hill doubled down the right field line to lead off the frame. After catchers interference put runners on first and second A&M successfully moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt allowing Craig Stinson to drive home Hill with an RBI ground out.

Texas A&M took a 2-0 lead with an unearned run in the third. Parker Dalton singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Dylan Parzyk’s throw to get Dalton stealing third sailed high, allowing Dalton to score on the throwing error.

Kansas tied the game with two runs in the sixth inning. Gus Milner laced a double down the left field line to lead off the inning. After John Allman walked, Erik Morrison reached on an infield single. The throw to first in an attempt to get Morrison was high, allowing Milner to score and Allman and Morrison to move up a base.

A&M then brought Anthony Vasquez out of the bullpen to replace starter Kyle Nicholson. Vasquez walked Simpson to load the bases and hit Ryne Price with a pitch to score KU’s second run of the contest. Hart Hering came in for Vasquez and coaxed Dylan Parzyk to fly out, ending the inning.

Three straight one-out walks loaded the bases full of Jayhawks in the seventh inning. Allman singled through the right side to score Ritchie Price from third and give KU a 3-2 lead. Jared Schweitzer was thrown out at home on the play the second out of the inning.

Gus Milner put Kansas ahead 4-2 when he scored all the way from second base on a wild pitch by A&M relief pitcher Jordan Chambless.

Matt Baty and Ritchie Price gave Kansas two insurance runs with an RBI double and single, respectively, in the eighth inning. Baty drove home Simpson who walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Berner. Price followed with a base knock to score Baty.

Kansas will wrap up its regular season against Texas A&M Sunday at 1 p.m. Senior RHP Ricky Fairchild (5-6, 5.18 ERA) will toe the rubber for KU. Eight Kansas seniors will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.

Game Notes: The victory was KU’s 37th of the year, the most by a Jayhawk team since winning 41 games in 1994 and the third largest win total in the history of the program … KU won its 12th Big 12 game, tying its mark set in 1997 for most Big 12 victories in a season … Ryne Price moved into 5th place all-time when he was hit by a pitch for the 19th time of his career in the sixth inning … Kansas improved to 19-6 at home this year.