Kansas Powers Past #13 Oklahoma in First Game of Big 12 Championship

May 24, 2006

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Kansas (39-23) jumped out to a 7-0 lead and senior RHP Kodiak Quick picked up his school-record 11th win of the season to lift the Jayhawks to a 7-2 victory over #13 Oklahoma (39-18) Wednesday at the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Quick earned his 21st career victory at Kansas, going 7.0 innings allowing one run on seven hits – all singles – while striking out four. Freshman Paul Smyth gave up one unearned run in the eighth inning while senior closer Don Czyz struck out two batters in a non-save situation in the ninth.

“I felt really good out there,” Quick said. “It’s a great place to play, and it was a packed stadium. It’s a lot easier to pitch when your team puts up seven runs, so I just went out there and pitched.”

The Jayhawks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Senior Matt Baty started the game with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a fly out by senior Ritchie Price. Senior Jared Schweitzer drove Baty home with a double down the right field line.

Oklahoma threatened in its half of the first inning but couldn’t push a run across. Two singles followed by a fly out put runners on first and third. With two outs, Kody Kaiser took off for second base, KU catcher Dylan Parzyk caught Aaron Reza creeping off third base and threw to Erik Morrison to catch Reza in a run down to end the threat.

Kansas plated two more runs the second inning. Sophomore Brock Simpson started the frame with a one-out triple, his fifth of the year. Simpson scored when Ryne Price lined a hit off the first baseman’s glove for an RBI single.

After a sacrifice bunt by Parzyk moved Price to second, Baty hit a soft fly ball to shallow center that fell between three Sooners for his second double of the game and an RBI to put KU up 3-0.

The Jayhawks added three runs to its lead in the fourth inning. Freshman Buck Afenir – subbing for Parzyk – hit a two-run homer onto the berm in centerfield, his second of the season.

Baty followed Afenir with a solo home run over the left-centerfield fence and into the Sooners bullpen. The homer was Baty’s first of the season and fourth of his career.

Afenir then set a career-high with his third RBI of the game on a single in the fifth inning. The base knock scored Morrison who reached on a double and gave Kansas a 7-0 lead.

“I was counting on maybe getting in late for a pinch hit opportunity and then when Dylan (Parzyk) went down I was just trying to step up and fill his shoes,” said Afenir.

After Oklahoma loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning Quick held the Sooners to just one run on a sacrifice fly. OU left six runners on base and grounded into two double plays.

Baty finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs. Schweitzer recorded his eighth 3-hit game of the season while Afenir and Allman had two each. Seven of KU’s 13 hits were for extra bases.

Kansas will next play Oklahoma State in its second of three pool games. First pitch at Bricktown Ballpark is set for 8 p.m. Junior LHP Sean Land (5-6, 4.90 ERA) will take the hill for Kansas.

Game Notes: The victory was KU’s first win in the Big 12 Championship (1-4) it was also KU’s first postseason victory since beating Kansas State in the Big Eight Tournament in 1996 … Matt Baty’s home run was his first since Feb. 17, 2005 vs. South Dakota State … Buck Afenir’s home run was his first since April 12 vs. North Dakota State … Afenir and Baty’s home runs marked the sixth time KU has hit back-to-back homers in a game this season … Kodiak Quick is now 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA (16.0 IP, 12 H, 3 ER, 12 K’s) in two Big 12 Championship starts … Kansas is now 2-2 against Oklahoma this year while Quick is 2-0 … The game was KU’s 23rd against a Top 25 team this year.