KU Beats Missouri, 4-3, Advance to Big 12 Championship Game

May 28, 2006

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The University of Kansas (41-23) defeated Missouri, 4-3, (31-25) to advance to the Big 12 Championship game Saturday night at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla. KU will face #14 Nebraska Sunday on Fox Sports Net, Sunday at 1 p.m.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

After Missouri tied the game 3-3 in the top of the eighth inning, Kansas scored the winning run on an error by Mizzou’s shortstop in the bottom of the frame.

Freshman Preston Land started the inning when he hit a soft single over MU’s pitcher Travis Wendte’s head and right behind the pitcher’s mound. Sophomore Brock Simpson pinch ran for Land and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Berner.

Simpson moved to third after freshman Buck Afenir reached first base on an error by MU’s third baseman. Baty then hit a pitch up the middle that MU’s shortstop Gary Arndt grabbed in front of second base. While winding to throw Baty out at first, Ardnt tripped, allowing Baty to reach softly and Simpson to score from third.

After giving up the tying run in the eighth inning, senior closer Don Czyz (6-0) fought back to earn his sixth win of the season. The Overland Park, Kan., native pitched the games final 2.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run.

KU received a solid start from senior Ricky Fairchild. The Dallas, Texas, scattered five hits while allowing two runs. Fairchild struck out five batters and did not issue a walk.

Baty and Ritchie Price jumped on Missouri’s starting pitcher Rick Zagone for back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore John Allman knocked a two-out double down the right field line to score Baty and give KU a 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Ryne Price put Kansas up 2-0 in the second inning with a solo home run over Missouri’s dugout in right-center field. The homer was Price’s seventh of the season in just his 75th at-bat of the year.

A Jared Schweitzer double followed by an Erik Morrison RBI single in the fifth inning gave the Jayhawks a 3-0 edge.

Missouri finally got to Fairchild in the seventh inning. The Tigers scored on a double, single and RBI ground out. Fairchild was lifted for Czyz with two outs in the seventh inning.

Czyz issued a one-out walk to J.C. Field to start Missouri’s eighth inning rally. Pinch runner Kurt Calvert moved to second on a ground out and scored on a single to centerfield by Derek Chambers.

After the Jayhawks took the lead in the bottom of the eighth, Czyz allowed a two-out single but coached a ground out to second base ending the game.

Greg Lucas (play-by-play) and Jack Lazorko (analyst) will call the Big 12 Championship game from Bricktown Ballpark for Fox Sports Net at 1 p.m. central tomorrow. Freshman Nick Czyz (3-3, 5.32 ERA) will face either LHP Jon Klausing or RHP Tim Radmacher.

Game Notes: KU’s 41-wins is the second most in school history, and four behind the school record of 45 set in 1993 … John Allman extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games.