Big Inning Dooms #22 KU in 11-3 Loss to #4 Oregon State

June 3, 2006

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No. 4 Oregon State jumped on No. 22 Kansas for seven runs in the second inning and cruised to an 11-3 victory Saturday night at the Corvallis Regional of the NCAA Tournament. KU (43-24, 1-1) will face Hawaii (44-16, 1-1) in an elimination game Sunday at 3 p.m. central.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

All seven of Oregon State’s second inning runs were scored before KU recorded an out. OSU used a Jayhawk error, two walks, two singles, a double and a three-run home run by Chris Kunda to take a 7-0 lead.

Kunda struck again in the fourth inning. The senior blasted his second homer of the game and the season. The two-run home run gave the Beavers a 9-0 lead and chased KU’s starter Sean Land from the contest in favor of freshman Andy Marks.

Nine runs was more than enough for Oregon State starter Jonah Nickerson (10-4). The junior held Kansas hitless until sophomore Brock Simpson hit a two-out solo home run in the fifth inning. Simpson’s homer over the bleachers in right field was his fifth of the season.

Sophomore Ryne Price notched KU’s second hit off Nickerson in the eighth inning, also a solo home run. The blast marked the third game in a row the sophomore has hit a solo homer.

After a senior Matt Baty double and back-to-back walks loaded the bases, Nickerson was pulled from the game for Beaver closer Kevin Gunderson. John Allman recorded an RBI infield single before Gunderson coaxed a fielder’s choice ground out to end the threat.

OSU picked up two more runs in the eighth inning when Pac-10 Player of the Year Cole Gillespie notched a two-run double, his third two-bagger of the game.

Nickerson finished with eight strikeouts in 7.2 innings. The righty allowed three hits, three runs and walked four.

Land (5-7) took the loss for Kansas. The junior allowed seven hits, nine runs (eight earned) while walking and striking out two in 3.1 innings of work.

Marks pitched 3.2 innings of relief, allowing three hits. He left after two men reached in the eighth inning and was credited with the two runs that scored on Gillespie’s double off junior Ryotaro Hayakawa.

The loss snapped KU’s eight game winning streak. If Kansas defeats Hawaii in Sunday’s first game, it would advance to face Oregon State at 8 p.m. central. KU would have to defeat the Beavers on Sunday and Monday afternoon to advance to the Super Regionals.

Game Notes: A steady rain started in the bottom of the sixth inning and continued throughout the rest of the contest … Kansas trailed Hawaii, 5-0, on Friday before scoring nine-straight to win … It was the first time in seven games closer Don Czyz did not make an appearance.