Jayhawks shutout Croatian National Team, 8-0

Sept. 2, 2007

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<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Nine different Kansas pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout to propel the Jayhawks to an 8-0 win over the Croatian National Team at Hoglund Ballpark on Sunday night. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Pitchers Nick Czyz, Wally Marciel, Andres Esquibel, Brett Bochy, Max Ellenbecker, Thomas Marcin, Matt Lane, Hiarali Garcia and Paul Smyth each threw for one inning and collectively held Croatia hitless for six innings before surrendering a single with two outs in the top of the seventh.

Senior John Allman, juniors Buck Afenir and Justin Ellrich led Kansas offensively with two RBI apiece as Kansas jumped on the board early. The Jayhawks pushed a run across in the bottom of the first when Robby Price walked, stole second and third and was knocked in on an RBI groundout by Allman.

Kansas took a commanding lead in their half of the third inning, plating four runs to go up, 5-0. Allman added an RBI single and senior Eric Snowden had an RBI double, but the big blow came off the bat of Afenir as his two-out double to deep left centerfield brought home a pair of Jayhawks.

Kansas added three more runs in the seventh off of an RBI single from senior Joe Southers and Ellrich’s two RBI double down the right field line.

The Croatian National team used the exhibition game as a final tune-up for the European Baseball Championships, which open in Barcelona, Spain on Sept. 7.

“(The Croatian National team) was great,” Kansas head coach Ritch Price said. “They were thrilled to be here. They love the University of Kansas and the facility and the guys told me that it was the highlight of their trip.”

At the European Baseball Championships the Croatian National team is looking to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

“This was the last game of our tour here (in the United States),” said Croatian head coach Krunoslav Karin. “I am very proud that we had the opportunity to play here, it is a great facility. I want to thank Coach Price for making this event possible.”