Blue Team Takes KU Baseball's Crimson & Blue World Series

Oct. 31, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Paced by a walk-off hit by pitch in game one and five strong innings from junior Thomas Taylor in game two, Blue edged the Crimson in three games in KU’s annual Crimson & Blue World Series over the weekend.

The Kansas baseball team held its Crimson & Blue World Series at Hoglund Ballpark to wrap up the team’s fall practice schedule. Teams were drafted last week by senior first baseman Chris Manship and senior relief pitcher Jordan Jakubov, who served as captains of the Crimson and Blue teams, respectively.

Sophomore Tucker Tharp led all hitters, going 7-for-10 in the three games, including three doubles and a pair of RBIs. Freshman Wes Benjamin allowed one run over six innings, while fellow freshman Drew Morovick added four shutout innings in Sunday’s finale.

KU will wrap up its fall schedule with practices this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

Below are recaps of the three games.

Game 1: Blue 3, Crimson 2

Redshirt freshman Alex Harris drew a hit by pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to force home the winning run as the Blue team topped the Crimson team in game one.

Senior James Stanfield started the inning with a single to right field and moved to second base after senior Jake Marasco drew a walk. Sophomore Jordan Brown advanced both base runners with a sacrifice bunt. Senior Jason Brunansky was intentionally walked, which set the stage for Harris.

Sophomore Ka’iana Eldredge, Stanfield and senior Taylor Hart led the Blue team with two hits apiece. Benjamin was brilliant on the mound, going six innings and allowing one run on two hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Junior transfer Jordan Luvisi earned the win by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Freshman outfielder Dakota Smith led the Crimson team, going 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Game 2: Blue 7, Crimson 2

Sophomore Ka’iana Eldredge went 2-for-4 with a solo home run to lead off the game, which set the tone for the Blue team’s series-clinching victory over Crimson, 7-2, in game two. Eldredge slammed the first pitch he saw from junior righty Tanner Poppe into the trees beyond the left field fence.

For Team Blue, starting pitcher Thomas Taylor had a great outing, going five innings and allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Eldredge and senior Jake Marasco each had a pair of hits to back Taylor.

The Crimson team was paced by sophomore Tucker Tharp, who went 3-for-3 with a double, while senior third baseman Zac Elgie hit a solo home run. Poppe suffered the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits over four innings of work.

Game 3: Crimson 7, Blue 2

Freshman Drew Morovick pitched four scoreless innings, while sophomore Tucker Tharp went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs as Team Crimson salvaged the final game of the Crimson & Blue World Series Sunday.

Freshman Taylor Rappaport followed Morovick with two more scoreless innings. Morovick and Rappaport combined to hold the Blue team to just four hits over the first six innings of the game. Freshman Brian Poupore contributed three hits for the Crimson team, while Dakota Smith went 2-for-5 with a double.

After taking the first two games of the series, Team Blue was held to just seven hits in the finale. Freshman Robert Kahana pitched well in his first two innings of work, but allowed four runs over 2 2/3 innings with two walks.