Kansas Uses Eighth Inning Magic Again, Visits Orphanage
Dec. 17, 2012
BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic – For the second-straight day Kansas baseball used a five-run eighth inning, highlighted by a three-run homer off the bat of junior Tucker Tharp, to rally past the Kansas City Royals Dominican Academy, 9-5, Monday morning at Art Stewart Field.
The Jayhawks improved to 3-0 in their tour of the Dominican Republic with three come-from-behind victories.
Trailing 5-2 after seven, Kansas put two men in scoring position for Tharp, who sent a 2-2 pitch deep into the bushes beyond the left field fence to tie the score at five. Tharp led the offense with three hits on the day. Following the junior’s three-run blast, KU took the lead when Michael Suiter walked and came around to score on a safety squeeze executed by Ka’iana Eldredge.
Senior Kevin Kuntz capped the rally with an RBI single through the right side as Kansas sent 10 men to the plate in the eighth inning for the second-straight day.
Transfer Junior Mustain earned his first victory in a Jayhawk uniform, tossing a scoreless inning in relief, while sophomore Robert Kahana picked up the save, pitching the final two innings.
Senior Thomas Taylor started the game for Kansas and did not allow a base hit until the fourth inning when Kansas had built a 2-0 lead. Taylor went four innings and surrendered one run on one hit with three walks and a strikeout.
KU scored the first two runs of the game on Justin Protacio’s RBI single in the second and an RBI base hit by Suiter in the third. However, the Royals came back to take the lead on the strength of a three-run homer by Elier Hernandez in the fifth inning.
Along with Tharp’s three hits, Kuntz chipped in a 2-for-3 day, while Dakota Smith with 1-for-3 with two stolen bases and three runs scored.
Following the game, members of the Jayhawks visited the Casa Santa Rosa Orphanage near San Pedro de Macoris. The players helped the nearly 250 kids form volleyball, baseball and soccer games in a gymnasium area as well as outside at a soccer field.
The Jayhawks donated several pieces of sports equipment, coloring books, crayons, chalk, kites, jump ropes and KU gear to the orphanage.
The Jayhawks will complete their series with the Royals on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. local time (8:30 a.m. CT). Following Tuesday’s game, KU players will deliver health kits to an impoverished sugar cane village in near the Royals’ complex.
Fans can follow the team with daily updates on KUAthletics.com, which will also feature a link to Coach Price’s blog that will appear on CollegeBaseballInsider.com during the trip. All six games against the major league organizations will be available on GameTracker also on KUAthletics.com.
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