DeLeon paces alumni to third-straight victory in as many years
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In the sixth annual Floyd Temple Alumni Game held at Hoglund Ballpark Saturday afternoon, former KU slugger Alex DeLeon jacked a two-run home run over the batter’s eye in center field to seal up a victory for the alumni, 3-1.
Tommy Mirabelli drew a two-out walk in the top of the third inning (the final inning of the abbreviated game) to set the table for DeLeon, who stroked that low-80s fastball into the trees in center field. That two-run shot broke a 1-1 tie, and clinched the game for the alumni for the third-straight year.
“Alex DeLeon, how about that guy?” head coach Ritch Price said. “That ball was hit over those trees almost off McCarthy Hall out there in center field. That is what you call a bomb.”
That bomb is what the alumni needed after a 1-1 stalemate. Current Jayhawk junior Rudy Karre led off the game with a solo shot to left field, and that would be all the runs the present team would plate as four different pitchers of old held them to that lone run off two hits.
Jimmy Walker started on the hill for the alumni squad and after that home run, pitched himself out of a bases loaded jam. Clint Schambach came on and pitched a scoreless second, and TJ Walz and Blair Beck combined to close out the third.
“Those alumni pitchers absolutely grinded today,” Price said. “Jimmy Walker threw about 40 pitches to get out of a jam in the first inning, and then Clint Schambach and TJ Walz did what they did best when they were here. And you can’t forget about Blair Beck, recording that final out for the save.”
Former catcher Michael Tinsley got the alumni on the board in the second with a two-out, two-run double to left center. Kansas home run king Ryne Price started that rally by drawing a two-out walk.
“This game is all about [the alumni],” Price said. “It is so awesome to see those guys come back and then play home run derby in batting practice. They are having a ball in that dugout. The players in my dugout understand that and know what great Jayhawks they all are and how much they love this university and this baseball program. It is a really a fun three innings.”
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