Smith’s Career Day at the Plate Lifts KU Over Dartmouth, 11-7

Senior centerfielder Tucker Tharp hit his third home run of the season in the sixth inning.
Kansas 11, Dartmouth 7
Hoglund Ballpark // Lawrence, Kan.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
DART 0 4 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 7 7 1
KU 1 0 3 0 0 6 1 0 X 11 12 3

Box Score (.pdf)
Season Stats (.pdf)

Batting Leaders
D. Smith 4 1 2 5 0 1
M. Suiter 5 2 4 2 0 0
B. Beck 3 0 1 2 1 0
T. Roulis 5 1 2 1 0 0
J. Purritano 3 2 1 1 2 0
M. MacDowell 3 1 2 0 1 0
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
R. Kahana 5.0 5 5 2 2 3
D. Morovick (4-1) 2.1 2 2 1 2 0
T. Rappaport 0.2 0 0 0 0 1
J. Piche’ 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
B. Sulser (1-2) 5.1 9 7 7 2 2
Z. Sorenson 0.2 2 3 3 2 0
C. England 2.0 1 1 1 2 0

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior designated hitter Dakota Smith chalked up a career-high five RBIs capped off by a one-out grand slam in the sixth inning, as the Kansas baseball team defeated Dartmouth, 11-7, Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (16-7) and the Big Green (2-9) were all tied up, 5-5, in the sixth inning when Smith walked to the plate with bases loaded and one out. Smith timed the 1-0 fastball from Dartmouth lefty Zach Sorenson perfectly and drove it over the fence in right center for his first home run of the season and first since March 3, 2013. He finished the game 2-for-4 and added a run scored to his five RBIs.
Senior centerfielder Tucker Tharp had a tough act to follow after Smith’s granny, however, he rose to the occasion and smoked a 3-2 fastball over the left field wall for his third home run of the season and the first back-to-back home run performance for Kansas since Buck Afenir and Tony Thompson did so against Northwestern March 8, 2009.
Overshadowed by the long ball, junior left fielder Michael Suiter was nearly perfect at the plate with a 4-for-5 performance, tying his career high for hits, while adding two RBIs and two runs scored.
Kansas called upon junior right-hander Robert Kahana to start on the bump for the sixth time this season. The hurler tossed five innings, allowing five hits, two walks and five runs for the no decision. Junior righty Drew Morovick (4-1) came on in relief in the sixth inning, throwing two and one-third innings, giving up just two runs off two hits and two walks in the victory.
The Jayhawks jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, after a one-out sacrifice fly by Smith scored sophomore second baseman Colby Wright from third.
Dartmouth answered back with a four-sport in the top of the second inning, with help from two Kansas errors. Designated hitter Joe Purritano led off the inning with a walk, before third baseman Nick Lombardi reached on an error by Kahana in the field. Left fielder Ryan Toimil followed with a single to load the bases for first baseman Dustin Selzer, who drove in the first Big Green run on a sacrifice fly. Then a walk, another KU error and a single gave Dartmouth the three-run advantage, 4-1, heading to the home half of the frame.
The Jayhawks rallied to tie the game up in the third inning, 4-4. Wright took first on a hit by pitch with one out, before Suiter singled to put runners at first and second for junior right fielder Connor McKay. McKay followed suit with a single up the middle to drive Wright in from second and tally his 34th RBI of the season. Smith legged out an infield single to third base for the third-straight hit of the inning to load the bases. Then with two outs, junior first baseman Blair Beck drove a single to left field to score McKay and Suiter and knot the score up at four.
The Big Green added one in the fifth before Kansas pounded out six runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Junior third baseman Aaron Hernandez singled to lead off the inning and then advanced on a single by Wright before scoring on a double to left center by Suiter. McKay drew the walk from Dartmouth reliever Sorenson, setting up the Smith grand slam.
Dartmouth added two runs in the seventh off Morovick, after a couple of walks, a single and the third KU error of the day. Kansas answered with one more run in the bottom half the inning off an RBI double by Suiter to give KU the four-run advantage, 11-7.
The two teams close out the three game series Sunday, March 23 with first pitch slated for 10 a.m.  The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.