Kansas rallied from a 3-1 sixth inning deficit to defeat the #1 ranked Texas Longhorns Saturday at Hoglund Field. The Jayhawks have won back to back one run games and will go for the series sweep Sunday at 1PM. Freshman Lee Ridenhour (3-1) will get his first weekend start in Sunday’s game. He will be opposed by Texas sophomore Cole Green (2-0). First pitch at 1PM.
Kansas took advantage of poor Texas fielding for the second straight day to take an early lead. David Narodoswki scored on a throwing error by Texas first baseman Brandon Belt to stake KU to a 1-0 lead. Belt made a costly error in Friday’s game as well, so it is safe to say that Lawrence might not be his favorite place to play.
The Longhorns reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Kevin Keyes hit a three run homerun. Keyes hit a two run homerun yesterday and has accounted for five of Texas' seven runs so far in the series, so it is also safe to say that Lawrence might be his favorite place to play.
Kansas would not tolerate the Texas lead for long. The Hawks stormed back in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game at 3-3. Jimmy Waters delivered a two RBI single bringing home Buck Afenir and Tony Thompson. The following inning Robby Price wrapped up the scoring with an RBI single to plate Narodowski.
The KU pitching staff rose to the occasion again today. Starter T.J. Walz did not give up a base hit until one out into the fifth inning. He left the game trailing 3-1 after Keyes sixth inning homerun but his overall performance was very good. He went 5.1 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3/3 BB/K – a good enough outing to give the Hawks an excellent chance to win. Price used five relief pitchers to get the final 11 outs. Cameron Selik, Travis Blankenship, Brett Bochy and Colton Murray kept Texas off the scoreboard for the next two and a two-thirds innings. Paul Smyth protected the one run lead in the ninth to earn his fifth save. The ninth inning was not without drama. The game ended on a deep fly ball to left field off Brandon Belt’s bat with runners on second and third. As soon as Nick Faunce caught the ball the team collected on the pitcher’s mound congratulating Smyth and celebrating the series win.
Once again the KU defense was rock solid. Tony Thompson, David Narodowsky and Robby Price all made outstanding plays.
The weather couldn’t have been better. I’d estimate about 1,200 fans showed up and Hoglund was plenty loud at all the right times. Sadly game three will be played at the same time as KU’s NCAA tournament game vs. Dayton so I expect turnout will be quite a bit smaller on Sunday. Just the same I expect to see at least a few people to show up carrying brooms.
Kansas improves to 12-7 on the year and 2-0 in the Big-12. Texas falls to 14-5 and 2-3. KU is 9-0 at Hoglund this year. Maybe it is time to start mentioning that. Do we have a magic Hog in ’09?