Kansas beats Missouri 7-3 in Border Showdown game. Preston Land pounds his third home run of the week.

Senior First Baseman Preston Land is making sure he doesn't leave Lawrence quietly. via media.lawrence.com

Preston Land hit a three run homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning to put Kansas up 5-3.  The bullpen made the lead stand up and Kansas defeated Missouri 7-3 in front of 4,102 fans at Kauffman Stadium.   Everything about the night was near perfect for KU fans.

The opening innings of the game were dominated by strong pitching and defense.  Kansas starter Brett Bollman limited the Tigers to three hits and two walks over 5.1 innings but left the game with KU trailing 2-1.  Reliever Colton Murray gave up a two-out single to MU first baseman Steve Gray and Missouri led 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.  Price was happy with what he got from Bollman last night “I was really pleased with the way Bollman gave us a quality start so we could set up our bullpen and use it properly. He was right at his pitch count – we wanted him to go no more than 80 – so we could use him on Sunday out of the bullpen if he was needed.”

Kansas finally capitalized on a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the inning.  Through the first five innings Kansas had gotten eight men on base but had only managed to score a single run on a 1st inning Buck Afenir double.  Brian Heere opened the sixth with a triple.  It looked like KU might squander this scoring opportunity as well when neither of KU’s big men, Buck Afenir and Tony Thompson, managed to advance Heere the final base against Missouri reliever Ryan Clubb.  With two outs and Heere still at third Casey Lytle was hit by a pitch putting runners at the corners.  Lytle was the 4th Hawk hit in the game already and things started to look a little chippy.  The next KU batter, Jimmy Waters, delivered a clean single to left field to bring home Heere and set up Preston Land for the big blow.  On the first pitch he saw in the at-bat Land delivered his third home run in six days and the blue section of Kauffman exploded.  “It felt great ... I hit it and I knew that it had enough to get out, but as I was rounding first I saw that it was letting up a little bit but it still went over.”

Kansas tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-out David Narodowski single.  Colton Murray (1.1 innings), Travis Blankenship (1.2 innings) and Brett Bochy (0.2 innings) kept the Tigers quiet through the final three innings.

All seven KU runs were scored with two-outs.  The bottom of the Jayhawk order carried the team for a change.  Four of the seven RBIs came from the 7, 8 and 9 men last night.  Coach Price said after the game “The only way we’re going to be a good club is if we’re solid all the way through our lineup, especially seven, eight and nine. We’re finally starting to get some help. We haven’t had much production out of those spots lately so it was nice to see them finally contributing.”

“I think it shows that we’ve got good players. We’ve got really good players at the top of the order; the first three guys are really special and now we’re starting to get some contribution at the bottom of the lineup. My only disappointment of the game was that we were sloppy defensively. That’s something we haven’t been doing, we’ve been playing very well defensively. And that infield is perfect – you can’t blame any of those errors on that infield. I think it was a little bit of nerves.”

Missouri Head Coach Tim Jamieson gave it up to the Hawks after the game.  “We’ve got to recognize they played better than we did. They made a couple errors and gave us some chances to score some runs, but outside of that they pitched it better and hit it better.”

Kansas improves to 27-14 with the win while Missouri falls to 21-21.  The Jayhawks are back in action Friday at Hoglund Park where they open a weekend series with Nebraska.  First pitch 6PM.  This is alumni weekend, the weather looks close to perfect and the Hawks are closing in on an NCAA tournament bid.  How many more reasons do you need to get down to the ballpark?

Link to KU recap and the box score after the jump

Link to KU recap

               Apr 22, 2009 at Kansas City, MO (Kauffman Stadium)

Missouri 3 (21-21)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Holt 2b..................  3  0  0  0   1  1  2  1   1
Lollis rf................  4  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Senne lf.................  4  0  0  0   0  2  1  0   1
Folgia cf................  4  2  2  0   0  0  2  0   1
Coleman c................  3  1  0  0   1  0  7  1   0
Mach, K. 3b..............  3  0  1  0   0  0  1  4   1
Gray 1b..................  4  0  1  1   0  0  8  1   0
Mach, C. dh..............  4  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   2
Liberto ss...............  3  0  0  0   0  1  2  2   1
Ampleman ph.............  1  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
Berger p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Clubb p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Gargano p...............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Clark p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33  3  5  1   2  4 24 10   7

Kansas 7 (27-14)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Narodowski, David ss.....  4  0  3  2   1  0  3  5   0
Price, Robby 2b..........  3  0  0  0   0  0  1  3   3
Heere, Brian rf..........  1  2  1  0   1  0  4  0   0
Afenir, Buck c...........  4  0  1  1   0  1  4  0   3
Thompson, Tony 3b........  3  0  0  0   0  2  0  0   1
Lytle, Casey lf..........  2  2  0  0   1  0  3  0   0
Waters, Jimmy dh.........  3  1  1  1   0  1  0  0   0
Elgie, Zac ph...........  1  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
Land, Preston 1b.........  4  1  1  3   0  0 11  0   0
Brunansky, Jason cf......  3  0  1  0   1  2  1  0   0
Bollman, Brett p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  2   0
Murray, Colton p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Blankenship, Travis p...  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Bochy, Brett p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 28  7  9  7   4  6 27 11   7

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Missouri............ 000 201 000 -  3  5  0
Kansas.............. 100 004 02X -  7  9  3
-------------------------------------------

E - Price, Ro.(4); Lytle, C.(3); Land, P.(4). DP - Missouri 2; Kansas 1. LOB
- Missouri 7; Kansas 7. 2B - Folgia(11); Ampleman(1); Afenir, B.(9). 3B -
Heere, B.(3). HR - Land, P.(3). HBP - Holt; Price, Ro.; Heere, B.; Thompson,
T.; Lytle, C.. SH - Mach, K.(5); Price, Ro.(10); Heere, B.(5). SB -
Lollis(11). CS - Brunansky(2).

Missouri               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Berger..............  2.1  2  1  1  2  2  8 12  49
Clubb...............  3.2  4  4  4  0  2 13 15  47
Gargano.............  1.2  2  2  2  2  2  5  9  35
Clark...............  0.1  1  0  0  0  0  2  2   8

Kansas                 IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Bollman, Brett......  5.1  3  3  2  2  1 19 23  77
Murray, Colton......  1.1  1  0  0  0  1  5  5  23
Blankenship, Travis.  1.2  0  0  0  0  1  6  6  26
Bochy, Brett........  0.2  1  0  0  0  1  3  3  21

Win - Murray, C. (2-1).  Loss - Clubb (1-2).  Save - None.
WP - Bollman, B.(1). HBP - by Berger (Price, Ro.); by Berger (Heere, B.); by
Clubb (Thompson, T.); by Bollman, B. (Holt); by Clubb (Lytle, C.).
Pitches/strikes: Berger 49/25; Clubb 47/29; Gargano 35/21; Clark 8/5; Bollman,
B. 77/46; Murray, C. 23/12; Blankenship 26/19; Bochy, B. 21/14.
Umpires - HP: Bill Maguire  1B: Dave Yeast  2B: Chris Coskey  3B: Shane Friebe
Start: 7 pm   Time: 2:53   Attendance: 4102
Weather: Sunny, clear, 79 degrees
Game: KU41

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