Sophomore Thomas Taylor posted a career-high nine strikeouts, and the Kansas pitching staff retired the last 16 Missouri hitters consecutively to claim a 7-1 victory over the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday night.
Kansas improved to 13-16 for the year and 4-0 all-time against Missouri at Kauffman Stadium. The Tigers fell to an identical 13-16 mark for the 2011 season.
"Yeah, I think so. You grow up being a Kansas fan your whole life and everyone hates Missouri, and wants to beat them as bad as they can. It's good to come out here, beat Missouri and get the win." - Jordan Dreiling
Taylor earned the victory, allowing one run on only one hit in six innings to improve to his pitching record to 3-1 for the year. It was Taylor's second-straight win against Missouri in Kauffman Stadium after he started in KU's 1-0 victory over the Tigers last year in Kansas City, Mo.
After Missouri tied the score 1-1 in the top of the second, KU responded with a three-run bottom half of the inning. Senior Casey Lytle led off the inning with a base on balls and sophomore Jake Marasco followed with a hit by pitch. Lytle and Marasco then advanced on a double steal. An RBI-single by freshman Kaiana Eldredge scored Lytle to give the Jayhawks the lead, 2-1. Two batters later, sophomore Jordan Dreiling singled to score both Marasco and Eldredge, giving Kansas a 4-1 advantage through two innings.
In the third inning, KU's first four batters, Elgie, junior James Stanfield, Lytle and Marasco all recorded base hits. Junior Chris Manship then picked up an RBI by being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give Kansas a 6-1 lead. Eldredge earned the team's final RBI of the night when his sacrifice fly scored Lytle, giving KU a 7-1 advantage, which Kansas would hold on to for the final six innings. The sacrifice fly gave Eldredge his third multiple-RBI game in his freshman campaign.
In the seventh inning, freshman Frank Duncan relieved Taylor. Duncan retired all six batters he faced, including a perfect eighth inning where he struck out the Tigers in order. Junior Colton Murray closed the game out in the ninth to give Kansas its fifth consecutive victory over Missouri and its seventh in the last nine meetings.
Taylor, Duncan and Murray combined for the team's first one-hitter since the team allowed only one hit to Texas Tech on April 12, 2008. The Jayhawk trio also combined for 13 strikeouts while only allowing four base runners the entire game.
Kansas will host a three-game series against Nebraska beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. KU will then play the Cornhuskers Saturday at 2 p.m., and conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m.