Texas A&M has an enormously talented roster. In simple terms of physical talent, the Aggies are probably one of the best teams in the nation. Kansas can beat a team like this but to do so they have to execute well and take advantage of their opponent's errors. This is why today’s 7-6 loss was more disappointing than most.
The Aggies gave Kansas several opportunities to win the game. The home team was guilty of poor fielding, they walked in two runners with the bases loaded, and then in the 8th inning A&M Head Coach Rob Childress threw away an excellent scoring opportunity. With the score tied and runners at second and third with one out Childress inexplicably called for a suicide squeeze. The play collapsed at birth, Nick Anders could not make contact and Buck Afner tagged out the charging Adam Smith three feet up the base line. The next pitch Anders struck out and the score stayed tied.
Kansas did not take enough advantage of these numerous breaks to steal a precious conference road win. With the score 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth Paul Smyth entered the game and his hellish season continued. Smyth (0-4) hit a batter, committed his third costly fielding error of the young season and then gave up a game winning single while only recording one out in the frame.
I don’t want to get into the ebb and flow of the game. Please check out the KU recap for more details. It was an exciting contest in which several Jayhawks had excellent performances. The team collected 11 hits and seven walks off a great pitching staff. Preston Land, David Narodowski and Tony Thompson each had two hits. Brian Heere, who I am really starting to love as a player, collected a double, an RBI, two walks and planted his face in the Olsen Field right field fence trying to run down a fly ball in foul territory. It looked like it hurt and, (sorry Mom and Dad Heere if you are reading this), I love seeing the Hawks play full throttle ball like that. T.J. Walz pitched brilliantly early, good enough to win most days. He got the first nine men he faced in order, striking out six. Once again Walz hit an early wall (altough of a different nature than the one Heere hit) on his second time through the line-up. I am not sure why this happens with Walz. Maybe he needs one more pitch? Or maybe he needs to pace himself a bit more? Or maybe he is best suited for to the bullpen? I don't know, but some innings he is as good as any pitcher in the Big-12.
Kansas will attempt to avoid the sweep tomorrow. Game three is at 12:05. Lee Ridenhour will face Barret Loux. I like this pitching match-up. A&M will provide a free video feed for those who want to watch the game. Any who would like can use the comments section of this story to autopsy today’s disappointing loss and banter during tomorrow’s game.
Box score after the jump.
2009 Kansas Baseball
Kansas at #13 Texas A&M
Mar 28, 2009 at College Station, TX (Olsen Field)
Kansas 6 (15-9,3-2 Big 12)
|Narodowski, David ss||5||0||2||0||0||3||0||2||0|
|Price, Robby 2b||2||1||1||1||2||0||2||1||0|
|Heere, Brian rf||3||0||1||1||2||0||3||0||0|
|Afenir, Buck c||4||1||1||1||1||2||9||1||2|
|Thompson, Tony 3b||5||0||2||1||0||0||0||1||5|
|Waters, Jimmy dh||4||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||1|
|Land, Preston 1b||3||1||2||0||1||1||8||0||0|
|Faunce, Nick lf/cf||5||0||0||0||0||3||2||0||0|
|Brunansky, Jason cf||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||2|
|Lisher, Brett ph||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1|
|Lytle, Casey lf||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Walz, T.J. p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Selik, Cameron p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Bochy, Brett p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Blankenship, Travis p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Murray, Colton p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Smyth, Paul p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Texas A&M 7 (17-9,5-3 Big 12)
|Colligan, Kyle cf||3||2||1||0||1||1||1||0||0|
|Raley, Brooks lf||5||1||1||1||0||1||2||0||1|
|Shofner, Caleb 2b||5||1||3||2||0||1||2||1||0|
|Anders, Luke 1b||4||2||2||2||0||0||6||0||1|
|Petrich, Dylan dh||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Patterson, Joe ph/dh||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Smith, Adam pr||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Gonzalez, Kevin c||3||0||1||2||0||1||11||2||0|
|Greene, Brodie ss||4||0||2||0||0||0||3||3||1|
|Anders, Nick 3b||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||2||1|
|Thorpe, Randall rf||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||0|
|Arthur, Scott rf||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Alleman, David ph||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Wilson, Alex p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Thebeau, Kyle p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Minks, Shane p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Uriegas, Estevan p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Fleece, Nick p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Kansas.............. 200 001 030 - 6 11 1 Texas A&M........... 000 301 201 - 7 12 1 -------------------------------------------
Note: 1 out, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.
|E - Smyth, P.(3); Greene(4). DP - Texas A&M 1. LOB - Kansas 11; Texas A&M 7. 2B - Narodowski(6); Heere, B.(4); Afenir, B.(4); Thompson, T.(9); Waters, J.(2); L. Anders(5). HR - L. Anders(4). HBP - Land, P.; Colligan. SH - Price, Ro.(6); Gonzalez(3); Arthur(1). SB - Raley(16). CS - Smith(3); Greene(1).|
|Smyth, Paul L,0-4||0.1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||3||4||0||1||12|
|Fleece, Nick W,3-0||1.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||4||5||1||2||20|
|Win - Fleece (3-0). Loss - Smyth, P. (0-4). Save - None. WP - Wilson(4). HBP - by Fleece (Land, P.); by Smyth, P. (Colligan). Pitches/strikes: Walz, T. 85/56; Selik, C. 9/5; Bochy, B. 12/10; Blankenship 15/10; Murray, C. 11/7; Smyth, P. 12/7; Wilson 96/55; Thebeau 29/15; Minks 14/11; Uriegas 11/3; Fleece 20/14.
Umpires - HP: Curtis Alexander 1B: Doyle Sooter 3B: Wesley Hamilton