Kansas lost an emotional game against Missouri Sunday afternoon. Brett Bollman received a rude reception in his first career Big-12 start. Missouri chased the KU junior after 1.1 innings and built a quick 6-1 lead. Lee Ridenhour relieved Bollman but couldn’t stop the bleeding and after four innings the Jayhawks were down 9-3. By all rights this game should have been over but Missouri was made of slop and allowed the Hawks to stay in the game. MU starter Nick Tepesch threw five wild pitches and hit a batter. Catcher Ryan Ampleman let a ball get by him and committed a throwing error. These eight unforced mistakes directly lead to five Kansas runs. When Tepesch was finally pulled in the seventh KU had cut the lead down to 9-7. Despite all the help from Missouri Kansas seemed unwilling to accept the gift. MU took advantage of a 3-base error by Preston Land in the seventh and rebuilt their lead to five runs after eight, 12-7. Again, this game should have been over, but it wasn’t.
Kansas' dramatic five run 9th inning rally tied the game at 12. Tony Thompson’s grand slam off Tiger closer Brad Buehler was the highlight of the inning. Casey Lytle followed Thompson’s granny with a triple and, after Buehler walked Preston Land, Phil McCormick was called on. McCormick managed to get out of the jam by striking out Jason Brunansky and popping out James Stanfield to prevent KU from taking the lead. The second batter in the bottom of the 9th, Ampleman, hit his first career homerun to center field off Colton Murray for the walk-off Missouri victory, 13-12.
The loss dropped Kansas to 13-11 in the Big-12 and 35-18 overall. It also dropped KU out of the Baseball America top-25 list. KU has nothing to be ashamed of here. Missouri took the series 2-1 but they were clearly pushed to the limit. It was a lost opportunity for the Jayhawks, but there is a reason Kansas has not won a series in Columbia since 1983. It is extremely hard to win a road conference series in the Big-12! Last weekend Texas Tech took two of three from Kansas State in Manhattan. This was the first road conference series win for the Raiders in five years!
Moving forward, it is important is that the Jayhawks put Sunday's loss out of mind quickly. The Hawks play a home and home series with Kansas State this weekend, Friday in Manhattan, Saturday and Sunday in Lawrence. Kansas looks good as an at-large selection for the NCAA championship tournament right now but they are not a lock. Last year KU entered their final weekend series with Kansas State only needing one win to earn an invite to the Big-12 tournament in Bricktown. Kansas State swept the series and took KU’s place in Bricktown. A similar meltdown this year might push the Hawks back onto the NCAA bubble. No one knows what the NCAA selection committee will do next week but I know I would feel a lot more comfortable if KU carries a few more wins into that meeting.
After the jump additional KU baseball notes, notes on regional teams in the NAIA and D-II play-offs, and Sunday’s box score.
The NCAA D-II tournament field was announced on Monday. Unlike the D-I field only 48 teams are selected. The nation is divided into 8 regions, each sending 4, 6 or 8 teams. Kansas fall into the South Central region. The six teams in that region will start a double elimination tournament today in Warrenburg, Missouri.
1. Central Missouri (41-13)
2. Abilene Christian (43-17) – Lone Star Conference champion.
3. Angelo State (43-18)
4. Emporia State (42-12)
5. Nebraska-Omaha (40-18) – Mid-America IAA Conference champion.
6. Texas Permian Basin (39-17) – Heartland Conference champion.
The NAIA Baseball Championship tournament got underway May 12th. Several teams in the greater Lawrence area (I like that, “Greater Lawrence Area”) made the field. Perennial NAIA powerhouse William Jewell was sent to Lubbock as a four seed. Despite their low seeding the Cardinals made it to the final round and will match up with #1 seed Lubbock Christian today a 6PM with a chance to advance to the NAIA world series in Lewiston, Idaho (May 22-29) on the table.
Kansas Wesleyan will also play to advance to the World Series today in Lindenwood, Missouri. The #3 seed Coyotes play the winner of the Cambellsville – Lindenwood game at 5PM. The game can be listened to live here. Kansas Wesleyan visited Hoglund back in April 2007 and looked very sharp for an NAIA team.
LJ World and KC Star Pay Some Attention: The LJ World has started to pay a bit more attention to KU baseball. Tom Keegan published a profile on Brian Heere on Tuesday. Apparently scouts are giving him a look over now that he has demonstrated four tools. Last week Dugan Arnett profiled Lee Ridenhour. Arnett’s profile focuses on Ridenhour’s development over the course of the season. Brady McCollough of the KC Star also jumped on the Ridenhour bandwagon. His profile focuses on Ridenhour’s battle to overcome hemophilia. These stories all all fine and I'm glad to see the team getting a bit more attention finally, What would I like to see? - How about stories detailing how well KU is playing baseball? It seems local newspapers are more interested in personalities and overcoming-the-odds stories. Is this the sports section of the lifestyle section? Lee and Brian are both performing amazingly well for players seeing Big-12 action for the first time in their careers. Memo to sports writers: A little more attention to what happens between the chalk lines please! The team’s performance merits a more serious approach in their coverage.
Link to KU recap of Sunday's game
May 10, 2009 at Columbia, MO (Taylor Stadium)
Kansas 12 (35-18,13-11 Big 12)
|Narodowski, David ss||4||1||1||0||1||1||3||1||0|
|Price, Robby 2b||1||3||1||1||2||0||3||3||0|
|Heere, Brian rf||5||1||2||1||0||0||4||0||0|
|Afenir, Buck c||3||2||1||2||1||0||5||1||1|
|Thompson, Tony 3b||5||1||2||4||0||1||0||1||1|
|Lytle, Casey lf||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||0||0|
|Land, Preston 1b||4||0||1||1||1||2||5||1||1|
|Waters, Jimmy dh||3||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Brunansky, Jason ph/cf||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0|
|Faunce, Nick cf||3||1||1||0||0||1||3||0||1|
|Stanfield, James ph/dh||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||2|
|Bollman, Brett p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Ridenhour, Lee p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Selik, Cameron p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Blankenship, Travis p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Murray, Colton p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Missouri 13 (30-23,16-11 Big 12)
|Holt, Austin 2b||3||2||0||0||1||0||0||1||1|
|Lollis, Ryan rf||4||4||3||4||0||1||1||0||0|
|Folgia, Greg cf||5||1||3||2||0||1||6||0||0|
|Senne, Aaron lf||5||1||1||1||0||1||2||0||0|
|Mach, Kyle 3b||5||1||3||1||0||0||1||4||2|
|Gray, Steve 1b||4||1||0||1||0||0||8||0||1|
|Ampleman, Ryan c||4||1||1||1||1||1||7||0||1|
|McLagan, Garrison dh||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||0||0|
|Meyr, Rex pr||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Liberto, Michael ss||2||1||0||0||1||0||2||2||0|
|Tepesch, Nick p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Gargano, Ryan p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Buehler, Brad p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|McCormick, Phil p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Kansas.............. 100 221 105 - 12 10 4 Missouri............ 330 300 211 - 13 12 1 -------------------------------------------
Note: 1 out, 0 runners LOB when the game ended.
|E - Narodowski(17); Afenir, B.(5); Land, P.(5); Faunce, N.(4); Ampleman(2). DP - Missouri 1. LOB - Kansas 6; Missouri 5. 2B - Heere, B.(11); Thompson, T.(20); Lollis(13). 3B - Lytle, C.(2); Lollis(4). HR - Thompson, T.(17); Ampleman(1). HBP - Price, Ro.; Holt; Lollis. SH - Price, Ro.(11); Liberto(5). SF - Afenir, B.(6); Gray(1). SB - Lollis(13). CS - Meyr(2).|
|Murray, Colton L,2-2||0.2||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||3||2||0||8|
|McCormick, Phil W,1-1||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||2||1||0||6|
|Win - McCormick (1-1). Loss - Murray, C. (2-2). Save - None. WP - Tepesch 5(9). HBP - by Bollman, B. (Holt); by Tepesch (Price, Ro.); by Selik, C. (Lollis). PB - Ampleman(4). Pitches/strikes: Bollman, B. 35/23; Ridenhour 51/27; Selik, C. 32/18; Blankenship 3/3; Murray, C. 8/5; Tepesch 99/58; Gargano 13/6; Buehler 58/35; McCormick 6/6.
Umpires - HP: Curtis Alexander 1B: Doug Williams 3B: Tom Svehla