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Kansas splits two rivalry games. Jayhawks sweep Wichita State then lose opener to Missouri.

Kansas baseball is into the rivalry section of their schedule.  Emotions run high during the final two weeks of the season and over the last three days the team has experienced both ends of the spectrum.  On Wednesday night the Jayhawks went to Wichita and wore down the Shockers en route to a convincing 8-3 victory.  Coupled with an 8-0 Kansas win over Wichita State in Lawrence in March this gave Kansas their first season sweep of the Shockers since 2000.  Friday night KU packed up their momentum and #23 national ranking and headed down I-70 to Columbia.  The Missouri Tigers, after starting the year in horrible fashion, regrouped over the last month and the Border Showdown series promised to be a battle between two teams both looking to put their final touches on their NCAA tournament resumes.  Kansas hit MU ace Kyle Gibson pretty well but Missouri gave better then they took last night.  The Tigers scored seven runs on Shaeffer Hall over 5.2 innings and won the surprisingly high scoring affair 8-5 in front of 1,774 fans. 

Kansas now sits at 34-17 overall and 12-10 in the Big-12.  Texas beat Texas A&M last night in an exciting extra innings game, and Texas Tech shocked just about everyone by getting to Kansas State ace A.J. Morris last night while shutting out the Wildcats 6-0. (Big-12 Hardball Scoreboard)  These two results actually allowed Missouri to move into second place in the conference at 15-10.  Kansas and Missouri continue the series today with a 2PM first pitch. 

Links to the KU recaps and box scores of the 8-3 win over Wichita State on Wednesday and 8-5 loss at Missouri on Friday.

Tony Thompson is on fire, … again:  Wednesday T-squared went yard in the seventh inning, hitting a three run home run to blow the game open 6-2.  Thompson went 2-5 with 4 RBIs in the game.  Friday Tony went 2-4 with a double and another homerun giving him 16 on the year.  This total put him on top of the Big-12 alone for all of about 15 minutes.  Oklahoma catcher J.T. Wise hit his 16th homerun in Tulsa in the sixth inning to put the Sooner ahead.  The KU record for homeruns in a single season is Travis Metcalf’s 18 set in 2004.  With Kansas likely to play at least 10 more games this year Tony will have plenty opportunity to put his name in a prominent place in the KU record book.   Thompson’s 67 RBIs is the fourth highest single season total in KU history.  Next on the list is Sean Richardson’s 2004 total of 69.  Darryl Monroe collected 71 in 1994.  Thompson seems likely to pass both those marks.  The top spot all time, Josh Kliner’s total of 85 in 1996, might even be threatened before the year is out.  Tony Thompson is a beast this year.  If he finishes strong and KU lands in the top four of the conference there is a good chance a Jayhawks will be named Big-12 player of the year in a few weeks.

Buck Afenir is making plenty noise himself:  Afenir put the Hawks up on Friday night with a three run homerun in the third inning.  It was Afenir’s 7th of the year, and 28th of his career.  This ties the senior catcher with Ryan Baty (2000-2004) for fourth place all time in career homers.  Still ahead of Afenir, Travis Metcalf (29), and two guys he played alongside for three years, Erik Morrison (31) and Ryne Price (35).  Afenir’s 51 RBIs this year are 9 more than his previous season high (he collected 42 last year) and give him 147 for his career.  He only needs two more to move onto KU’s top-10 career RBI leader board.

Jason Brunansky injury:  Brunanksy had to leave the game in the bottom of the sixth inning last night after injuring himself while trying to make a play on a deep fly ball to centerfield hit by Greg Folgia.  Brunanaky was unable to make the catch and the play turned into an inside the park homerun for Folgia, one of two homeruns he hit yesterday.  Nick Faunce entered the game in place of Brunansky following the injury.  It was Faunce's first action since fracturing his finger in the final game of the OSU series.  The KU outfield is pretty beat up now.  Hopefully Brunansky's injury was not serious and he will be back in action soon.