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Saturday, February 11, 2006

KU baseball beats Stanford again

Jayhawks hold off eighth-ranked Cardinal, 5-4

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For the second day in a row, Kansas University's baseball team defeated No. 8 Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. With the 5-4 victory, KU improves to 6-1 on the season while Stanford falls to 3-2. KU will look to sweep the three-game series tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m. central time.

Senior Ricky Fairchild (2-0) scattered four hits and allowed three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings of work. KU's five relief pitchers did not allow a hit in the final 3.2 innings of the game to secure the victory.

After setting the KU saves record with the 14th of his career against Stanford on Friday, senior Don Czyz picked up his third save of the season and 15th of his career with a perfect ninth inning.

Kansas tied the game at one in the top of the third inning. Senior Matt Baty reached on an error, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a fielding error by Stanford's freshman third baseman Austin Yount. Stanford picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the third to retake a one-run lead.

KU didn't trail long as sophomore John Allman led off the fourth inning with a single and scored on a two-run homer by sophomore Ryne Price giving the Jayhawks' a 3-2 edge. The home run was Price's third of the season.

Sophomore Erik Morrison followed with a double to chase Stanford's starting pitcher Matt Manship from the game. Freshman catcher Buck Afenir cleared the bases with his first career home run, giving KU a 5-2 lead. The two-run home run also gave Afenir his first career RBI.

Stanford closed the gap to 5-3 with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. Freshman Andy Marks replaced Fairchild to get the final two outs of the inning.

Marks pitched 1.2 innings before being replaced by junior Ryotaro Hayakawa to start the eighth inning. Hayakawa walked Chris Minaker to lead off the inning. Minaker moved to third base on a wild pitch. After recording one out, freshman Ryan Anthony came in relief of Hayakawa and walked one batter before freshman Paul Smyth entered the game with runners on the corners.

Brent Milleville flew out to right field on Smyth's second pitch to drive in a run for Stanford. After walking the next batter, Smyth struck out Chris Lewis swinging to end the eighth inning and hold a one-run lead for KU.

Kansas will send senior and former Stanford Cardinal Kodiak Quick (1-0, 1.29 ERA) to the mound on Sunday the final game of its three-game series. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. central.

Game Notes: KU has won its last five non-conference road games against top 10 teams ... Head coach Ritch Price improves to 11-12 against top 10 teams at KU ... ... Jared Schweitzer has now hit safely in 37 of KU's last 40 games ... Stanford is ranked No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 14 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and No. 19 by Baseball America.

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