Thursday, March 15, 2007

Shockers leave no doubts

KU baseball team hammered by in-state rivals


In five years of coaching the Kansas University baseball squad, the worst defeat Ritch Price had suffered against Wichita State was by five runs - at least until Wednesday's game at Hoglund Ballpark.

The 60th game of the series between the two Kansas colleges ended in an 18-3 loss for KU and tied the worst loss by either team during the 55 years of the series, the other coming in 1992 when WSU defeated KU, 19-4.

"I don't think that there was a positive happening in the game," Price said. "But they basically took us apart in every phase of the game tonight. ... There's that great line in 'Bull Durham' by Crash Davis: 'This is the most humbling game in the world.' And today we got absolutely humbled - big-time. ... This was the first time since I've been here that we've been boat-raced at home by Wichita State.

"I believe we've split every series we've played them, since I've been here. So, obviously, we're going to make sure that the next time we play them (in Wichita on April 18), we have a chance to get even. "

The Jayhawks were able to get five hits off Shockers left-handed starter Rob Musgrave - a graduate of Santa Fe Trail High - but scored only two runs during his three innings of work.

"For the first four innings, I thought we were pretty good, but then we got a little complacent and got buried by a couple of big innings," KU shortstop Erik Morrison said. "They kind of figured some weak spots in some hitters, and they made good pitches."

After one inning by Khol Nanney in relief of Musgrave, Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson brought in Anthony Capra, who came into the game with a .182 opponents' batting average.

"It's our mentality that whenever Gene comes to bring one of us in, we're going to throw strikes," said Capra, who threw three hitless innings and struck out five.

Wichita State blemishes KU's undefeated home record

To the diamond now where the KU baseball team tried to remain undefeated at Hoglund Ballpark this season with a win over Wichita State.

Kansas only came up with two extra-base hits - a double by Kyle Murphy in the third and another by Nick Faunce in the ninth that scored Robby Price - and didn't have a batter with multiple hits.

"The fact is that you look at that scoreboard, and we got it handed to us pretty good," Morrison said, "but now we have to come back next game and see what we can do."

Kansas now begins Big 12 Conference play as it travels to College Station, Texas, to face No. 8 Texas A&M; over the weekend.

The squad then will return to Hoglund Ballpark on March 20 for a two-game series against Northern Colorado.


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