KU baseball falls, 6-5

Monday, March 30, 2009

— A six-run deficit proved too much for Kansas University’s baseball team.

Junior David Narodowski and senior Buck Afenir each had two hits, and KU’s bullpen pitched four scoreless innings, but Texas A&M turned an early six-run advantage into a 6-5 Big 12 baseball victory over the Jayhawks on Sunday at Olsen Field.

The outcome completed a series sweep for the Aggies (18-9 overall, 6-3 Big 12). KU fell to 15-10 and 3-3.

A&M led, 6-0, after four before the Jayhawks rallied.

After scoring a run in the top of the sixth, KU cut the Aggie lead in half on a two-run single by Narodowski in the seventh. The shortstop’s hit followed a lead-off walk by Casey Lytle and a double by Preston Land.

KU came within a run on Tony Thompson's two-run single in the eighth. The inning started with a single by Brian Heere and a double by Afenir. Thompson followed with a ground ball up the middle for his team-leading 24th and 25th RBIs of the season.

However, that's as close as it would get. Texas A&M closer Nick Fleece came out of the bullpen and retired all five Jayhawks he faced to earn his third save of the season and second of the series.

KU outhit A&M, 8-4, but left six men on base and fanned 12 times. The Aggies stranded just two.

Texas A&M built its lead against Jayhawk starter Lee Ridenhour, who had his first rough outing in a Kansas uniform. Ridenhour went four innings allowing a season-high six runs on five hits with three walks and no strikeouts.

KU's bullpen, however, was brilliant. Sophomore Brett Bochy entered in the fifth inning and struck out seven of the nine men he faced in three scoreless innings.

Junior Travis Blankenship struck out a pair in the eighth.

Kansas suffered its seventh one-run loss this season — with all seven coming on the road.

KU will play host to Northern Colorado at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.