Originally published May 26, 2012 at 04:59p.m., updated May 27, 2012 at 12:10a.m.

Missouri ends KU’s baseball season

Kansas’ Tucker Tharp (9) is greeted by teammates outside the dugout after hitting a home run against Missouri in the third inning. It was one of KU’s few highlights in a 12-2 loss to the Tigers on Saturday in the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.

Kansas’ Tucker Tharp (9) is greeted by teammates outside the dugout after hitting a home run against Missouri in the third inning. It was one of KU’s few highlights in a 12-2 loss to the Tigers on Saturday in the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.


— Missouri outfielder Dane Opel went 3-for-5 with five RBIs, while relief pitcher Jeff Emens blanked Kansas University over the final 32⁄3 innings as Missouri advanced to the Big 12 Baseball Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark with a 12-2 run-rule victory over KU on Saturday.

The Jayhawks end their season at 24-34, advancing to the semifinal round of the conference championship after eliminating both Texas A&M; and Texas the last two days. Missouri (31-26) advanced to meet Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game at 1 p.m. today.

KU trailed throughout Saturday’s contest and could never catch the Tigers. Missouri used a four-run sixth and a three-run eighth to break the game open. Opel collected the big hit in the sixth inning, clearing the bases with a double to plate three runs and increase the Tiger lead to 8-2. Opel came around to score on Michael McGraw’s RBI single as the MU designated hitter collected his third hit and third RBI.

“My compliments to Missouri. They took advantage of the scoring opportunities early in the game,” KU coach Ritch Price said. “We had some opportunities early and weren’t able to capitalize. I thought Emens did a really nice job. He came in and changed the menu from the starting pitcher as far as locating and finishing with his change-up. I thought he made the difference in the ball game.”

The Tigers jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against KU starter Tanner Poppe with RBI hits from Ben Turner and McGraw. However, KU came back to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the third on Tucker Tharp’s third home run of the season.

After Missouri scored two more runs in the third with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Scott Sommerfeld, Tharp delivered his second RBI of the day with a two-out base hit to left that plated Dakota Smith. However, it was all Missouri from there.

Tharp was the only Jayhawk to collect multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-4, while Michael Suiter collected his fifth hit of the tournament with a single off Emens in the sixth.

Five KU pitchers took the mound, with freshman Colin Toalson pitching most effectively, tossing 11⁄3 scoreless innings.

“Today was all about the seniors,” Tharp said. “We were trying to go pitch by pitch and inning by inning to see what we could do to get a close game toward the end and keep advancing. Unfortunately, our bats weren’t there today. I tip my hat to them. They came out, they had 13 hits, and they put runs on the board. We knew it was going to be a slugfest in order to win the game. We had to swing the bat well, and, unfortunately, it just didn’t go our way today. It happens in baseball.”

Emens entered the game with KU threatening in the fifth two on and one out and fanned Zac Elgie and Smith in succession and held the Jayhawks to just one base-runner the rest of the way.

“We’ve made progress during the course of the season,” Price said. “When you’ve got 13 freshmen on your roster playing in this league, you have got a tough task ahead of you. We’ve gotten better each of the last six weeks. Our young guys have made progress, and we’re excited about potentially what we can do on the mound a year from now. I knew it was going to be a long season with growing pains, but hopefully, we’ll be rewarded for it next year and be back in the NCAA Tournament.”


Jeff Coffman 7 years, 9 months ago

I think we all became sooner least for one day.

Great Season KU, way to knock the horns and aggies out of the tourney.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 9 months ago

Yep...Go Sooners!!! Keep it in the Big 12.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 9 months ago

Time for sheahoRn to send the moving truck to Price's house

Brad Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Hell yeah Boomer Sooners infinitely preferable to the inbreds of mizzeri. Nice K.O. of the texicans.

JayHok 7 years, 9 months ago

A paper like the NY times would start the article by calling the school by it's official name. The University of Kansas. If it's a sports article--and it's implicit perhaps by the section it's in that the story is regarding Colleges or Universities---and there is a limited space issue in the paper that day then an exception could be made where the team-only name is used--- such as the Kansas Jayhawks.

For the rest of the article the NY times would refer to the team or school as Kansas or Jayhawks but it would be considered a fault of not only the writer but the editorial staff to allow a team/school to be called an unofficial name.

Hieronymous2012 7 years, 9 months ago

True, but every institution can pick its own style guide. The London Times style guide is not the same as the NY Times style guide. KU has its own style guide, but that applies to communications from the University itself. It would seem the LJW prefers a somewhat breezier and more informal style. If people don't like this, they should take it up directly with the publisher. Haranguing the staff writers doesn't accomplish much. I would think that if the KU sports publicity people thought that a reference to Kansas University was disrespectful or inappropriate, they would take it up with the LJW editors. Perhaps someone who cares enough should talk it over with the KU sports publicity staff and get them to tkae the issue to the LJW.

JayHok 7 years, 9 months ago

Hier, the LJW has explained it in a different way that it is their choice. If indeed the University allows or supports this, it sounds like people should write the university. It's seriously a one page letter from the University to get it stopped.

Since Kansas is the flagship institution, now more than ever it's probably a good idea to accentuate "the" University of Kansas.

Thanks for your insight and Rock Chalk.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm not sure how I feel about the title, in a way it makes it seem like the writer has enough confidence as a KU fan to just say go out and say it like that, just goes ahead and bluntly states it. On the other hand, can't help but say a part of me doesn't see why this title can't be "Baseball Eliminated in Big12 Semi" or something along those lines.

Either way, 2-2 in the Big12 tourney, wins over a couple pretty good teams. Hopefully the team builds on it next season.

JayHok 7 years, 9 months ago

By the way good game Mizzou. You whooped us. 121 years later you can claim you won the last ever in-conference sporting event against us. In baseball. From 1891 until now it's been the most hated rivalry in sports and the longest west of the Mississippi. But finally you ended it yesterday. In baseball.

Kansans' sore feelings aside about losing this final game--in baseball--to you yesterday---Thank God Kansas stomped Mizzou in the first football game in 1891 and thank God the North won the civil war!

Have fun in the confederate states Mizzou---did you know it's an SEC tradition to tip outhouses over when opposing fans are in them. Enjoy!

Yoozername 7 years, 9 months ago

"Twenty-three states remained loyal to the Union: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, MISSOURI, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. During the war, Nevada and West Virginia joined as new states of the Union. Tennessee and Louisiana were returned to Union military control early in the war."

Learn some history, brotown.

Jim Pendleton 7 years, 9 months ago

Can we take credit for the last win over MU when we whoop up on them at the NCAA track meet? Rock Chalk!!

JayHok 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes. Thank God for track. I forgot about track. As long as there is at least one event that is head-to-head---They would still be in the conference and that would bookend it from 1891 until the 2012 track whooping.

I must admit the baseball loss only upset me for a minute because I thought that was our last head-to-head chance to bookend the Tigers.

Apparently not. Rock Chalk

Steve Corder 7 years, 9 months ago

Well done Jayhawks! Work deligently in the off season so to build on the good finish of the last few weeks.

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