LAWRENCE, Kan. - Five Jayhawk homeruns lifted the Kansas baseball team to a, 15-4, win over the Western Illinois Leathernecks, and completed a three-game sweep for the 'Hawks in Hoglund Ballpark on Sunday. The victory moved KU's overall record to 21-9-1, while WIU fell to 9-16.
KU followed form from its previous two victories on Saturday, by scoring in the first inning. Senior first baseman Ryan Baty and senior rightfielder Matt Tribble, who finished the day 4-for-5, each garnered RBI to put the 'Hawks in front 2-0. Kansas added three more in the second when junior leftfielder Andy Scholl homered, driving in sophomore designated hitter Jared Schweitzer, who led off the inning with a single. A sacrifice fly from junior catcher Sean Richardson pushed KU's third run of the inning across and moved the Jayhawks' lead to 5-0.
Two homers highlighted the third inning for Kansas, after WIU posted its first run of the game in the top half. Tribble led off the frame with a single then scored on junior third baseman Travis Metcalf's 11th dinger of the year. The two-run blast cleared the 30 foot batters-eye in centerfield for a 392-foot-plus shot. Later in the inning, Scholl launched his second round-tripper of the game, a two-run blast to right-center.
The Leathernecks pushed one run across in each of the next two innings, pulling to within six runs, 9-3. Kansas posted another run in the fifth when sophomore Matt Baty doubled to drive in Schweitzer. Tribble later singled in the sixth allowing Ryan Baty to cross the plate and extend KU's lead to 11-3.
Kansas sealed the victory in the eighth when redshirt-freshman Derek Bailey and sophomore outfielder A.J. Van Slyke connected for back-to-back homers. Bailey's shot was a three-run blast to right-center, and was the first of his career. Van Slyke's, his first-ever as a Jayhawk, sailed over the rightfield fence and gave the Jayhawks a 15-3 lead.
Junior RHP Michael Saddler came on in the ninth to allow an unearned run on one hit, closing out the victory for Jayhawk reliever, senior RHP Chris Smart, who worked 2.2 inning of no-hit baseball.
Kansas opens the Big 12 portion of its season next weekend when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., to face the 25th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. Senior LHP Ryan Knippschild (5-2, 3.96 ERA) will take the hill for the Jayhawks in a game set for 2:05 p.m. on Friday, March 26, in Haymarket Park.
KU Softball Sweeps Portland State
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The University of Kansas softball team improved its overall record to 20-9 with a sweep of Portland State Saturday at Erv Lind Stadium. The Jayhawks defeated the Vikings (6-11) by a score of 1-0 in the early game and finished the day with a 5-3 win in Game Two. Senior pitcher Kara Pierce (11-4) was credited with KU's wins.
KU scored first in Game Two as Serena Settlemier notched a solo homerun (ninth of the season) over the left center wall in her first at-bat. The Vikings answered in the bottom of the second with two runs on Erin Stokey's two-run homer to take a 2-1 lead.
Sophomores Melaney Torres and Destiny Frankenstein notched base hits and Settlemier was intentionally walked to load the bases in the top of the KU fifth. Senior Mel Wallach blasted a double to score all three runners and give KU a 4-3 lead. Wallach then scored on an error by PSU's shortstop to give the 'Hawks a 5-3 lead.
Pierce struck out 10 and walked two to hold on for the KU victory, her second complete game of the day. The Jayhawk offense notched seven hits and committed just one error in Game Two.
The teams remained scoreless in Game One until the fourth inning when Settlemier lead off with a walk and was pushed around the bases, scoring on a fielder's choice. The one run was enough as KU held on for the 1-0 shutout.
Pierce struck out eight and allowed just two hits to pick up the win in Game One.
Kansas will continue its 10-day road stretch Sunday as it faces No. 18 Oregon State (24-8) in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the OSU Softball Complex.
The Beavers, who are coming off a 5-1 weekend at the Fresno State Invitational, hold a 7-2 all-time record in home openers with head coach Kirk Walker at the helm.