Kansas outlasts LSU in extra inning

Kansas scored three 10th-inning runs off of LSU closer Brandon Nall to hand the No. 6-ranked Tigers their first loss of the 2003 season.<br><br>Starting pitcher Kevin Wheeler led off the extra inning with a solo home run over the left field fence at Alex Box Stadium to give the visiting Jayhawks the only run they would need in a 9-6 win.

In addition to watching the Tigers (3-1) lose their first game of the season, LSU head coach Smoke Laval was also upset with the pitching performance he witnessed Friday night.

"I'm really disappointed in all our pitching," Laval said. "It was not good. Jake (Tompkins) didn't have it. (Billy) Sadler looked okay, but (Brandon) Nall just didn't have his juice."

Tompkins had his second no-decision of the year, giving up six Jawhawks runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. He finished the night with six strikeouts and two walks.

"They (Kansas) hit a lot of better than I gave them credit for," Tompkins said. "They hit my bad pitches and my good pitches."

After Wheeler's homer in the tenth, the Jawhawks (7-3) added two more insurance runs. One came on an error by LSU second baseman Ivan Naccarata and another on Sean Flynn's RBI double.

Flynn, who came into the game with a .214 average, finished the game 2-for-5 with four RBI, including three-run homerun in the second inning off of Tompkins.

"I had been struggling as of late," Flynn said. "I just wanted to come in and get some good swings and I did."

Kansas junior left-hander Ryan Knippschild (2-0) picked up the win for the Jawhawks after holding the Tigers scoreless in three innings of relief.

Nall (0-1) was the losing pitcher for the Tigers, allowing three runs in 1 1/3 innings of work.

"It's just frustrating," Nall said. "Every time I go out there I expect to get the job done. When I go in the game is on the line."

Despite the loss, the top of the Tigers order continues to flourish as Quinn Stewart and J.C. Holt went a combined six for 10 with one RBI.

Stewart, who was leading off for the Tigers for the first time this season, took the first pitch he saw from Wheeler to open the game over the left field wall for a homerun.

"It was a fastball," said Stewart. "I was hitting the ball well tonight. It just wasn't enough."

Holt also picked up three hits for the Tigers but wasn't buoyed by his personal performance.

"I would gladly have gone 'oh-fer' and we picked up the win," he said.

The second game between LSU and Kansas is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, but a forecast for rain is given for the Baton Rouge area at game time.

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