Baseball: Kansas slips by Vandy, 4-3

NASHVILLE ­­--- Kansas scored four runs in the fifth inning and withstood a late Vanderbilt rally to defeat the Commodores 4-3 in the final game of the Music City Classic Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The Jayhawks went 3-0 on the weekend and improved to 10-4 on the year, while VU fell to 3-4 overall.

The Commodores trailed 4-3 in the ninth and had the tying run at third base before second baseman Rucker Taylor struck out to end the game.

KU's fifth inning started with a single by catcher Buck Afenir who then advanced to second on a sacrifice and then to third on a single by rightfielder Brock Simpson. Shortstop Ritchie Price followed with a grounder to VU first baseman Brian Hernandez who threw home to catcher Shea Robin who muffed the throw. The Jayhawks added two more runs on a double by centerfielder Gus Milner and plated their final run on a RBI groundout.

That was the only inning they would get to VU starter Matt Buschmann (1-1) who went the distance for the Commodores first complete game of the year. He allowed four runs, two earned, on nine hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

"You are never too happy whenever you lose, but I was pleased with the way I pitched for the most part," said Matt Buschmann. "The one-run losses are tough, but at the same time I believe we can learn from them and use these experiences to help us win the close ball games later in the year and during conference play."

Vanderbilt cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth when Dominic de la Osa led off with a single and advanced to third on a double off the leftfield wall by Rucker Taylor. Centerfielder David Macias had a RBI groundout and Brad French a sacrifice fly RBI to account for the two runs.

The Commodores reduced the lead to 4-3 in the eighth when French scored on a throwing error by KU third baseman Erik Morrison.

Parker Hanks led off the ninth with a single to left, but was erased at second on Diallo Fon's fielder's choice. Fon then moved to second when de la Osa struck out and the ball got away from the Kansas catcher. He advanced to third on another wild pitch, before Taylor ended the game.

Kodiak Quick (2-1) allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in eight innings with five strikeouts and two walks to pick up the win, while Don Czyz pitched the scoreless ninth to record his sixth save of the year.

"I thought it was a well pitched game by Matt, he had a bad pitch in the fifth that allowed two runs to score, but other than that I thought he was fine," said head coach Tim Corbin.

"It was another close game and as I have said the last week, we just need to start hitting and it will come together."

Vanderbilt will continue its 14-game homestand this week with a Tuesday game against Murray State at 4 p.m., before hosting Ball State next weekend.

Kansas     000 400 000- 492
Vanderbilt 000 200 010- 371

Quick, Czyz (9) and Afenir. Buschmann and Robin. W- Quick 2-1, L- Buschmann 1-1. SV- None. HR- None.


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