Archive for Sunday, May 2, 1999

KSU POUNDS JAYHAWKS IN BASEBALL

May 2, 1999

Advertisement

Sometimes trying to do too much means doing too little.

Playing in front of the largest crowd to witness a Kansas University baseball game, the Jayhawks tried to force things and it backfired.

A six-run eighth inning doomed Kansas as Randall stayed stagnant at career win 399 and Randall's Jayhawks lost, 10-3, to Kansas State on Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark to keep the milestone win at bay.

"I think the kids are trying to hard to win," KU coach Bobby Randall said. "Thinking all the time about trying to win will make anyone really nervous."

Not even the largest crowd ever for a Kansas baseball game -- 1,988 showed up at the renovated complex, the largest since 1,848 went through the turnstiles when Wichita State played here in 1996 -- could get Randall the win that he has been waiting on since KU beat Rockhurst on April 21. The Jayhawks have lost seven consecutive.

Kansas pitcher Dan Olson admitted that the surroundings made him apprehensive.

"Yeah, playing in front of a big crowd like that made me nervous," Olson said.

Olson looked ready to blow out the Wildcats, throwing a commanding 5 1-3 innings while allowing one run and four hits. The outing was Olson's longest of the season since the hurler has been struggling with elbow problems.

"Everything was working early," Olson said. "I felt fine. I wanted to stay in there."

Randall pulled Olson after his pitch count ran into the 90s, but it may have been the wrong move with a bullpen that has only been consistent with its struggling this season. Chris Williams entered and pitched effectively, but that was the last the Jayhawks (11-36 overall, 4-25 Big 12) saw of commanding pitching.

"I didn't think Dan could go six for us because of his elbow," Randall said. "And the whole plan was to bring in Chris then Colin."

That's Colin Call, who mustered one out before being benched after allowing four runs (three earned) and three walks -- all part of a six-run eighth inning that made the score 9-3 and destroyed Kansas. But Randall won't put much of the blame on Call.

The rivals were tied at 3 after seven innings, and two of the bottom-tier teams in the Big 12 were playing competitive baseball, when all heck broke loose for Kansas.

In the decisive eighth, Kansas State (22-23, 8-14 Big 12) sent 11 batters to the plate.

"There's no explanation," Randall said. "Except fundamentally we just fell apart the last three innings."

Kansas, the worst statistically in the Big 12 in hitting and pitching, couldn't do much against Wildcat pitcher Derek Andersen. The southpaw had a career-high 15 strikeouts while pitching a complete-game, eight-hitter.

"The lefty they threw was extremely well," Randall said. "The runs we did get were pretty amazing. They didn't just boot the ball around, we really did some good things to score."

After K-State scored once in the first, KU managed to take a 3-1 lead after Shane Wedd scored in the fifth after leading off with a double to left and scoring on a Corey Harrington single. The Jayhawks scored twice in the six and looked to be in command.

Shane Wedd, the Kansas catcher, was a big reason for KU's dominance. He went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.

But the lead was short-lived with the Wildcats notching two runs in the seventh, including a lead-off homer from Mark English -- his fifth in the past eight games.

Randall will have another chance today to record his 400th win when the Jayhawks complete their three-game series against Kansas State at 1 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.