Round Rock, Texas Senior left-hander Pete Smart did not allow a run in 62/3 innings, and Kansas University's baseball team opened the 2001 season with a 7-3 victory over Texas Christian on Friday night at the Express College Classic.
Smart earned the win, and junior Doug Lantz claimed the save by pitching the final 21/3 innings. Smart, a native of Omaha, Neb., struck out seven and allowed just three singles as KU won its fifth straight season opener.
Senior shortstop John Nelson garnered KU's first hit of the season, a line-drive comebacker off the leg of TCU starter Chris Bradshaw (1-1) in the third inning. However, it was first baseman Justin Davis' two-out bloop single down the right-field line in the fourth inning which drove home right fielder Doug Dreher with the game's first run.
Later in the fourth, Brent Del Chiaro put KU ahead 2-0 when he scored on a passed ball.
The Jayhawks got on the board again in the seventh when pinch-runner Dan Stucky scored from third on a wild pitch. Davis scored KU's second run of the inning on a squeeze bunt off the bat of Jason Appuhn.
Smart ran into trouble in the bottom half of the inning but escaped when Lantz entered the game and retired pinch-hitter Cade Harris on a soft liner to third base with runners on first and second. Lantz allowed three runs in the bottom of the ninth on five singles.
"We did a lot of nice things tonight," KU coach Bobby Randall said. "We stole some bases, got some solid base hits and played pretty good baseball overall. I was very pleased with the way we performed, especially because it was the first time we played outside all year."
Nelson, Dreher and Davis each recorded two hits for KU.
KU will play Southwest Texas, at 2 p.m. today in the second round of the tournament.