Once again, Kansas University baseball pitchers helped support a lackluster offensive showing most recently in a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Friday at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks mustered just five hits, but Jeff Davis and Tom Gorzelanny combined to allow seven hits and one run while striking out nine Panthers to help keep Kansas unbeaten at 6-0.
"They were both super," KU coach Bobby Randall said. "Jeff wasn't quite as sharp as last time, but he was really good. Tommy came in and really pitched well."
Davis, who struck out nine in a complete-game victory over Centenary last weekend, allowed a run-scoring single in the first inning, but settled down and shut out the Panthers over the next five innings.
"The score looks good I only gave up one run but at the same time I don't feel like I threw as good as I can throw," Davis said. "I wasn't throwing a lot of pitches for strikes when I needed to be."
Davis' control problems resulted two walks and six hits, but he stranded eight Panthers.
"When there's a guy or two on base, I just try to think pitch by pitch," Davis said. "I just take it easy and I take a step back and just throw pitch by pitch because each pitch is important in those situations you make one good pitch and you get a double play or get a guy out."
Gorzelanny retired every guy he faced, with the help of a double play in the eighth, and allowed just one ball out of the infield in picking up his second save of the season.
Most of the offensive help the duo received came via home runs.
Pat Holmes put the Jayhawks ahead 2-1 in the fifth inning with a line-drive homer that tailed left at the last second and just missed nailing the higher center field wall.
"I didn't think it was high enough," Randall said. "It shocked me. When Matt Tribble hit his, I knew."
Tribble's two-run bomb came in the sixth, a high no-doubt-about-it shot that cleared the trees behind the right-field fence.
Lance Hayes also scored on the homer, after leading off the inning with a triple off the center-field wall. Hayes, a transfer from Paris (Tex.) Community College, also scored on a first-inning groundout by Ryan Baty after leading off with a single and stealing second.
"It seems like it's every game," Randall said of Hayes' ability to get on base and score. "He's just been extremely good in that leadoff position."
Once again, though, most KU hitters struggled at the plate.
"It seems like every game we're winning, but we're having about three guys hitting," Randall said. "We need to get more of our guys on track. It's early and we're a little bit jumpy, I think, and a little bit anxious and pressing a little bit wanting hits."
Kansas will conclude its three-game series against Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. today at Hoglund Ballpark.
Kansas 4, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 1
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 100 000 000 1 7 0
Kansas 100 012 000 4 5 1
Jeff Davis, Tom Gorzelanny (7) and Cole Armstrong; Aaron Bushong, Geoff Lefeber (6), Matt Freisleben (8) and John Vanden Berg. W Davis (2-0). L Bushong (0-1). S Gorzelanny (2).
2B Kansas: Pat Holmes. 3B Kansas: Lance Hayes. HR Kansas: Holmes, Matt Tribble.
Kansas highlights: Hayes 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3B, SB; Tribble 1-for-4, 2 RBI; Holmes, 2-for-3, 2B, HR.