Archive for Monday, May 20, 2002

Kansas coaching staff awaits fate after KU drops doubleheader to Kansas State, 7-4 and 9-0

May 20, 2002


— Kansas University's baseball team ended its season in an appropriate manner Sunday.

The Jayhawks, who were playing in their sixth unscheduled twinbill of the season because of rain or travel plans, lost 7-4 and 9-0 to the Wildcats under a cloudy and rainy sky at Frank Myers Field.

Kansas ended its season at 22-29 overall and 5-21 in the Big 12.

"What a difficult day," said KU coach Bobby Randall, who didn't talk about his much-discussed job security after the game. "It was dark. It was kind of a typical day on the season, ending on a doubleheader on a rainy, miserable day on a wet field."

The second game, Randall's 1,000th as a manager, was halted after seven innings because of darkness, which suited Randall just fine. KU had been eliminated from postseason play last weekend.

"If we were playing for something, absolutely," Randall said of his desire to return to Manhattan today to finish the game, "but we're not playing for anything and there's no point in coming back just to play an inning and a half. There really isn't any purpose to play."

Kansas looked like it came to play early in the first game, leading off the top of the first with back-to-back doubles by Lance Hayes and Matt Tribble and taking a 1-0 lead, the Jayhawks' first advantage in the series.

The Wildcats (28-23, 13-13) answered with three runs in the second, highlighted by a two-run opposite-field homer to left-center field by Brett Williams off Jeff Davis (5-5).

Kansas State added another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth for a 6-1 lead, but Casey Spanish cut the deficit to three runs with a mammoth two-run home run over the left-center field wall in the top of the sixth.

"I was just looking for something out over the plate," Spanish said. "I kind of had an idea that he might go in on me and I just got a good pitch and got a good swing on it."

The Wildcats added a run in the bottom of the inning, but Kansas looked to be in good shape in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded and no one out.

Tribble drove home a run with a fielder's choice, leaving two runners on for Spanish. But the junior second baseman grounded into a game-ending double play.

In the second game, both teams were scoreless through four innings as Tom Gorzelanny shut down the Wildcats  who left seven runners on base  and Jonathan Gutierrez held the Jayhawks to one hit.

Kansas State got to Gorzelanny (3-7) in the fifth inning, though, scoring six runs and tacking on two more in the sixth and one in the seventh off reliever Chris Jones.

"It was nothing-nothing until the fifth and the roof caved in in the fifth and that was kind of the baseball game," Randall said. "I just told our team sometimes it doesn't always go the way you want it to go and to hold their heads up and walk out of here and I'm proud of them."

One bright spot for the Jayhawks was their ability to shut down Pat Maloney, the Big 12 leader in batting average entering the series.

Maloney entered Saturday night's 11-9 K-State victory in Lawrence hitting .406, but Kansas held him to three hits in 12 at-bats in the series.

"I don't know that you can point to anything we did," Randall said, "or if it was anything he did, but we knew he was a good hitter. Sometimes that's the way it goes. There were a couple of other guys we didn't have as good of luck with."

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