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Archive for Monday, March 31, 2003

Cowboys pound KU

March 31, 2003


It was one of those days.

Just two batters into Kansas University's 16-6 baseball loss Sunday against Oklahoma State, the Cowboys already were up 2-0 on a long home run by outfielder Jose Virgil.

Things didn't get much better, either.

KU coach Ritch Price went with the pitcher-by-committee approach, but only one of the five pitchers -- Kenny Falconer -- escaped without getting shelled. Falconer, though, pitched to just two batters.

Kansas did collect 15 hits, but four times grounded into double plays to kill rallies.

Heck, quite possibly the loudest ovation from the 742 fans in attendance came when KU men's basketball coach Roy Williams wandered into Hoglund Ballpark late in the game to catch a few innings.

It was just one of those days.

"That's our first time getting spanked in every phase of the game all season," Price said. "When you walk nine guys, hit two guys and hit in four double plays, you don't have much of a chance."

As was the case in OSU's 8-7 victory Saturday, the Cowboys blasted three home runs -- two by Virgil. Kansas, once again, managed just one, a solo shot by Casey Spanish in the fourth inning.

Though the Jayhawks never gave up, scoring four runs in the last two innings, Oklahoma State never gave in, punctuating a tremendous offensive display by scoring seven runs in the eighth inning.

The loss dropped Kansas to 21-11 overall, and the Jayhawks remained winless at 0-5 in Big 12 Conference play.

OSU improved to 17-8 and 4-1.

The series finale is 3 p.m. today at Hoglund.

"We swung the bats all right, but we've got to produce more early on," Spanish said. "We've got to get some pitchers some runs to work with, and they've got to throw strikes. It's a team thing."

Spanish was solid throughout, going 4-for-4 with a triple to go along with his home run.

Once again, the top of the Kansas lineup produced, with leadoff hitter Lance Hayes going 3-for-4 and shortstop Ritchie Price going 3-for-5 with three RBIs right behind him.

But the offensive effort was minuscule compared to OSU. The Cowboys had six players register two or more hits, six players drive in a run and nine players cross the plate when all was said and done.

It was the most runs the Jayhawks have given up in a game since Southwest Missouri State crushed four tape-measure home runs in a 20-8 victory nearly a year ago.

KU's first-year coach didn't leave Hoglund Ballpark without making a vow on behalf of his team.

"I promise you one thing, we'll play all season for you," Price said. "There may be some ugly days, but we'll play all season."

Oklahoma State 16, Kansas 6

Oklahoma State 202 302 070 -- 16 17 1

Kansas 001 100 022 -- 6 15 0

W--Spencer Grogan (2-3). L--Pat Holmes (2-1)

HR--Kansas: Casey Spanish (6); OSU: Jose Virgil 2 (4), Josh Fields (1).

KU highlights: Casey Spanish 4-for-4, HR, 3B, RBI; Ritchie Price 3-for-5, 3 RBIs; Lance Hayes 3-for-4, 2B.

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