Kansas University's baseball team had to wait a little longer than it wanted to twice Sunday at Hoglund Ballpark, but by the end of the afternoon the Jayhawks came away with their first Big 12 series win when the Jayhawks defeated No. 29 Missouri 9-6.
The game's start was delayed 50 minutes by severe weather passing through the area. Then in the ninth, KU closer Don Czyz -- who had only given up three earned runs all season -- allowed three runs and loaded the bases with two outs before striking out Derek Chambers to collect his 10th save and improve KU to 20-11 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12.
"It's the first time he has struggled this year," KU coach Ritch Price said of Czyz. "It happens to everybody. It happens to Mariano Rivera a few times during the course of the season as well. I'm glad he was able to gut his way out of it. And thank goodness we put that four-spot up in the bottom of the eight, or it could have gotten really interesting."
KU starter Kodiak Quick gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings of work, but picked up his fifth win of the season.
MU's second batter, left-fielder Zane Taylor, who just missed out on catching Erik Morrison's game-winning home run Saturday, blasted a towering shot over the tall centerfield wall to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Homers by Erik Morrison and Jared Schweitzer in the second and third innings gave KU a 3-2 lead and the Jayhawks would never trail again.
"It helped it a lot, because mine was basically just a fly ball," said Schweitzer of his wind-aided two-run homer in the third that barely cleared the fence thanks to a strong push from a blowing outward breeze. "We hit the ball well."
Indeed the Jayhawks pounded out 11 hits, including two each from Ritchie Price, Schweitzer and John Allman. Schweitzer had three RBIs, while Ritchie Price and Gus Miler had two a piece.
Kansas added a four-run cushion in the bottom of the eight when Dylan Parzyk walked to start things off. Kyle Murphy was hit by a pitch by MU reliever Taylor Parker, as was Ritchie Price. Schweitzer walked, which scored a run because the bases were loaded. Milner ripped a ball past MU's first and second baseman to bring in two more runs.
Morrison was hit by a pitch, but Preston Land lined out to third and Morrison was doubled up at first. Allman hit an infield single which scored Schweitzer for the 9-3 lead. Matt Berner struck out looking to end the inning.
Price said he was proud of his Jayhawks, who will play Wichita State in Wichita Wednesday before coming back home next weekend to play Texas Tech, and thought his team got itself back on track this weekend.
"I told our club this was the biggest weekend of the year for us," Price said. "After the loss on Friday night, I was really proud of the way we responded Saturday and obviously again today. I thought we played even better than we did yesterday."
"To win that series puts us back in the hunt to try and accomplish all the goals that we have."
Missouri had to wait 50 minutes during a weather delay Sunday at Hoglund Ballpark, but the Tigers wasted no time when the game finally got going.
MU's second batter, left-fielder Zane Taylor, who just missed out on catching Erik Morrison's game-winning home run Saturday, blasted a towering shot over the tall centerfield wall to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
KU starter Kodiak Quick gave up one more hit, but got out of the inning without anymore damage.
The Jayhawks looked to be in good shape in the bottom of the inning when Ritchie Price pelted a ball to left and Jared Schweitzer walked. But Gus Milner hit into an inning-ending double-play.
Derek Chambers and Trevor Helms had back-to-back singles to start the second. A sac bunt moved the two into scoring position and Chambers came home on a deep fly to center by Gary Arndt. A throwing error on KU centerfielder Kyle Murphy, who overthrew third, moved Helms up a base. But Evan Frey flew out to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the second, Erik Morrson slammed another homer to left to cut KU's deficit in half.
John Allman and Ryne Price, who returned to KU's line-up today after missing 18 games with a wrist injury, had back-to-back singles, but KU couldn't close the gap.
MU went down in order in the third.
Ritchie Price walked to start the third. Jared Schweitzer gave KU its first lead of the afternoon with a homer to left, that thanks to the wind just sailed beyond the fence over a jumping Zane Taylor.
MU first baseman Derek Chambers probably saved the Tigers from trailing by more than one run when he made a diving play down the first-base line. He snagged the ball then his momentum carried him to the bag for a double play.
KU centerfielder Kyle Murphy made a nice over-the-shoulder grab to get the Jayhawks out of the fourth.
Kansas took a 4-2 lead when Dylan Parzyk, who led off with a double and moved to third on Kyle Murphy's sacrifice, scored on Ritchie Price's groundout.
Missouri got one in the fifth, but couldn't take advantage of it.
KU went down in order in the bottom half of the inning.
Like KU, the Tigers also went down in order.
Kansas added a run in the sixth when Ritchie Price doubled to center to score his brother, Ryne, who started the inning with a walk.
MU cut the contest to 5-3 when Derek Chambers scored on Gary Arndt's single to right.
The Jayhawks stranded two runners in the seventh.
KU starter Kodiak Quick, who had two strikeouts in seven innings was replaced by Paul Smyth. With two Tigers on base and two outs, KU closer Don Czyz came in and induced a ground ball to first base to get out of the jam.
The Jayhawks broke open the game in the bottom of the eighth when Kansas added four runs. Dylan Parzyk walked to start things off. Kyle Murphy was hit by a pitch by MU reliever Taylor Parker, as was Ritchie Price. Jared Schweitzer walked, which scored a run because the bases were loaded. Gus Milner ripped a ball past MU's first and second baseman to bring in two more runs.
Erik Morrison was hit by a pitch. Preston Land lined out to third and Morrison was doubled up at first. John Allman hit an infield single which scored Schweitzer for the 9-3 lead. Matt Berner struck out looking to end the inning.
Dan Pietroburgo hit a ball off the wall in center to score Kyle Mach. Pietroburgo came in on pinch hitter David Cales' single to right to make the score 9-5. Don Czyz, who had only given up three earned runs all season, gave up two runs and loaded the bases with one out. MU clean-up hitter Hunter Mense flied out to center to bring in Cales. Brock Bond single to left to load the bases. Czyz got out of the jam when Derek Chambers struck out swinging.
Kansas University's baseball team will try to win its first Big 12 series today when it takes on No. 29 Missouri at 1:50 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m., but severe weather in the nearby area delayed the start.
After losing 3-0 to the Tigers on Friday, KU rebounded with a 3-2 win Saturday thanks to a two-run home run by Erik Morrison in the bottom of the eighth.
"We got to win the series and give ourselves a chance to get back to .500 next weekend and then we'll be fine from there," said KU coach Ritch Price of his Jayhawks (19-11 overall, 3-5 Big 12).
KU will send senior Kodiak Quick (4-2, 2.47 ERA) to the hill while Mizzou will counter with freshman lefty Rick Zagone (2-0, 1.65 ERA).
Jayhawk sophomore Ryne Price, who has missed 18 games with a broken bone in his wrist, will return to Kansas' line-up at second base today.