CORVALLIS, ORE. For better or worse, Kansas University coach Ritch Price knows exactly what to expect from starter Kodiak Quick.
"He's always in trouble," Price said of the senior right-hander, who won a school-record 11 games this year. "If you look at the number of hits he gives up per innings pitched, there's usually somebody on base every inning."
That was true again Friday in KU's 9-6 victory over Hawaii in the first game of the NCAA Corvallis Regional at Goss Stadium. Quick was touched for seven hits and five runs in five innings, walked five, hit another, threw three wild pitches and left with the Jayhawks trailing 5-4.
But he escaped bases-loaded jams in the first and second innings, stranded a runner at second base and then held Hawaii scoreless in the fourth and fifth to keep the game close.
"There's times he struggles with his command like that, but the one thing he does is compete every pitch for us," Price said. "He's done that the whole two years he's been with us (since transferring from Stanford before the 2005 season).
"We could have been behind seven, eight or nine runs in the first three innings if he didn't find a way to get that third out and end those innings" without even more damage.
It was Quick's second appearance at Goss Stadium. He didn't pitch for Stanford in 2004 when the Cardinal took two of three from Oregon State in a Pacific-10 Conference series.
Weather holds: A steady rainfall forced the Jayhawks to practice at the Truax Indoor Center on Wednesday, but Thursday was partly sunny and about 70 degree after some light morning showers.
"It's been raining since we got here on Wednesday until the weather broke about an hour before gametime," said Price, who grew up in Sweet Home, Ore., about 35 miles east of Corvallis.
"I told the club, 'That's how it's going to be.' You learn how to dodge raindrops when you grow up in the Willamette Valley, but it cleared off and was absolutely beautiful. I also thought the grounds crew did a nice job getting the field ready, with as many days as the tarp has been on the field."
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Family reunion: Junior reliever Brendan McNamara had a familiar face cheering him on from the Oregon State section. Beaver senior quarterback Matt Moore is his cousin.
Great senior reward: Senior shortstop Ritchie Price said KU's first NCAA appearance since 1994 was a great reward and proof of the positive strides the program has made during his record-setting career.
"We've come a long way," he said. "Especially the last two weeks, winning the Big 12 tournament and playing in a regional. The last three years, I remember always going home, sitting on the couch and watching all these other teams get to play in the regionals and just being in a bad mood because of it. To get to finally experience this is a great thrill."