Archive for Sunday, February 20, 2011

KU baseball knocks off No. 1 TCU, 4-3, in 14 innings

February 20, 2011

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KU baseball vs. TCU box score ( .PDF )

Talk about going above and beyond.

Colton Murray pitched seven innings of relief — and coaxed the final out on a called third strike with the bases loaded — as Kansas University slipped past top-ranked Texas Christian, 4-3 in 14 innings, on Sunday at Lupton Stadium.

Junior Zac Elgie provided the offense, with a two-run double in the top of the 14th, and Murray, KU’s junior closer, made it stand up.

“I’ve been thrown into situations like that to get out of a jam, but not that many jams,” Murray said after allowing one earned run off seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings. “I knew I had the drive to go that long, but I haven’t had to pitch that many innings since high school. I just knew I had to get out there every inning and gave it all I had.”

He impressed Elgie.

“First off what a game, to come in a place like this with the big crowd, to be in the game, you have to give credit to Colton. To go that long, pitch six innings, and to (starting pitcher) Tanner (Poppe), it was just a great thing to be a part of.”

It was KU’s only victory in the season-opening three-game series. It marked the third straight year KU has beaten a top-ranked team.

“It’s a whole team effort, everyone is in the ball game, and you need everyone playing for you,” Elgie said. “To have the teammates rooting for you in a hostile environment, you need that kind of support, and to have that really went a long way for us.”

Elgie, Kansas’ junior first baseman, broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with a solo home run to left and then broke another tie in the 14th inning with his double to left field.

Jimmy Waters led off the Kansas 14th with a single and moved into scoring position on a walk to Chris Manship. After a sacrifice by Jake Marasco moved both runners into scoring position, Elgie doubled past TCU third baseman Jantzen Witte to give the Jayhawks the lead.

“I think we just needed to relax a little bit,” Elgie said. “I mean, it’s against the No. 1-ranked team. There is a lot expected of us because coach (Ritch) Price has done so well against No. 1-ranked teams. We just have to go out there and be ourselves. We are a new team, we don’t have the stars that we did last year, so we had to go out there and make our own identity.”

Poppe, KU’s 6-foot-5 right-hander, held the Horned Frogs (2-1) to one run on three hits with five strikeouts over six innings.

Kansas will face Creighton in the team’s home opener on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.

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