Jayhawks Soar Past Baseball, 8-4
April 30, 2002
Chicago, Ill. - All it takes is one little crack in the dam for the flood to start.
Kansas scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth to break a 1-all tie and score seven unanswered runs on their way to the 8-4 victory over the University of Illinois at Chicago at Les Miller Field on Tuesday night.
With the victory, Kansas improves to 18-23 on the season, while the Flames fall to 27-10 on the campaign.
Senior righthander Larry Banks (Cicero, Ill./Nazareth) took the loss for UIC and drops to 7-4 on the season. Banks tossed six innings for the Flames and allowed four runs, three earned, while striking out six Jayhawks.
Kansas freshman Tom Gorzelanny picked up his first victory of the season as he tossed five innings, allowing six hits and one earned run.
Sophomores Nelson Gord (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove), who came into the game for an injured Bryan Russo, and Mark Homco (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg) each recorded two hits for the Flames on the day.
Kansas designated hitter Kevin Wheeler led the Jayhawks' onslaught as he went 4-for-4, including a homer, while catcher Cole Armstrong went 2-for-5, with a home run and two RBI.
With the score tied at 1-apiece in the top of the fifth inning, Kansas second baseman Travis Metcalf reached base on a fielding error by UIC third baseman Bryan Russo (Davie, Fla./American Heritage) with one out and stole second base.
Centerfielder Matt Hayes hit a slow-roller to shortstop Mike Bruszer (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield). Metcalf broke for third and collided with Russo, sending both sprawling to the ground. Bruszer attempted to tag Metcalf, but he was awarded third base, due to Russo's interference. Rightfielder Matt Tribble brought Metcalf home with a RBI single, to put the Jayhawks ahead, 2-1.
Kansas went on to score seven unanswered runs over the next 3 ½ innings, to take an 8-1 lead, heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
UIC mounted a comeback as they scored three runs to cut the lead to 8-4 behind a Curtis Granderson (Lynwood, Ill./T.F. South) sacrifice fly and a two-run single by right fielder Mike Hughes (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd), but the Flames would come no closer.
The Jayhawks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning as designated hitter Kevin Wheeler connected for a two-out, solo homer over the left field wall.
UIC tied it up in the bottom half of the frame as Granderson opened the inning up with a double and advanced to third on a single by junior first baseman Andy Deahl (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier).
Granderson tied the game up at 1-apiece as he scored on a double-play ball by Hughes. The run was Granderson's 58th of the season, breaking the previous season record of 57, set by Frank Provenzano in 1985.
UIC and Kansas will square off again on Tuesday, with the first pitch slated for 1:05 PM.