Jayhawk Baseball Falls to No. 17 Mississippi State
March 6, 2005
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The University of Kansas baseball team rounded out the 2005 NBC Classic on Sunday afternoon, falling to No. 17 Mississippi State 9-2 at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, Miss. The loss drops the Jayhawks' record to 13-8 this season, while MSU remains unbeaten at 6-0.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead in the contest by plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior center fielder Joseph Hunter led the inning off with a single off of KU starter Kodiak Quick. After the next MSU batter was called out on batter interference, Quick issued a one-out walk and in the next at bat MSU first baseman Brad Jones singled to drive in Hunter with the game's first run. The Bulldogs added runs on a Jayhawk error and a sacrifice fly later in the inning to take a 3-0 advantage.
Kansas junior shortstop Ritchie Price got the Jayhawks on the board in the top of the third inning with a RBI single, cutting the MSU lead to 3-1. However, Mississippi State was able to post a big inning in the home half of the frame, scoring four runs to increase its lead to 7-1. Designated hitter Brian LaNinfa drove in the first Bulldog run of the inning on a RBI single and score later when second baseman Thomas Berkery connected on his first home run of the season, a three-run shot over the wall in left center field.
Quick (4-1) pitched five innings in the contest and yielded eight earned runs. The junior walked two batters and struck out one on his way to his first loss of the season. Junior reliever Don Czyz struck out five batters and held MSU scoreless in the game's final three innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs tacked a pair of runs onto their lead with a RBI double by shortstop Bunky Kateon, and a run scoring single off the bat of Berkery.
The Jayhawks got their second run of the ballgame on a sacrifice fly from Sean Richardson in the top of the eighth inning.
Kansas baseball is back in action next weekend as it hosts North Dakota State in a three-game series at Hoglund Ballpark.