Duncan's Shutout Propels Jayhawks to 1-0 Win Over Tigers
May 17, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Sophomore pitcher Frank Duncan tossed a complete game shutout, allowing seven hits and recording five strikeouts, while third baseman Jordan Dreiling made the play of the night, turning a double play to end the game in KU's 1-0 win over Missouri Thursday evening at Hoglund Ballpark.
The win for Kansas, coupled with K-State's win over Texas Tech Thursday night, moves the Jayhawks into seventh place in the Big 12 standings. KU can clinch a spot in the Big 12 Baseball Championship in Oklahoma City with one more victory.
KU improved to 21-31 overall and 6-15 in conference play, while the Tigers fall to 27-25 and 9-13 in the Big 12.
With KU clinging to a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth, Missouri put two runners on with a one-out walk and a base hit by Conner Mach. MU outfielder Dane Opel then hit a shot down the third base line, but Dreiling made a diving stop at third, stepped on the bag and fired to first to emphatically end the game. The junior had come into the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement for Zac Elgie, who scored the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Elgie led off with a single to left field. A successful sacrifice bunt by freshman Dakota Smith advanced Elgie to second. With two outs, freshman Michael Suiter smacked an RBI double to left-center to bring Elgie home for the only run of the game. The hit was Suiter's fourth two-out RBI on the season and his 13th overall.
Duncan did the rest, tossing the first complete game shutout of his collegiate career and second by a Jayhawk pitcher in the last three games. The sophomore allowed no runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts. His five K's gave him 92 for the season, which is tied for seventh on KU's all-time single-season list.
After cruising through the first six innings, Duncan worked himself out of jams in each of the last three frames.
In the seventh inning, Missouri put two runners on with one out, but Duncan induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Scott Sommerfeld to keep the game tied. After KU took the lead in the bottom of the inning, the Tigers came back in the eighth as Brandon Champagne led off the inning with a single.
However, senior James Stanfield caught his 16th would-be base stealer of the year, throwing out Champagne to end the inning.
Suiter led the KU offense with two hits in the game, while five other Jayhawks collected hits against Missouri starter Rob Zystryzny, who pitched an eight-inning complete game.
The win for Kansas is the Jayhawks' 10th in the last 13 matchups with Missouri.
The Jayhawks will return to the field for game two of the series tomorrow at 6 p.m. against the Tigers. Freshman Wes Benjamin will take the hill for KU and is scheduled to go up against Missouri's freshman right-hander John Miles.