Texas A&M Knocks Off Kansas at Big 12 Championship, 10-4
May 23, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Texas A&M second baseman Scott Arthur went 2-for-4 with a career-high three RBIs, while Tyler Naquin collected four hits as the sixth-ranked Aggies downed Kansas, 10-4, in the first round of the Big 12 Baseball Championship Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The Jayhawks fall to 22-33 overall and will play the loser of tonight's Texas-Missouri game at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in an elimination contest. The Aggies improve to 42-14 overall and advance to face the winner of the evening game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Kansas sophomore pitcher Frank Duncan set a pair of milestones in defeat. The second-year righty recorded eight strikeouts in the game, which tied for the most by a Kansas pitcher in a Big 12 tournament game, matching Kodiak Quick's total in a 2005 game against Baylor. Duncan also reached 100 strikeouts for the season, making him the fifth KU pitcher to collect 100-plus K's and the first since 2005.
Duncan dominated the Aggies early, retiring 11-straight after an RBI single in the first inning, which included six-straight strikeouts. However, Texas A&M scored four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to break the game open.
In a 1-0 game in the fifth inning, the Duncan retired the first two hitters, before a seeing-eye single by Krey Bratsen started the Texas A&M rally. Arthur followed with an RBI triple off the left field wall, while Mikey Reynolds and Naquin recorded back-to-back singles and came around to score on Matt Juengel's two-run double, giving the Aggies a 5-0 lead.
After KU came back with a run in top of the sixth with a two-out RBI single off the bat of Alex DeLeon, the Aggies came back with a two-out, two-run single by Arther to end Duncan's day after 5 2/3 innings. The sophomore allowed a season-high seven runs on 10 hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.
The Jayhawks rallied for three runs in the ninth inning as freshmen outfielders Dakota Smith and Michael Suiter collected RBI hits, while Tucker Tharp added a sacrifice fly. Tharp, Suiter and second baseman Jordan Dreiling each collected two hits in the game, while four different players collected RBIs.
In Duncan's likely final start of the season, the sophomore moved into the single-season top 10 in three categories. He ranks fifth at KU in strikeouts (100), tied for eighth in innings pitched (111 1/3) and tied for ninth in opponents' batting average (.228).
KU will await the loser of the Missouri/Texas game, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Bricktown Ballpark.