Kansas 4, Vanderbilt 2

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Sowers Strikes Out 12 But Kansas Outlasts Vanderbilt, 4-2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt starter Jeremy Sowers struck out 12 batters but was touched up for three runs in the fifth inning as No. 17 Kansas rallied past the Commodores, 4-2, Sunday, March 2 at Hawkins Field. The Jayhawks improve to 13-4 on the season. Vanderbilt drops to 6-5 after losing two of three games in the Music City Classic.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the fifth inning, Kansas' Ryan Baty tied the game with a RBI double into left-center field to plate Jason Appuhn who reached base with a leadoff walk. Kevin Wheeler gave the Jayhawks a 3-2 lead when he followed with a RBI single to right-center field that scored Baty. After a two-out single by Casey Spanish put runners on first and second, Travis Metcalf blooped a single to left field that scored Wheeler to give KU a 4-2 advantage it held throughout the remainder of the game.

Sowers (0-2) ended the day allowing eight hits, three walks and four earned runs in eighth innings of work. His 12 strikeouts tied a career-high set exactly one year ago in his Hawkins Field debut against Iowa.

Vanderbilt grabbed its only lead of the day, at 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth. Jeff Boutwell delivered a two-out two-RBI single to right field off KU starter Josh Duran that scored Matt Zeller and Ryan Klosterman.

Kansas took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning when Appuhn led off with a walk and scored on a RBI single by Wheeler.

After the fourth inning, Vanderbilt did not reach scoring position again until the ninth. VU's Rucker Taylor legged out a two-out infield single hit deep in the hole at shortstop. Warner Jones followed with a double down the right field line that pushed Taylor to third base. However, Zeller struck out to end the game.

Kansas reliever Brandon Johnson (3-1) earned the win. Johnson, who entered the game in the fifth for Duran, surrendered only four hits and a walk while striking out five Commodores. Chris Smart came on in the ninth and earned his third save.

Cesar Nicolas led all Vanderbilt hitters with a 3-for-4 outing at the plate. Boutwell went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Vanderbilt travels to the state of Florida this week to play four games in Jacksonville. The Commodores take on Jacksonville (3/4), Central Michigan (3/5), Michigan State (3/7) and Notre Dame (3/8).



Vanderbilt Athletic Department
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