May 30, 2009

Courtesy of Kansas

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Kansas junior Shaeffer Hall tossed his second shutout of the season, while freshman Zac Elgie set a KU postseason record with six RBIs as the Jayhawks stayed alive in NCAA Regional play with a 16-0 rout of Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.

The Jayhawks improve to 38-23 on the season and will play the loser of the North Carolina/Coastal Carolina game Sunday at noon CST in another elimination contest. The Big Green end their season at 27-18.

Unlike their previous three games, the Jayhawks jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Senior catcher Buck Afenir, who went 3-for-3 in the game, blasted a two-run homer in the top of the first following a Robby Price double to stake Kansas to an early 2-0 lead. It marked the first time during the last two weeks that KU has scored first inning runs.

The Jayhawks poured it on in the fourth as Afenir and Tony Thompson started the inning with singles and Casey Lytle reached on an error on an attempted sacrifice. After a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Elgie slammed a 2-0 fastball over the left field wall for his first career grand slam, and third home run of the season.

That was more than enough support for Hall, who went the distance, allowing just five singles in the game. The junior, who threw a no-hitter in his first start of the season, recorded his second complete game shutout. It was the first shutout in an NCAA Tournament contest by a Jayhawk.

Hall retired the first 14 Big Green hitters he faced in the game, until Jim Wren broke up the perfect game with a line single to center with two outs in the fifth.

Meanwhile, the Kansas offense scored 16 runs - the second-most by a KU team in postseason play - on 17 hits. Afenir and Thompson led the way with three hits each, with Thompson extending his hitting streak to 18 games, which ties for the sixth-longest string in school history.

Afenir's 3-for-3 day broke him out of a 2-for-16 slump during the postseason. His 10th home run of the season set a career high for the senior catcher, and gave him 31 career round-trippers, which ties him for second in team history.

Shortstop David Narodowski added a solo home run in the third inning, his fifth since the beginning of the Big 12 Championship on May 20. All eight of the shortstop's home runs are solo shots.

Ivy League Player of the Year Nick Santomauro led Dartmouth's offense, going 2-for-4.

Ten different KU players collected base hits in the game, including seven position starters.

KU's 16-run margin of victory was its largest ever in NCAA Tournament play, and biggest since a 17-run win in March of 2007. The 17 hits were the most by the Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament since a 19-hit effort against Ohio State in 1994.