College baseball: Bizarre score stops game
By Jeffrey McMurray
Associated PressLEXINGTON, Ky. ó Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks used to say, “Let’s play two.” But after what happened in the first game of a college doubleheader, both coaches agreed: “Let’s not.”
Eastern Kentucky played Kentucky State on April Fools’ Day, and the result was no joke: EKU led 49-1 when the teams stopped it after five innings, and they canceled the second game.
“I’ve never seen it in my 25 years of experience,” Kentucky State coach Lamar Johnson said. “It was inexplicable, to be honest with you.”
There appeared to be no hard feelings after Wednesday’s blowout. Johnson praised the winners for good sportsmanship and put the blame on his overmatched team.
EKU began substituting during its 22-run first inning. Coach Jason Stein said the rout was unfortunate and would not accept a forfeit for the canceled second game.
“Our kids were very classy,” Stein said.
EKU’s official athletic Web site omitted the final score and game details in its recap.
According to the NCAA, it would have set the Division I record for the most-lopsided victory, but Kentucky State is in Division II. The biggest rout in Division II history was a 71-1 victory by St. Francis over Robert Morris in a game between Illinois schools on April 2, 1996.
Both games in the doubleheader were scheduled for seven innings.
After Kentucky State (2-16) got a run in the top of the first, EKU scored 22 times in the bottom half. EKU scored five times in the second inning, 19 more runs in the third and finished with 38 hits, including five home runs.
EKU had stolen 60 bases this season going into the game. After leadoff man Matt Davis drew a walk and stole two bases, Stein put up the stop sign so as to avoid the perception of running up the score.
“The nature of baseball is you’ve got to just hit it,” Stein said. “It’s just the nature of the game. All we could do was just play station to station.”
Kentucky State made nine errors, and Johnson said that was “generous” official scoring because there were likely several more. His team starts seven freshmen and nobody with more than a 20 percent scholarship.
Jayson Langfels went 7-for-8 with two homers and 11 RBIs for EKU (16-8).