Not April Fools’: 49-1 blowout in college baseball
By JEFFREY McMURRAY, Associated Press Writer
Apr 2, 8:42 pm EDT Link
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—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 and 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. It’s just the nature of the game. All we could do was just play station to station,” Stein said.
Kentucky State made nine errors and Johnson said that was “generous” official scoring as 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).
Freshman Kendall Wilson started for Kentucky State and allowed 13 runs— albeit only four of them earned—while getting only one out. Reliever Jamaal Duncan didn’t fare much better, surrendering 25 runs—14 of them earned—in 2 1-3 innings.
A day later, Johnson said his players felt badly that they did so poorly.
“The ones who actually have some heart or some kind of pride within themselves, they took it like a smack in their face. They were remorseful today,” he said.