Mizzou Baseball Wins Third Straight Big 12 Series
MANHATTAN, KS - The Missouri Tigers Baseball team used the longball to beat the Kansas State Wildcats in the series finale, 12-8 Sunday afternoon (May 8) at Tointon Family Ballpark in Manhattan. The win gives Mizzou its third straight Big 12 series victory, the first time that feat has been done since 2009 and imporves the Tigers to 21-27 on the year and 8-12 in Big 12 conference play. Dusty Ross (3-4) earned the win for the Tigers and Phil McCormick got the save, his sixth of the season.
The Tigers had three players homer in the game, Conner Mach, Blake Brown, and Jonah Schmidt. Mach went 2-6 from the plate with three RBI and a run scored, Schmidt went 2-4 with one RBI and three runs scored, and Brown went 2-4 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Brown got the scoring started for the Tigers in the top of the second inning, launching his sixth home run of the season over the left field fence. The home run was a two-run shot as Schmidt singled to open up the inning. Following Brown's blast, shortstop Jesse Santo singled and CJ Jarvis drew a walk to put two men on for Andrew Thigpen, who dropped down a sacfice bunt that advanced the runners. Mach then hit a three-run home run off of the foul pole in left field, his third of the season and second of the series. That made the score 5-0 in favor of the Tigers.
Freshman lefthander Rob Zastryzny gave up two runs in the bottom of the second inning, and two more in the third. Ross came into the game in the third to get the Tigers out of the jam, and the third inning. Ross threw just two innings and kept the Wildcats tame, allowing just one run while striking out two, keeping the score 5-4.
McCormick picked up the the pitching in the fifth, and the Tigers tacked on some insurance in the top of the sixth. Center fielder Brad Champagne hit a single to the right side of the field to plate Freshman Dillion Everett, increasing the score to 6-4. The Wildcats cut the lead into half in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Everett made a fielding error, allowing a run to score. The Tigers than completed a double play to get them out of future trouble in the sixth, keeping the lead at 6-5.
The Tigers added to their lead in the seventh, when Schmidt tallied his second hit of the game, a solo home run to left field, his sixth home run of the season, making the score 7-5. Next, after a walk from Brown, Santo doubled to left center and Brown scored after the routine relay throw was dropped by the Wildcats, giving Mizzou a 8-5 lead. Pinch hitter Scott Sommerfeld then singled up the middle to score Santo and increase the Tigers lead to 9-5.
Mizzou tacked on three more runs in the eighth and from that point, McCormick worked around a pair of hit batters in the seventh, allowed two runs in the eighth and a homer in the ninth, but the offense gave him enough support as he earned the 4.1 inning save, his sixth of the season.
Mizzou will be back in action next weekend as it host Texas Tech in its final home series of the season. The series begins at 6 p.m. on Friday (May 13).