Tigers Drop Series Finale at Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, TX -- After rallying to score five runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 6-6, the Mizzou baseball team allowed a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth as it dropped its series finale at No. 6 Texas A&M, 7-6, on Sunday afternoon. Freshman pitcher Brett Graves took the loss as Mizzou falls to 16-11 on the season and 3-3 in Big 12 play. Center fielder Brannon Champagne extended his streak of reaching base safely to 19 straight games on Sunday.
Mizzou got on the board in the first inning thanks in large part to a pair of extra-base hits. Blake Brown led off the inning with shot off the wall in left center, just missing his second home run of the series, and was driven in when Conner Mach ripped double down the left field line, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Tiger starter Kyle Barbeck took to the hill on the bottom of the frame and struggled after retiring the leadoff batter, allowing a single and hitting a batter to put two on with just one out. He then induced a pop up to short off the bat of Jacob House but proceeded to walk Matt Juengel on four pitches, loading the bases for left fielder Brandon Wood. Barbeck walked him on five pitches to even the score at 1-1. That ended Barbeck's day in favor of Ross, who got Troy Stein to fly out to left, ending the first inning.
After the Tigers were retired in order in the top of the second, the Aggies struck again in the bottom half of the inning. After Ross struck out the leadoff batter, two straight doubles put runners on second and third with just one out. From there, center fielder Kray Bratsen then grounded out to Garcia to drive in the go-ahead run.
Texas A&M then added another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-1 while Mizzou's bats stayed quiet against Aggie starter, Pineda. After struggling to get out of the sixth, Texas A&M added one more run in the seventh. Mizzou attempted to rally in the ninth as it loaded the bases with one out. Mizzou then scored three runs on a pair of fielder's choice plays by TAMU shortstop Mikey Reynolds as neither play resulted in an out and the second was an error that allowed two runs to score. A pair of wild pitches then led to the next two runs as Mizzou knotted the game at 6-6. In the bottom of the ninth, Graves allowed a single to open the frame and he was then bunted to second base. But Graves came back and picked off the runner at second base to get two outs with no one on base. Despite the great play on the pickoff, Graves then walked the next two batters, putting a runner in scoring position for Bratsen, who singled through the left side, just past the outstretched glove of Mach and the winning run scored, securing the win for Texas A&M.
Mizzou will be back in action on Thursday as it continues Big 12 play at 6 p.m. against Baylor at Taylor Stadium.
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