COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team defeated Central Arkansas, 11-4, Tuesday night at Taylor Stadium. The win improves the Tigers to 11-10 on the season as they have now won nine of their last 13 games. Scott Sommerfeld and Jonah Schmidt led the Tiger offense as each tallied three hits in the game. Schmidt went 3-5 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI and Sommerfeld went 3-4 with a run scored and a game-high three RBI.
Although the offense continues to click during the Tigers' current homestand, the story of the evening was sophomore righty Eric Anderson, who was making his first start in 11 months after undergoing shoulder surgery last season. He went just 2.0 innings but showed a lot of promise as he allowed just three earned runs while striking out one batter. Senior Jeff Emens earned the win for the Tigers as he threw 3.2 innings and did not allow an earned run while striking out three. He scattered just three hits as he lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.80 this season. The win was the first of the season for Emens.
The Tigers got on the board in the second inning as the first five batters in the frame reached base safely, due in large part to three straight walks by UCA starter Dustin Ward. That made way for Scott Sommerfeld, who laced a bases-loaded single up the middle, driving in two runs and putting the Tigers on top, 2-1. Jesse Santo then singled to drive in another run while Jonah Schmidt and Conner Mach also drove in runs with singles in the inning. Santo also scored on a wild pitch to round out the six-run frame for the Tigers.
Mizzou added another run in the fifth as Blake Brown scored on a wild pitch. Mizzou then tagged Bear reliever Blake Payne for four more runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a pair of extra-base hits to centerfield by Brown and Sommerfeld. Brown tripled to deep center to drive in a run and Sommerfeld followed that with a double in almost the exact same spot to score Brown. Eric Garcia and Dane Opel also drove in runs in the inning to round out the scoring for Mizzou.
Opel also had a nice night at the plate, going 2-3 with two runs scored and another driven in as he continues to swing a hot bat. Garcia, who has been swinging the bat well during the homestand, also had a multi-hit night, going 2-4 with a run scored and another driven in.
On the hill, junior reliever Dusty Ross had a nice outing for the Tigers, throwing 2.1 relief innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed just one hit in the game as he made his 11th appearance this season, which ranks him second on the team behind only Phil McCormick (13).
Mizzou and Central Arkansas will complete their two-game series Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Taylor Stadium.