Conner Mach

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COLUMBIA - Missouri baseball has won five of its last eight. That's a nice change after losing 10 of its prior 11.  One Tiger, however, responds especially well to change. Run support has been hard to come by for Mizzou.

"Things weren't really clicking offensively. And we needed something just to change the pace a little bit," said Conner Mach, MU junior outfielder.

Missouri was 14-22 heading into its road series against Baylor.

"Coach told me I had been hitting pretty well leading off innings without even realizing it," Mach said.

So, Coach Tim Jamieson moved Conner Mach to the top of the lineup.

"I've been seeing the ball well lately," Mach said.

In the series against Baylor, Mach hit .545 with five RBI, and was named Big 12 Player of the Week.

But Mach didn't just move to leadoff, Jamieson moved the third baseman to outfield.

"Left field's a little more laid back, and I think that might actually be another reason for my success at the plate. A little less stress on defense," Mach said.

Mach never played outfield except for a few times in summer ball. 

But change in Mach's life continued when he watched his long time friend, Blaine Gabbert, get drafted on Thursday night.

"We met, I guess, middle school, sixth grade. Started playing football together and I was always his go to receiver I guess you could say."

Gabbert is headed for Jacksonville, and Mach has an idea what Gabbert can do with his rookie money.

"Hopefully he can buy us a nice fishing boat, maybe. Catch some fish down there in Florida," Mach said.

It seems Mach's success has caught on.

Mach and the Tigers travel to Springfield on Tuesday to face Missouri State.