Mizzou Baseball Falls Again at Kansas
LAWRENCE, KS -- The Mizzou baseball team dropped the middle of a two-game series against Kansas, 6-3, on Friday night at Hoglund Park. The loss for the Tigers clinches the series win for Kansas and drops the Tigers to 27-26 overall and 9-14 in Big 12 play. Freshman starter John Miles was tagged with just his second loss of the season after allowing four runs (three earned) over 2.0 innings in his first ever Big 12 start.
Eric Garcia led the Tigers at the plate with a pair of hits and a run scored, including his second triple of the season. He was the only Tiger to tally a multi-hit game as KU starter Wes Benjamin allowed just four hits and two earned runs over 7.1 innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
Garcia led off the first inning with a hit back up the middle, good for his second hit of the series, but his hit was wasted as the Tigers' next three hitters were retired in order. Miles took to the hill in the bottom of the first and struggled with his command, walking a pair of batters with a wild pitch sandwiched in between. Alex DeLeon then came up with runners on the corners and one out and knocked in the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly to right, but he was gunned out at second base by Ben Turner to end the inning. The two walks for Miles in the first matched his total over his previous 11.0 innings in games in which he started.
Conner Mach was hit by a pitch in the second inning, but the Tigers did not advance him as they posted another scoreless frame before Miles came back out for the second inning. He allowed a single with one out and then walked another with two outs and a single from Thursday's hero Michael Suiter knocked in the second run of the game.
Kansas added two more runs in the bottom of the third as it ended Miles' day after just 2.0 innings as he allowed all four runs (only three earned). That gave way to reliever Jeff Emens, who pitched the Tigers out of the third before allowing a one-out single in the fourth and a stolen base. But he pitched out of the jam thanks to a great play at short by Garcia to end the inning. The fourth inning pitched by Emens was the first scoreless inning of the day by the Tiger pitching staff.
Mizzou attempted to rally in the sixth and seventh innings. Garcia hit a triple with one out in the sixth and he was driven in on a grounder to short by Dillon Everett as Mizzou ended a streak of 23 straight shutout innings against Kansas. Garcia's triple was his second of the season and broke a streak of 12 straight Tiger batters retired by KU starter Benjamin. Then in the seventh inning, Blake Brown hit a one-out double and Mach drove him in on a double of his own to right field, cutting the Jayhawk lead to just 5-2.
But the Tiger offense was quiet over the final two innings, scoring just one more run in the ninth, and Kansas plated an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh as the Tigers dropped their third straight game. The series finale will be contested Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.