Mizzou baseball improves to 7-1 with win over Purdue

4 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Sunday, February 22 2015 Feb 22, 2015 Sunday, February 22, 2015 2:00:00 PM CST February 22, 2015 in Mizzou Xtra
By: Samantha Hoffmann, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Mizzou's baseball team used a bases-loaded, 5-2-3-2 triple play in the bottom of the sixth in order to maintain its 1-0 lead over Purdue in its final game of the Kleberg Bank College Classic Saturday afternoon at Whataburger field. With a record so far of 7-1, the program is off to its best start since 2004. Junior Alec Rash pitched his way to his second win of the season, while Breckin Williams earned his fourth save, which leads the SEC.

Sophomore Ryan Howard hit in the game-winning run in the third inning on an RBI single.

Three of Mizzou's seven wins have been by one-run. Conversely, the Tigers had five all of last season. The win against Purdue marked the third shutout of the season for the Tigers, and their second of the weekend.

In four games at the Kleberg Bank College Classic, Mizzou allowed only four runs, with just one in the final three games. The Tigers lead the SEC in allowing only five extra-base hits so far.

Howard drove in Jake Ring from second base to put the Tigers up 1-0 for good. Rash turned in his first 1-2-3 innning to close out the third after the offense spotted him a run. Rash retired eight straight until a two-out walk in the fourth but did not allow a hit through five innings.

Rash walked Michael Vilardo in the sixth and singled Kyle Johnson, which ended his day. Schwaad loaded the bases after he hit the first batter he faced, but the Mizzou defense would pull off one of the rarest plays in baseball. Catcher and cleanup hitter Justin Gubser hit a grounder to third off Schwaab.

Josh Lester threw for an out at home, and Jack Klages threw to first for the second out. Purdue then sent the runner on the throw to first, but Zach Levy fired to the plate before the runner crossed, completing the Tigers' amazing bases-loaded 5-2-3-2 triple play.

Schwaab walked the leadoff man in the seventh then hit the next batter to put two Purdue players on base. The runners moved to second and third on a sacrificed bunt, which brought in Austin Tribby. Tribby got a flyout to left and a slow roller to first, ending the inning. Tribby pitched a perfect eighth, followed by Williams' perfect ninth, clinching his fourth save of the season.

In five appearances so far this season for the Tigers. Williams has allowed just one baserunner while striking out six through 5.1 innings.

Mizzou baseball opens at home Friday against UIC at 6:05 p.m.

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