Mizzou Extends Win Streak to Five with Win at Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, TX -- The Mizzou baseball team scored seven runs in the fourth inning as it defeated Texas Tech, 9-0, on Friday night at Rip Griffin Park. The win for the Tigers is their fifth straight and moves their overall record to 23-17 and 7-9 in Big 12 play. Mizzou hit three doubles, a home run and two bunt singles in the seven-run fourth as that was all the offense Mizzou needed as starter Rob Zastryzny earned his fourth win of the season after throwing a complete game shutout, allowing just seven hits.
The seven runs by the Tigers in the fourth was their most in an inning since scoring eight against Central Arkansas on March 27 earlier this season. It is also their most in a Big 12 game since scoring nine in the sixth inning against Texas A&M on April 30 last season at Taylor Stadium. At the plate, Mizzou was led by designated hitter Scott Sommerfeld, who went 4-for-5 with a run and two RBI. The four-hit night for Sommerfeld marks the first four-hit game in his career. Blake Brown also went 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
In the top of the first inning, Champagne laced a one-out double into left field as he reached base safely for the 32nd consecutive game, matching the school record held by Aaron Senne. The streak is also the longest active streak in the Big 12 this season and just two off the best streak by any Big 12 player in 2012 (Mark Payton - Texas). But he was stranded there after a Ben Turner strikeout and a groundout off the bat of Brown.
Zastryzny came out in the bottom of the first inning and allowed a lead-off double to Tech's Jamodrick McGruder, who has reached base safely in 42 of the Raiders' 44 games this season. He was sacrificed to third and then Zastryzny got three-hole hitter Barrett Barnes to line out to second base and struck out Scott LeJune as both teams stranded leadoff doubles in the first.
The Tigers threatened to score again in the second as Dane Opel was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After a strikeout by Andreas Plackis, Sommerfeld singled to short and Opel moved to third on an error, putting him 90 feet from home with just one out. But Dillon Everett popped up to short and Conner Mach flew out to deep center to end the threat. Mizzou stranded four runners through the first two innings.
Zastryzny again allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in the second as Bo Altobelli singled on the infield and again, the Raider sacrificed the runner, this time to second base. But Zastryzny got out of the jam again by getting nine-hole hitter Tim Proudfoot to fly out to right field for the third out.
In the top of the third inning, the first two batters were retired before Eric Garcia reached on a three-base error by Altobelli at the catcher spot as he air-mailed a throw into right field on a bunt off the bat of Garcia. With a chance to drive in the run, Brown worked the count to 3-0 before flying out to center field on a full count to end the inning.
The Tigers got on the board in the fourth inning as back-to-back doubles by Opel and Plackis put them on top, 1-0. Opel laced his double - a leadoff shot - into left center before Plackis tallied his fifth RBI of the season on a ball scorched into right field. Then with Plackis on second, Sommerfeld laid down a perfect sacrifice to advance Plackis who eventually scored on the play thanks to some heads-up base running as Tech starter John Neely misplayed the ball at first. Sommerfeld was credited with a hit and RBI on the bunt as he put Mizzou on top, 2-0.
Sommerfeld then advanced to second on a steal and Everett walked, bringing up Mach with two on and no outs. He attempted to sacrifice the runners but again Tech struggled fielding the bunt as he reached on a hit to load the bases. That brought in Champagne who hit into a fielder's choice at home plate, but Turner bailed him out with a double to left center, scoring two more Tiger runs as they took a 4-0 lead. An RBI groundout by Garcia made it 5-0 Tigers and then Brown launched his team-best eighth homer of the season to put Mizzou on top, 7-0. Opel then struck out to end the seven-run inning.
The Tigers added another run in the fifth inning on an RBI groundout by Champagne to go up 8-0 and Zastryzny continued to deal in the bottom of the frame, pitching around a pair of two-out singles with a strikeout, sending the game to the sixth inning. Mizzou added another run in the eighth and that was all that Mizzou needed behind Zastryzny.
Mizzou and Texas Tech will play again Saturday at 5 p.m.