Mizzou Falls to Defending National Champion

The University of Missouri Tigers concluded its baseball season on Sunday Night with a 8-6 loss to the Cal State Fullerton Titans. Mizzou's 40-23 record is its best performance since 1991.

Mizzou took advantage of timely hitting and headed into the 9th inning with a one run lead. Unfortunately, the Tiger pitching staff was unable to close out the game against the defending champs.

What a difference one inning and one player can make. Titan Right Fielder Sergio Pedroza planted a two run homer over the left field fence in the top of the final frame.

Mizzou gave up another run and went into the bottom of the ninth down two. The Tigers loaded the bases and Jacob Priday came up to bat with two outs. The freshman hit a flare into short right field. For a moment it looked as if the Tigers were going to tie up the game and possibly take the lead. However, Mizzou's hopes were dashed when Pedroza made a diving catch to end the game and the Tiger's season.

The Tigers showed great heart and determination during their weekend in Southern California. Generally regarded as the tournament's toughest regional, Fullerton featured three teams in the national top 20. The Titans came into the tourney ranked 4th, the Arizona Wildcats 7th and the Missouri Tigers 16th.

The Tigers more than held their own with the Wildcats in the first game of the regional. Big XII Pitcher of the Year, Max Scherzer did not allow a hit in the first three innings.

However, once again...what a difference an inning can make.

Three seeing eye singles, a double and a wild pitch staked the Wildcats to a 4 run lead that they would not relinquish. The Tigers were unable to come up with a clutch hit in some big spots and dropped the game 5-3.

In the second round, the Tigers fought off elimination with a 14-6 victory over the Harvard Crimson. The Tiger bats came alive as they scored in all but one inning. Junior Derek Chambers had a big game going 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs.

Missouri returns the majority of its team next year and should be a force in the Big XII. Mizzou fans should be excited about what Head Coach Tim Jamieson is building in Tiger Town.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories