PHOENIX, Ariz. - No. 10 Mizzou opened the 2009 season with an impressive 12-1 win over Nevada at the Grand Canyon Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. MU junior Kyle Gibson struck out six batters, allowing just one unearned run on three hits in six innings of work to take the victory. The Missouri pitchers held Nevada to just four hits in the game.
The 11-run margin of victory ties the second largest win for MU in its 15 season openers under Head Coach Tim Jamieson. The Tigers defeated Missouri Western 15-0 in 1998 and opened the 2003 season with a 12-1 win over UNC-Wilmington. MU has now won its first game of the year in six of the last seven seasons.
The Tigers put up two runs in the top of the second without recording a hit in the inning. Mizzou loaded the bases with three-straight walks before junior Trevor Coleman and senior Ryan Lollis scored on wild pitches to put MU up 2-0.
After Nevada cut the lead to one with a run in the top of the third inning, Missouri took control of the game with a four-run top of the fifth, which included an RBI single by junior Aaron Senne and a two-run double off the bat of Lollis. Lollis then stole third and scored on a fielding error by the Wolf Pack third baseman. He was 2-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored in the game.
The Tigers then pushed five runs across the plate in the seventh inning, as they sent 10 batters to the plate in the frame to make it a 10-run advantage. They added a run in the eighth inning as Folgia drew a bases loaded walk.
Mizzou drew 15 walks in the game, including four by Coleman and three by Folgia.
The Tigers were solid defensively in the opener, committing no errors on the night. Missouri threw out a pair of Wolf Pack runners at home plate, first on a double steal attempt in the second inning and then Senne threw out a runner from right field in the fourth. Coleman also picked off a runner leading off third base in the fourth inning.
"It starts with pitching and defense," Head Coach Tim Jamieson said. "Kyle (Gibson) was good and our defense was phenomenal. The defense took away runs early in the game and allowed our hitters to settle in and eventually take over the game. We played well all the way through the game and finished. Even when the game got out of hand, our guys were still in the game."
With the win, Jamieson moves into a tie for second place all-time at Missouri with 481 career victories. He'll enter Saturday's game against Gonzaga with a record of 481-329-2. The Tigers take on Gonzaga at 4 p.m. CT (3 p.m. MT) on Saturday in day two of the Grand Canyon Classic.