When a team leaves 14 men on base in one game, winning is not exactly expected. That is, unless that team has a pitcher like Kyle Gibson. Missouri does, and he led them to a 4-1 victory against Ball State on Friday night.
"When you have opportunities to put the team away and you don't do it, that's more and more pressure on the starting pitcher, and it didn't faze him at all. He was great, and Scooter [Hicks] was great in the 9th," Coach Jamieson said about Gibson.
Gibson struck out a career high 13 Cardinals en route to his second victory of the season. He went 8 innings and only allowed Ball State to collect 6 hits. Gibson used his fastball and slider effectively, and even threw in his changeup frequently in the later innings to keep the Cardinals guessing. After the game, the pitcher was humble when talking about his performance.
"Tonight was a good outing…Each time I just want to get a little bit better. I lost a little focus in the 3rd inning when I gave the guy a pitch to hit with a guy in scoring position, and I just can't do that, so I was kind of mad at myself for that," Gibson said.
While the Tigers did leave 14 men on base, they still put enough men across the plate to get the job done. Freshman Ryan Gebhart, who started as the designated hitter, had 2 hits, including a 2 RBI double in the 4th inning that started the scoring for the Tigers.
"He came through and did a great job and got the RBI," Jamieson said about the freshman DH.
For Kyle Gibson, 3 runs were more than enough. He only allowed 3 hits after the Tigers' 4th inning, and only walked one batter overall. In contrast, Ball State pitchers walked 6 batters and hit 4 others.
Gibson did allow four Cardinals to steal a base, but Coach Jamieson did not seem too worried about that stat.
"First of all, they're good at it…Kyle's not the best guy at holding runners. He's not extremely quick to the plate. If Trevor makes a couple more accurate throws, we throw a couple of those guys out. They do a good job [stealing bases]."
Attendance was great for the first Friday home game of the season. 1,090 fans were out at Taylor Stadium to support their Tigers, and the team noticed.
"70-something degrees, that helps tremendously. But, it's a good sign, and hopefully they come back tomorrow, and [hopefully] we give them a reason to come back," coach Jamieson said.
The Tigers continue their four game series with Ball State on Saturday, with a double-header slated to start at 1 PM at Taylor Stadium.