The Tigers baseball team got revenge in the nightcap of the doubleheader on Saturday, avenging the earlier 14-5 loss against Ball State with a dominating 18-4 win.
It was obvious from the first inning of game two that Mizzou was eager and not ready to lose two games in one day.
The whole team was cheering wildly after every pitch starter Ian Berger threw, and the team responded. A 1-2-3 inning for Ball State was followed by a bottom of the first inning in which the Tigers manufactured two runs on two hits and a walk.
"I tried to come out in that first inning and fire the team up. You could tell just by the dugout, that they were really loud. They were supporting me the whole way. We carry that energy as a team, and once you start feeling that, the whole team feels it and everybody just starts clicking," starter Ian Berger said.
The Cardinals responded in the top of the second inning with a two-run shot by Kory Benbow, who had two homers in the doubleheader. An error by Kyle Mach in the 3rd allowed Ball State to briefly take the lead, 3-2.
But in the bottom half of the 3rd, Trevor Coleman returned the favor. A two-run shot off the bat of the star catcher put the Tigers in front, this time for good, 4-3. A five run 6th inning all but put the game out of reach for the Tigers. In impressive fashion, the Tigers scored those five runs on just four hits.
The Tigers finished the game out with two runs in the 7th and another five-spot in the 8th. Berger left after five impressive innings in which he struck out nine and gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and four walks.
"He was more like the guy we've had the past couple of years. [He was] on the attack, aggressive, confident. That's probably the biggest boost we've had this weekend, " coach Tim Jamieson said.
Tyler Clark came in for three solid innings in which he gave up three hits struck out four Cardinals. Finally, Greg Folgia, who went 3-4 at the plate with four runs scored as the left fielder, came in to pitch the ninth. He gave up two hits, but no damage was done, and the game ended at 18-4.
For as bad as the Tigers have been in terms of knocking runners in so far this season, they did a great job in this game. Yes, they did strand nine runners, but if you look at the fact that they pushed eighteen runs across the plate, that stat is a little less concerning.
There was a stark contrast between game one and game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Greg Folgia noticed.
"In the second game, we had a lot fire in us from the first game. So we were a little bit angrier and wanted to take it to them…in the first game we were a little more patient, then we started getting a little more aggressive at the plate. A lot of guys were swinging at more first pitches, and taking more aggressive hacks," Folgia said.
Missouri and Ball State will finish up their four-game weekend series tomorrow, when sophomore Nick Tepesch will lead the Tigers against sophomore Kolbrin Vitek and the Cardinals. The game is scheduled to start at 1 PM.