Even with rain coming through Columbia all day long, baseball was, in fact, played at Taylor Stadium on Tuesday, and it was played well by Mizzou. The Tigers beat Western Illinois for the second time in a week, 18-4. The game was not a cleanly played one, as the two teams combined to record 8 errors.
The Tigers got off to a quick start, jumping out to a 4-0 lead on the Leathernecks in the first inning. Western Illinois starter Austin Brough didn't make it out of the 1st inning, as he allowed 4 runs on 6 hits to the 7 Mizzou batters he faced. The final blow on Brough was a 2-run double by Andrew Thigpen.
Mizzou struck next in the 4th, tacking on 10 more runs in a variety of ways. The Tigers used 5 hits, 1 error, 3 walks, 2 hit batsmen, 3 wild pitches and 2 sac flies to put the 10-spot on the board. In the long and painful inning for Western Illinois, the Leathernecks used 3 pitchers.
After a couple scoreless innings, the Tigers tacked on an "insurance run" in the bottom of the 7th when Kyle Mach knocked in TJ Schieber.
The Leathernecks tried to score their way back into it in the 8th, scoring 3 runs on a bases loaded single by Tom Lilja and error by the first baseman, but it was too little, too late. The Tigers slammed the door shut on the Leatherneck in the bottom of the 8th, scoring three times to make the final score 18-4.
Because of the upcoming Texas series, the Tigers did not want to burn a starter for this game against the Leathernecks. Instead, they went with a different pitcher each inning, and it worked. Aside from one run given up by sophomore Phil McCormick in the 2nd and three by Brian Carr in the 8th, Mizzou's pitching staff did their job.
Not many spectators were in attendance for the game, which took place in mid-30 degree weather. The Tigers scored more runs than there were people in attendance from start to finish.
The Tigers now face a tough test against Texas (12-1), who is currently ranked #1 in the nation by Baseball America. Mizzou will travel to Austin for a 3-game set against the Longhorns before coming home for a 6 game home stand.