Missouri Hits and Runs on Texas, 8-5
Texas dropped just its second Big 12 series of the year when it fell, 8-5, at Missouri Saturday.
The Tigers (28-24, 11-15 in league play) are fighting for their post-season life and need a strong showing in this week's Big 12 Conference Tournament to garner an NCAA bid. Meanwhile, conference champion Texas (38-17, 19-6 in Big 12) expects to host a NCAA Regional Championship, June 2-4. Missouri's win clinched the No. 7 spot in the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City.
It was Texas' first series loss since Nebraska took two in Austin last month. LHP Riley Boening shouldered the loss to see his record drop to 4-2. The freshman surrendered four runs on five hits before he was pulled in the bottom of the third. He walked two and fanned a pair. Frehsman LHP Rick Zagone (5-3) was credited with the win after giving up four runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings. He walked three and struckout three.
The final game of the weekend series, and of the regular season, is set for 12 p.m. (CST) Sunday. At stake for Texas: a chance to win 20 Big 12 games for the first time in program history and little momentum heading into the Conference Tournament. Ace Kyle McCulloch has yet to throw a ball in Columbia. Chances are, head coach Augie Garrido will go with RHP Kenn Kasparek Sunday and rest McCulloch for the post-season.
2B Bradley Suttle recorded two RBI, including a round-tripper, to go two-for-three at the plate. The Horns collected eight hits on the day while committing two errors, The Tigers aggressively attacked the base paths, combining the long ball with the hit-and-run to swat 13 hits against four Texas hurlers.
DH Jacob Priday put Missouri on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first with a two-homer on a 1-2 fastball.
The Horns responded in their second at-bat. Carson Kainer got things started with a lead-off single to left. Freshman 2B Bradley Suttle's two-out solo-shot on a 3-1 pitch gave Texas a 2-1 lead. But the bottom of the order for MU knotted the affair in the home-half of the frame, courtesy of a hit batsman, a stolen base, followed by J.C. Field's RBI-single up the middle.
Texas bounced back in the top of the third with consecutive doubles. Chance Wheeless' two-bagger plated Nick Peoples who reached on a walk. Drew Stubbs then sent a high breaking ball into left field for an RBI-double as Texas regained the lead, 4-2. The slugfest continued as the Tigers knocked Boening out the contest in the bottom of the inning. The three-run Tiger rally began when Derek Chambers singled to right before Priday took a base on balls. Zane Taylor's shot up the middle was good for an RBI-single.
LHP Joey Parigi (3.71 ERA) came on in relief and forced a 6-4-3 double-play on his first throw. But the run scored and we were tied at 4-4. The freshman then surrendered a two-out solo shot when Hunter Mense drove a high fast over the right field fence for the third lead-change of the contest. Freshman LHP Kyle Walker came on in the bottom of the fourth and held MU scoreless for the first time of Saturday's contest.
The hit parade settled into three scoreless innings when Texas threatened in the top of the seventh. Two base hits, both on bunt singles from Nick Peoples and Drew Stubbs, gave Texas couple of base runners. Carson Kainer worked a full-count into a free pass to load the bases with two outs. LHP Brant Combs relieved Zagune, whose day was done after 6.2 innings with four runs on five hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Preston Clark swung at the first pitch he saw, resulting in an infield dribbler and was thrown out at first to end the inning.
Walker retired the first his nine batters but got touched in the bottom of the seventh, giving up two runs on four hits. The Horns now trailed 7-4 with two at-bats remaining.
Nathan Culp came on in the top of the eighth. The Horns stranded two when Peoples went down swinging after Suttle walked and Hunter Harris reached on an error. LHP Joseph Krebs made his second appearance of the series when he became Texas' fourth pitcher of the ballgame in the bottom of the eighth. He gave up three hits and a walk as Mizzou pushed another another run across. 3B Nick Peoples was also charged with a fielding error during the frame.
Wheeless was issued a base on four straight balls and then advanced to third on two wild pitches. Stubbs drew a walk to put runners on the corners before Kainer went down swinging. Wheeless scored on Clark's sarcrifice fly to left. The ballgame ended when PH Kyle Russell grounded-out to short.
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