Mizzou Routs Ball State, 15-5

<i>Blake Brown tallied a three-run home run in the win.</i>

Blake Brown tallied a three-run home run in the win.

March 3, 2012

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Columbia, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team (3-5) avenged its home-opening loss to Ball State (2-5) on Saturday (March 3) with a dominant 15-5 victory in Taylor Stadium. The Tigers were able to take advantage of a solid outing by starting pitcher Rob Zastrysny, who threw six innings while surrendering three runs on three hits. He carried a no-hitter through five shutout innings. Offensively, Mizzou showcased great efficiency while tallying 15 runs on just 10 hits, including three RBI by freshman Landon Lucansky and a three-run home run from Blake Brown.

Zastrysny started the game strong, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the first to retire the side in order in the first. Brown led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk and then Brannon Champagne was hit on the first pitch he faced. Conner Mach's sacrifice bunt attempt then turned into a run on the errant throw to first base, and Champagne and Mach both advanced an extra base. Scott Somerfeld then walked to load the bases for Ben Turner, who walked to bring in a run. The Tigers scored three runs during Lucansky's at-bat, one off a wild pitch, another off a passed ball, and the third on a sacrifice groundout to short by Lucansky.

Mizzou sat down the Cardinals in order in the second, needing only 11 pitches in the frame. Brown led off the bottom of the inning with a stand-up double, and Champagne followed with an infield single. Mach then sacrificed to move the runners up a base for Sommerfeld, whose sacrifice fly to left brought Mach in from third, the only run of the inning. Zastrysny then struck out two of the three batters he faced in the third. Brown homered in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs for Mizzou.

Ball State got its first base-runner of the game with two outs in the fourth on a walk, and again was held scoreless. The Tigers were then sent down in order to complete the fourth. Zastrysny kept chugging through the fifth, again retiring the Cardinals in order. Garcia led off the bottom of the inning with a line drive single to left-center, and advanced around to third from a balk and a wild pitch, and Michael McGraw recorded his first career RBI with his sacrifice fly to center field.

After a walk, the Cardinals ended Zastrysny's no-hit bid in the sixth with one out on a single to center. The following batter tripled to right-center, scoring two runs. After a fielder's choice put runners on first and third, Ball State singled in its third run of the inning. The Tigers responded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by two-RBI singles by both Lucansky and Dillon Everett.

Brandon Platts took over on the mound in the seventh. He was able to hold the Cardinals off the board in the seventh, but surrendered a two-out RBI double to deep center field. Ball State tacked on another run as the result of a throwing error for a three-run eighth inning. Missouri was held off the board in their final turn at the plate, going down in order including freshman infielder Case Munson's groundout in his first career at-bat. Ryan Yuengel closed the game for Mizzou with a perfect 1-2-3 inning, including two strikeouts.

The rubber match for the series will take place Sunday (March 4) at 1 p.m. Keep up to date with Mizzou baseball on the team twitter page (@MUTigerBaseball) or on the Mizzou athletic site, MUTigers.com.



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