March 6, 2010
HOUSTON, Texas- -
After rallying to tie the game with two runs in the eighth inning and forcing extra innings with a pair good defensive plays in the ninth, Missouri gave up a run in the bottom of the 10th inning to TCU, giving the No. 7 ranked Horned Frogs a 4-3 victory on the second day of play at the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
Mizzou, which was held scoreless on Friday against Houston, didn't take long on Saturday to put a run on the board as sophomore Russell LaFleur led off the game with a home run. It was the first career home run for the Houston native LaFleur.
TCU (8-1) pulled even with an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning when Josh Elander reached on an error, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Schultz. The Horned Frogs took the lead in the fifth inning with three hits, including an RBI double by Jason Coats. They extended the lead to two on an RBI double from Bryan Holaday in the seventh inning.
Mizzou (4-4) scored twice in their half of the eighth inning to pull even. With two runners on base, senior Aaron Senne doubled to right to drive in LaFleur and junior Brett Nicholas followed with a sacrifice fly in a pinch hit at-bat to drive in freshman Blake Brown with the tying run.
The Tigers used two nice defensive plays in the bottom of the ninth inning to preserve the tie score and send the game into extra innings. First, with a runner on second and one out in the ninth, Coats hit a ground ball to the left side, where senior shortstop Michael Liberto fielded the ball and threw out the runner attempting to advance to third base. The next batter, Matt Curry, singled, which would have driven in the runner had he not be retired on the previous play. Curry was thrown out at second on the play, as he tried to take an extra base on the single.
After Missouri was retired in order in the top of the 10th, TCU got three singles in its half of the inning, with the final base hit coming from Schultz to drive in Elander with the game-winning run.
Senne and Liberto, the two seniors for Mizzou, each finished the game with two hits. MU starting pitcher, junior Nick Tepesch, struck out five in 6.1 innings pitched in taking a no decision. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits and walked two.
The Tigers will wrap up play in the Houston College Classic on Sunday as they face No. 3 Texas. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at Minute Maid Park.