March 8, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team defeated Gonzaga, 5-2, on Tuesday night (March 8) at Taylor Stadium behind a strong showing on the mound from senior Zack Hardoin (Spring, Texas), who threw 6.2 innings and allowed just one earned run with just two hits and one walk while striking a pair. Hardoin earns his first win of the season with the Tiger victory and the win improves the Tigers to 4-7 on the season.
"I thought we did a lot of things well tonight," head coach Tim Jamieson said. "Zack came in and really controlled the game - he got outs and threw strikes and that's what you need out of your starting pitcher. When your starter can control the game, it gives you a pretty good chance to win."
After scoring a run in the first, the Tigers used a four-run third inning, started by a two-out hot shot to third by sophomore infielder Eric Garcia (Pflugerville, Texas) who raced down the line, just beating the throw at first. That extended the inning to Conner Mach (Chesterfield, Mo.) who hit a single to right center, advancing Garcia to third, putting runners on the corners for sophomore pitcher Ben Turner (St. Charles, Mo.).
Turner then singled up the middle, plating Garcia and advancing Mach to third for his third RBI of the season. After a Dane Opel (Edwardsville, Ill.) walk, Scott Sommerfeld (Manchester, Mo.) singled to drive in Mach and Jesse Santo (Little Falls, N.J.) knocked in two more runs in the next at-bat, giving the Tigers four runs in the inning and putting the game out of reach for the Zags. Santo finished the day going 2-4 with a pair of RBI as he continues to hit well with men on base this season.
In all, the Tiger pitching staff had a very good outing on Wednesday as well, giving up just two hits while walking just one Gonzaga batter in the game. Aside from Hardoin, junior reliever Dusty Ross
(Iowa Park, Texas) had a good outing, throwing 1.1 innings of perfect baseball. That gave way for senior Phil McCormick
(Wildwood, Mo.) to come on for the save. The lefty stifled the Zags in the final frame, needing just 14 pitches to retire the side and earn the win for the Tigers. McCormick's save is his first of the season and the appearance is his team-leading eighth in 11 games. Ross has appeared in seven games for the Tigers this season as well.
The Tiger bats were led by Turner and Santo. Aside from Santo, who went 2-4 with a pair of RBI, Turner continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-3 with a pair of RBI and a run scored. Garcia also had a nice night, going 2-3 with a run scored and he had a pivotal two-out hit in the third to begin the Tigers' four-run rally in the inning.
Mizzou and Gonzaga will play again tomorrow in the series finale at 4 p.m. at Taylor Stadium. Brad Buehler (Festus, Mo.) will make his first start of the season in tomorrow's game. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigersBaseball.