March 9, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team fell to Gonzaga, 4-1, on Wednesday night (March 9) at Taylor Stadium. The Tigers fall to 4-8 on the season, splitting the series with Gonzaga after a 5-2 victory Tuesday evening. A three-run first inning by Gonzaga was too much for the Tigers to overcome as they plated just one run and pounded out just five hits in the loss.
Senior Brad Buehler was charged with the loss after allowing the three runs in the first, all of which were unearned after an error by first baseman Scott Sommerfeld. Buehler settled in after that and rebounded to throw 3.1 innings without an earned run while striking out four. He threw 86 pitches. Reliever Jeff Emens kept the Tigers in the game after relieving Buehler as he threw 3.2 innings and allowed just one earned run. Emens pitched his way out of a tight spot in the fourth, escaping the inning without allowing a score by the Zags. He got off to a hot start in the fifth, striking out Keegan Acker on just three pitches, and finishing the inning with two strikeouts. Gonzaga went three-up, three-down again in the sixth with Emens on the hill and he did not allow his first run of the game until the seventh inning. He threw 59 pitches.
At the plate, Mizzou was led by Scott Sommerfeld and Eric Garcia, who both turned in two-hit nights. Sommerfeld scored the Tigers' only run on the night on an RBI single from Blake Brown, after Sommerfeld had reached on an error from Gonzaga right fielder Tyler Chism. But those three players were the only ones to record hits for Mizzou in the loss.
Gonzaga pulled out to the early lead in the first inning, scoring three runs on two hits. It was a lead the Tigers would not be able to overcome as all three runs were unearned. Sommerfeld got the bats going for the Tigers in the third inning, hitting a line-drive single on the first pitch he saw. Jesse Santo then raced to first on a fielder's choice, as Gonzaga tagged Sommerfeld out. But a double play by Gonzaga kept the Tigers scoreless heading into the fourth.
Sommerfeld led off with a single in the bottom of the fifth and advanced to second on an out by Santo. Gonzaga starter Marco Gonzalez kept the Tigers scoreless, however, as an out by Brown brought up the start of the sixth inning.
A base hit by Garcia to left field was the third of the afternoon for the Tigers, and with two outs, he advanced to second on a wild pitch by Gonzaga's Gonzalez. A high fly ball by Andreas Plackis was caught, however, and Missouri entered the seventh inning scoreless.
After Mizzou allowed another Gonzaga run in the top of the seventh, Sommerfeld led off the Tigers' half of the inning with a hard-hit ball to right field, which was dropped by Chism. He broke through and scored Missouri's first run of the afternoon on a single by Brown.
Garcia made it on base for the second time of the afternoon on a base hit in the eighth. A walk by Dane Opel brought Sommerfeld back to the plate, but a fly out kept the Tigers three runs back heading into the final inning.
Freshman Myles Smith took over the mound for the Tigers in the eighth, and held the Zags scoreless in the inning. Smith gave up two hits and struck out two in 1.2 innings pitched. Phil McCormick took over for Missouri midway through the ninth, making his team- and Big 12-leading ninth appearance of the season. He pitched 0.1 innings, and did not allow an earned run.
The Tigers next face the LeMoyne Dolphins Friday night (March 11) at 6:00 pm, the first of a four-game series. For all the latest on Tigers baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter at @MUTigersBaseball.