Conner Mach had three RBI in the win.
March 9, 2012
Columbia, Mo. - Mizzou (6-5) started a home series against Charlotte (9-5) strong with a 10-4 win on Friday (March 9) at Taylor Stadium. Starting pitcher Eric Anderson gave up three runs in 4.2 innings pitched. Third baseman Conner Mach registered two RBI while going 2-for-4 at the plate. Designated hitter Scott Sommerfeld also registered two hits on the day and recorded a RBI in the victory.
The first 49'ers batter reached base on a hit, and stole second base three pitches later. After Anderson struck out the second Charlotte batter, the 49'ers scored on a single to left. The Tigers then wrapped up the inning by getting outs from the next two batters. Blake Brown led off for the Tigers with a bunt single, then reached second on a wild pitch. Brannon Champagne bunted Brown to third for Mach, whose ground ball escaped the shortstop to score Brown and tie the game at one. Dane Opel's double moved Mach to third, and Sommerfeld's ground ball to first scored both runs on a throwing error to make the score 3-1.
Mizzou retired the 49'ers in order to start the second inning. Dillon Everett reached base with one out after getting hit by a pitch, then stole second on the following pitch. Everett reached third on Brown's groundout to the left side, and Champagne walked to put runners on the corners with two outs. Mach's single to center scored Everett and moved Champagne to third, and the Tigers' lead grew to 4-1 after the second. Charlotte put two runs across in the third, but the inning ended with a spectacular block of the plate by Ben Turner, as he absorbed contact from the 49'ers runner and tagged him out behind the plate. Mizzou went down in order in the bottom of the frame.
Charlotte went down in three batters in the top of the fourth, thanks in part to a double-play off a bunt attempt. Landon Lucansky got on after getting plunked, and Champagne moved him to third with two outs on a single to right, but both were stranded. Charlotte threatened in the fifth inning with runners on first and second and one out, but Anderson and Jeff Emens combined to pitch out of the jam without giving up any runs. Opel opened the bottom of the frame by getting hit, then Sommerfeld's infield single moved Opel up to second. Eric Garcia's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out for Turner, whose groundout to third scored Opel to make the score 5-3 heading to the sixth.
Emens recorded the first out of the inning with a flashy behind-the-back grab on a grounder up the middle, but got into trouble with runners on second and third and just one out. The Tigers then got a huge break when a ball skipped away from Turner, but the runner's hesitation turned into an out at the plate with Emens' tag, and Mizzou escaped the inning before going down in order in the bottom of the sixth.
Emens breezed through the top of the seventh with a perfect 1-2-3 inning, then Opel led off the bottom of the seventh with a hit-by-pitch. Sommerfeld executed a hit-and-run by poking a grounder through the left side, and the Tigers had runners on the corners with no outs. A wild pitch scored Opel from third, and allowed Sommerfeld to advance, then a passed ball moved Sommerfeld up to third with no outs. Garcia's hard grounder to the second baseman squeaked through to the outfield to score, giving Mizzou a 7-3 lead. Garcia swiped second during Turner's at-bat before Turner got hit by a pitch. Pinch hitter Sal Belfonte came through with a single, and an error allowed another Mizzou run. After Everett reached on error, then Brown's sacrifice fly to center made the score 9-3 Mizzou. Champagne grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Belfonte to make the score 10-3 Tigers.
The Tigers flashed the leather in the top of the eighth with two great fielding plays. Gavin Stark made a sliding stop on a grounder before flipping the ball to Emens for an out, and Everett moved to the third-base side of the infield before throwing a strike to Stark for an out. The Tigers gave up a run in the ninth, and finished the game with a 10-4 win.
Game two of this four-game series takes place tomorrow at 1 PM, and it is the first game of a double-header. Keep up to date with Mizzou baseball by following the team twitter page (@MUTigerBaseball) or on MUTigers.com.
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