March 10, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - A solid pitching performance mixed with stout defense helped Mizzou (8-5) sweep the double-header over Charlotte (9-7) Saturday (March 10) at Taylor Stadium. Rob Zastrysny threw six innings of two-run baseball, giving up just one earned run on five hits helping the Tigers win game one, 5-3. Blake Holovach also had a strong game, throwing 6.2 innings of two-run baseball, with both runs earned in game two helping Mizzou win the nightcap, 3-2. Jake Walsh also earned two saves in two opportunities on the day.
The Tigers started the action today with a 1-2-3 inning in the field, then went down in order in the bottom of the frame. Charlotte threatened in the second inning with runners on second and third and one out, and they put a run across with a two-out infield single to take a 1-0 lead. Scott Sommerfeld notched the Tigers' first hit of the game with a one-out single, but Mizzou could not capitalize. After a scoreless top of the third inning, Landon Lucansky came through with a one-out double. An error by the third baseman put runners on the corners with one out, but both runners were stranded.
In the fourth, the 49'ers threatened again with two on and no outs, but Zastrysny pitched his way out of the jam beautifully, and the score remained at 1-0. Conner Mach led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and Dane Opel followed suit with a single of his own. Eric Garcia then came through with a RBI single to tie the game at one. The 49'ers scored a run in the fifth after taking advantage of a leadoff double, then threatened again with a runner on second but Brannon Champagne's diving catch in center helped hold Charlotte to a 2-1 lead. Dillon Everett reached base to lead off the bottom of the inning, and Champagne's single moved Everett to third with one out. A fielder's choice from Conner Mach's bat scored the run to tie the game at two, and Mach scored on Dane Opel's two-out single for a 3-2 lead.
After Charlotte failed to put runners on base in the top of the sixth, Garcia led off with an infield single. Ben Turner grounded into a fielder's choice that moved Garcia up to second, and Lucansky walked. Everett's single to left scored Garcia from second to take a 4-2 lead to the seventh. Zastrysny's day came to an end in the seventh inning, but John Miles came in with a runner on first and held Charlotte off the board. Mizzou added a run in the bottom of the inning when Opel scored on a wild pitch to build the lead to 5-2 as the game moved to the eighth inning. Jake Walsh came into the game to pitch in the eighth with two on and one out, and forced a flyout and a strikeout to keep Charlotte off the board. Turner led off the bottom of the inning with an infield single, then Sal Belfonte's sacrifice bunt advanced him to second, but was stranded. Walsh allowed one run in the ninth inning to seal the first game, 5-3.
In the second game, Holovach started strong by striking out the first two batters, but gave up a run on a hit-and-run double with a man on base. Champagne was the only baserunner for Mizzou in the bottom of the first with a hit-by-pitch. The Tigers held retired Charlotte in order in the second, but also went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame. Turner led off with a walk, and Champagne singled with two outs, but both were stranded. After a scoreless top, Mizzou tied the game at one in the bottom of the fourth when Sommerfeld scored Mach from second base on a single to right.
Everett led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, but reached third base from a fielding error by Charlotte's right fielder. He scored on Champagne's groundout to short, making the score 2-1 going to the sixth. Charlotte was able to tie the game at two in the sixth after a double to the gap. The Tigers quickly regained the lead as Opel homered to left to lead off the bottom of the inning, making the score 3-2. The Tigers put two more runners on the bases in the inning but were unable to score. Charlotte threatened in the seventh inning with runners on first and second and one out, but Holovach forced a flyout to center before giving up an infield single. Dusty Ross entered the game with bases loaded and two outs, and forced a groundout to second to hold Charlotte scoreless again.
After a scoreless bottom of the inning, Ross retired the 49'ers in order in the eighth. Sommerfeld extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the bottom of the frame, but Mizzou was held scoreless. Walsh held Charlotte scoreless in the ninth, and Mizzou won by a final score of 3-2.
The final game of the weekend series is scheduled for tomorrow at 3 PM. Keep up to date with Missouri Tigers baseball by following the team twitter page (@MUTigerBaseball) or on MUTigers.com.
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