Tigers Fall to Le Moyne, 6-5

<i>Rob Zastryzny struck out a career-high eight batters on Friday.</i>

Rob Zastryzny struck out a career-high eight batters on Friday.

March 11, 2011

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team lost a hard-fought game with Le Moyne, 6-5, on Friday night (March 11) at Taylor Stadium. Trailing by three runs in the ninth inning, the Tigers rallied to plate a pair of runs but could not get another hit to tie or potentially win the game. Freshman pitcher Rob Zastryzny (Corpus Christi, Texas) had another strong start for the Tigers, firing 7.1 innings and allowing just three earned runs while striking out a career-best eight batters. Jonah Schmidt (St. Louis, Mo.) also hit his second home run of the season in the loss and drove in a pair of the Tigers' five runs.

Mizzou got on the scoreboard first after Schmidt bounced into a 5-3 fielder's choice that plated center fielder Brannon Champagne (St. Charles, Mo.) in the bottom of the first. In the top of the first, Zastryzny struck out the side and continued to throw well until the third inning. In the top of the third, Zastryzny gave up a leadoff double to Le Moyne catcher Kyle Kalaka, who was later driven in on a double by Brett Botsford. Le Moyne added another run in the fourth on a Zack Wiley double, putting the Dolphins on top, 2-1.

Mizzou answered in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Blake Brown (Normal, Ill.), scoring Dane Opel (Edwardsville, Mo.) who had reached base on a single and wound up on third after a passed ball. The teams traded runs in the sixth inning as Le Moyne designated hitter Brian Stinson launched a homerun over the wall in left center. In the Tigers' half of the inning, Schmidt launched a ball to left field, nearly clearing the bullpen, evening the score at three. The homerun was his team-leading second of the season.

After a scoreless seventh inning in which both starters went over 100 pitches for the game, things got wild in the eighth. Le Moyne third baseman Ryan Mahoney came to the plate with runners on first and second and notched a single into right field. Brown slipped as he went to play the ball and it rolled under his glove, allowing the runner from first to score along with the runner on second. Tiger second baseman Eric Garcia (Pluggerville, Texas) then attempted to throw out Mahoney on the relay at third base and sent the throw high, allowing Mahoney to score the Dolphin's third run of the inning. In all, two of the runs scored on that play were unearned.

Mizzou tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth. After a lead-off walk by pinch hitter Ryan Gebhart (Waco, Texas), a Le Moyne error and a single by Brown loaded the bases for Champagne. He was hit by the pitch, driving in the Tigers' fourth run of the game. Cather Ben Turner (St. Charles, Mo.) then came to the plate and singled to drive in the fifth run, but pinch runner Sal Belfonte (Kansas City, Mo.) was gunned down at the plate on the play as the Tigers just missed tying the game at six. Schmidt then flew out to right field and after a single by Garcia, Scott Sommerfeld (Manchester, Mo.) struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.

Both Phil McCormick (Wildwood, Mo.) and Dusty Ross (Iowa Park, Texas) pitched in the loss on Friday as both continue to rank first and second, respectively, in the Big 12 in appearances with 10 and eight on the season. Mizzou and Le Moyne will play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Taylor Stadium. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.



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