Junior Kelly Fick
March 13, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo.- - Missouri scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 4-2 win over Xavier on Saturday in game two of a three-game series at Taylor Stadium. The Tigers will go for a series sweep on Sunday.
With the score tied at two and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, freshman Dane Opel, who entered the game in the top of that inning as a defensive substitution, singled up the middle to drive in the two runs.
Xavier put the first run of the game on the board in the top of the first inning, but the Tigers pitching staff shut down the Musketeers after that, allowing just four hits and one run the remainder of the way. Junior Kelly Fick led the charge as he came out of the bullpen in the second inning to relieve junior Nick Tepesch, who left with an injury.
In the top of the first, Xavier's Zac Richard sent a line drive back to the mound, which caught a piece of Tepesch. Tepesch did field the ball and throw Richard out at first, but did not return for the second inning.
Fick turned in 5.2 innings of scoreless innings of work on the mound, giving up just three hits and striking out three. He retired the side in order in the second, fourth and sixth innings and did not face more than four batters in an inning until the seventh, when he was relieved by sophomore Ryan Clubb with two outs in the frame.
Clubb and junior Phil McCormick each pitched 0.2 innings and junior Tyler Clark struck out two of the four batters he faced in the ninth inning to close out the victory. McCormick took the win to move to 2-0 on the year and Clark picked up his first career save.
With Mizzou (7-5) trailing by one after the run by Xavier in the first, sophomore Russell LaFleur and senior Aaron Senne connected on back-to-back singles in the bottom of the fourth inning and redshirt freshman Andreas Plackis walked to load the bases. LaFleur then scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Brett Nicholas to tie the game at one.
The Tigers pulled ahead with a run in the sixth inning, as Senne doubled and later scored on a single by Nicholas, who drove in each of the first two runs of the day for the Tigers. Senne finished the day 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Xavier (1-12) scored on a two-out single by Ben Thomas in the top of the eighth to pull even with Missouri before Opel and the Tigers plated two in the bottom of the inning.
The final game of the weekend series is set for Noon on Sunday at Taylor Stadium. Junior Aaron Blunt (0-0) is scheduled to get the start for Mizzou, while Xavier will send Jon Richard (1-1) to the mound.
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