March 14, 2012
Columbia, Mo. - Blake Brown led the way offensively for Mizzou (10-5) with two home runs that totaled five RBI as Mizzou defeated North Dakota, 21-5, on Wednesday night at Taylor Stadium. The 21-5 win over North Dakota at Taylor Stadium was the Tigers' eighth straight win, the longest win streak for the Tigers since winning 14 in a row in 2010. Brandon Platts got the start on the mound today for the Tigers, his first career start. The Wednesday (March 14) night game was also the first time Mizzou scored 20 runs in a game since hanging 22 on Purdue on March 30, 2010.
Platts pitched a scoreless first, giving up one hit in the inning. Brannon Champagne and Eric Garcia both walked to start off the game for the Tigers, then Conner Mach lifted his first home run of the season over the bullpen in left field. Blake Brown singled to left with one out, but was left stranded. In the second, Platts struck out two en route to a perfect 1-2-3 inning. Patrick Quintanilla walked to start the bottom of the inning, then Sal Belfonte was hit by a pitch. Champagne's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up for Garcia, who grounded out to first to score Quintanilla for a 4-0 lead. Mach's double then scored Belfonte, and Mizzou led by five headed to the third. A wild pitch during Dane Opel's walk moved Mach to third, and a passed ball allowed Mach to score to give Mizzou a 6-0 lead. Brown then launched a line drive over the left field fence, making the score 8-0 Tigers as the game went to the third inning.
The Fighting Sioux started off the third with a bunt single, then a triple scored the runner to make the score 8-1. A single then advanced both runners, putting runners on first and second and scoring to make the score 8-2. With the bases loaded, Platts threw a strikeout for the first out of the inning, then a sacrifice fly scored the third Sioux run of the set. A single scored another run, making the score 8-4 and ending Platts's day on the mound. Ryan Yuengel
forced a foul out against the first batter he faced. Gavin Stark
led off the bottom of the third with a single, then Quintanilla's single to right moved Stark up to second. Belfonte's double scored Stark, making the score 9-4. Garcia grounded into a fielder's choice, making the score 10-4 and leaving runners on the corners. Conner Mach's
sacrifice fly to center scored Belfonte from third, giving Mizzou an 11-4 lead. After Garcia swiped second, Opel singled to center to give the Tigers an eight-run lead.
Yuengel pitched a scoreless fourth, then the Tigers were unable to score in the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the fifth, Brown launched another bomb, this one worth three runs, making the score 15-4. With two outs and the bases loaded, Jake Ivory's double to right-center cleared the bags and made the score 18-4 Tigers. Garcia's single scored Ivory, and a fielding error allowed him to advance all the way to third. Case Munson then scored Ivory on his first collegiate hit, boosting the lead to 20-4.
John Miles entered to pitch in the sixth, and surrendered a two-out run to the Fighting Sioux, and a scoreless bottom of the sixth left the score at 20-5 heading to the seventh inning. Kyle Barbeck took over on the mound in the seventh, and pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the 15-run lead. Jeff Cline pitched a scoreless eighth, then Michael McGraw sent a shot over the left field wall for a score, the first home run of his career. Dusty Ross held North Dakota off the board again in the ninth, sealing the 21-5 win for the Tigers.
Mizzou next takes on High Point in a three-game set over the weekend. Keep up to date with the Missouri Tigers baseball squad on the team twitter page (@MUTigerBaseball) or follow on MUTigers.com.