March 18, 2008
COLUMBIA, Mo. - - Sophomore Greg Folgia threw five scoreless innings and struck out seven batters and senior Jacob Priday homered and drove in three runs as the No. 4 Missouri Tigers (14-2) piled up 13 runs along with 16 hits, defeating South Dakota State (5-10) 13-1 to earn their ninth-consecutive victory.
Folgia, making his first start of the season, struck out the first five batters of the game and only gave up five hits in his five innings of work. Listed as the starting pitcher and the designated hitter for the game, Folgia helped himself out by gathering three hits while scoring three times and driving in one in five at-bats.
Priday's home run in the third put him into sole possession of fifth place on Missouri's all-time home runs list with 36. His three RBI in the contest bumped him up to 191 for his career, moving him up to second place on the school's all-time RBI list.
Priday got the Tigers on the board in the first inning when he drove in his 14th RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly. Folgia led off the inning with a single up the middle and junior Ryan Lollis reached on catcher's interference. After a passed ball moved the runners up to second and third, Priday lifted a ball deep enough into right field to score Folgia from third base, putting the Tigers up 1-0.
In the second, the Tigers were able to expand their lead to 3-0 with two runs in the inning. Junior Kyle Mach reached base to lead off the frame after getting hit by a pitch, and Pietroburgo followed up with a single into the gap in right-center field to put runners on the corners with no one out. Junior Austin Holt's groundout to shortstop brought Mach home from third, and two batters later Folgia helped out his own cause with an RBI double into the right-center field gap, scoring Pietroburgo.
The Jackrabbits had a chance to cut into the Tiger lead in the top half of the third, as they loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, but Folgia got Jacks' third baseman Craig Perry to groundout sharply to shortstop to get out of the jam.
In the Tigers' half of the third, Priday connected with a solo home run into the Tigers' bullpen in left field, expanding the Missouri lead to 4-0. The homer was Priday's third of the season and his first since returning from injury.
Missouri tacked on two more in the fourth, getting RBIs from Thigpen and Lollis in the inning. Following a leadoff walk and stolen base by Holt, Thigpen scorched a double to deep left field, bringing Holt around to score. After Folgia reached base on a fielder's choice, Lollis blooped a single down the left field line to put two runners on with only one out. A dropped third strike loaded the bases for the Tigers, and a few pitches later Folgia was able to score on a wild pitch.
The Tigers put two more runs on the board in the bottom half of the sixth inning, scoring both with two outs. Sophomore Trevor Coleman got the two-out rally started with a double over the head of the fielder in center, and Priday followed with a double of his own, smacking a ball down the left field line, scoring Coleman. Freshman Jonah Schmidt added an RBI single to put the Tigers up 8-0.
Missouri's bats poured on four more runs in the seventh, as seven Tigers reached base in the frame. Pietroburgo led off the inning with a single into left field, and came around to score two batters later on an RBI single by Thigpen. A single from Folgia brought Thigpen around to score, and Folgia was driven in by Coleman on his second hit of the game. Freshman T.J. Schieber earned an RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and an RBI fielder's choice by Schmidt expanded the Tigers' lead to 12-0.
The Jacks got on the board in the top of the eighth inning, as Stephen Turner drove in the lone run of the game for South Dakota State, one of four Jackrabbits' hits in the inning.
The Tigers added one more run in the bottom of the eighth when freshman Russell LaFleur lined a single into the outfield to bring Thigpen around to score. The run batted in was the first of LaFleur's career.
The Tigers will return to action on Wednesday when they conclude the two-game series against South Dakota State. First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m. CT at Taylor Stadium.
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