Conner Mach had three hits in the game-one win.
March 20, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team split a doubleheader with Central Michigan on Sunday (March 20) at Taylor Stadium. The Tigers won the first game, 8-6, and fell in the series finale, 8-1. With the split, Mizzou has now won eight of its last 12 games and extended its season-long winning streak to six games before seeing it snapped in the series finale. Mizzou claimed the four-game series with Central Michigan this weekend, winning the first three of the four games.
The Mizzou offense carried the Tigers in the first game as it plated six runs in the first three innings, capped by a four-run third. The Tigers then added a run in the fourth and fifth innings, which proved to be the difference in the game as Mizzou won 8-6. A late homerun by CMU's Tom Howard in the eighth inning gave Central Michigan life late in the game, but senior lefty Phil McCormick (Wildwood, Mo.) pitched out of a tough spot in the ninth to preserve the Tiger win, which was their sixth straight.
Ryan Ampleman (St. Peters, Mo.), Conner Mach (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Dane Opel (Edwardsville, Mo.) all had three-hit games for Mizzou in the first game and Ampleman led the Tigers with three RBI in the game, batting in the leadoff position as he went 3-5 at the dish with another run scored. Mach went 3-5 as well and knocked in a run and scored another and Opel had a huge game, going 3-4 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI.
Senior Brad Buehler (Festus, Mo.) earned the win after pitching 4.0 innings in relief of starter Zack Hardoin (Spring, Texas). He allowed just two earned runs and struck out four batters in the game while walking just one. McCormick pitched the final 1.2 innings of the game and struck out three batters and allowed just one earned run.
Ampleman drove in two runs with an RBI double in the second inning and got the Tigers on the board. After a scoreless frame from Hardoin, the Tigers came back with a pair of two-out hits from Opel and Scott Sommerfeld (Manchester, Mo.) in the fourth to score three more runs. Ampleman then hit a double down the left field line to score the final of the four runs in that inning.
Opel hit an RBI single in the fourth to score Mach and then Mach doubled to score Ampleman in the fifth to complete the Tiger offense in the first game.
In the second game, Central Michigan starter Zack Cooper kept the Tigers off balance at the plate, allowing just four hits over 6.0 innings of work with just one walk. The Chippewas gave Cooper five runs of support as well and kept the Tigers at bay throughout the second game. Senior starter Jeff Scardino (Tulsa, Okla.) was tagged with the loss after giving up five earned runs in 4.1 innings. Mach drove in the only run of the game for the Tigers in the loss, doing so on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, which scored Ampleman.
Mizzou will welcome Central Arkansas to Taylor Stadium for a two-game series this week before starting Big 12 play at home with Oklahoma next weekend. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigersBaseball.
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