Tiger Pitching Shines in Split Double Header

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Holovach was one out away from throwing his second consecutive complete game.</i>
Holovach was one out away from throwing his second consecutive complete game.

March 24, 2012

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team (13-8) split a double-header on Saturday (March 24) against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, dropping the first game, 3-2, but winning the second, 4-1. Starter Rob Zastryzny pitched 8.0 innings in the first game, posting 12 strikeouts on 128 pitches, all career highs. Zastryzny's outing was the first time a Tiger pitcher has thrown double-digit strikeouts since Kyle Gibson threw 10 in 2009. He was left with a no-decision after a two-run shot with two outs in the top of the ninth gave the Cowboys a 3-2 lead, the final score. Blake Holovach started on the mound for game two, a 4-1 win for Mizzou, and extended his scoreless inning streak to 15 before giving up an unearned run in the seventh. After Holovach's performance, he has not given up an earned run in 17.2 innings of work.

Zastryzny struck out the first two batters he faced on the day, but three straight Oklahoma State hits gave the Cowboys a 1-0 run before Zastryzny got his third strikeout to end the inning. Brannon Champagne singled with one out in the bottom of the frame, the first Tiger hit of the day. Champagne swiped second two batters later, but was stranded. In the top of the second, Zastryzny again struck out the first two batters of a scoreless inning. Mizzou then went down in order in the bottom of the second. After neither team was able to score in the third, Mizzou held Oklahoma State off the board once again before going down in order. Zastryzny again held the Cowboys scoreless in the fifth, and Ben Turner led off the bottom of the inning with a double down the right field line. Eric Garcia's groundout to first advanced Turner to third, and Dillon Everett's single to right with two outs tied the game at one heading to the sixth.

Zastryzny pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, fanning two of the three batters he faced in the inning. Conner Mach singled with an out in the bottom of the inning, then stole second on the next pitch. Blake Brown's single to center scored Mach, making the score 2-1 favoring Mizzou. Brown then stole second on the next pitch, but was stranded. After a leadoff walk to start the seventh, the following batter's sacrifice bunt moved the runner up to second base. Zastryzny then tallied his 10th strikeout on the following batter. He then struck out the following batter to end the inning. The Tigers then went down in order to end the seventh. In the eighth, the Cowboys led off with an infield single, then a single up the middle put runners on first and second with no outs. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up a base before Zastryzny tallied his 12th strikeout of the day for the second out. A walk to the next batter loaded the bases, then Zastryzny forced a groundout on pitch number 128 to end the threat. Mizzou then went down in order in the bottom of the eighth before Jake Walsh entered to close the game. He struck out the first batter he faced, then surrendered a single to right before a flyout to center. The following batter drove a home run over the left field fence to take a 3-2 lead. Mizzou was held scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, dropping the first contest by a final score of 3-2.

Holovach started game two with a perfect 1-2-3 inning. Brown walked to lead off for Mizzou, and Champagne followed with a walk of his own. A one-out single to right by Dane Opel loaded the bases with one out, and a two-out walk to Garcia scored a run to give Mizzou a 1-0 lead. Scott Sommerfeld's single to right then scored two runs to take a 3-0 lead heading to the second. After a scoreless top of the second, Brown reached base again on a one-out single to left. A perfectly executed hit-and-run with Champagne then put runners on the corners with one out, but the Tigers couldn't capitalize on the opportunity. Holovach's no-hit bid ended with two outs in the third inning on a single, but got out of the inning without giving up a run. Mizzou then went down in order in the bottom of the inning.

Holovach again held Oklahoma State scoreless to start the fourth, then Gavin Stark singled to lead off the fourth and advanced to second on a balk. Everett's single to center put runners on the corners with no outs, and Brown's sacrifice fly to right scored Stark to give Mizzou a 4-0 lead in the fourth. After a scoreless fifth, Holovach extended his scoreless inning streak to 15 innings with a perfect sixth. Brown started the seventh with a great sliding catch in shallow right, then Holovach found himself in a jam with runners on the corners and one out. He responded by striking out a batter, but an error allowed a run, making the score 4-1 favoring the Tigers. Stark ended the inning by making a spectacular grab while diving into the Oklahoma State dugout. The teams traded scoreless frames through the ninth, where Walsh recorded the save in his second opportunity of the day in a scoreless final inning.

The series rubber match with take place tomorrow at 1 PM. Keep up to date with Mizzou baseball by following the team's twitter page (@MUTigerBaseball) or on MUTigers.com.



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