March 26, 2010
COLLEGE STATION, Texas- -
Missouri had its five-game winning streak snapped as it fell to No. 21 Texas A&M by a score of 3-1 on Friday in College Station, Texas in the Tigers' Big 12 opener. It was the first time Mizzou dropped its conference opener in six years dating back to a 2004 loss against Kansas State.
Texas A&M (16-5, 3-1 Big 12) put its first four batters of the bottom of the first inning on and took the lead with a two-run single by Joe Patterson. The Aggies stretched the lead to three after Matt Juengel opened the bottom of the third inning with his second home run of the year.
For Mizzou (12-7, 0-1), senior Michael Liberto singled to leadoff the game, but the Tigers did not record their second hit until senior Aaron Senne singled in the fourth inning. Senne would put the first MU run of the game on the board, scoring from first base on a two-out double by freshman Eric Garcia in the fourth. The Tigers were held hitless after the fourth inning.
The Aggies' starter Barret Loux (4-1) struck out 11, one shy of his career high, in seven innings pitched, allowing one run on three hits and walking one to earn the victory.
"That was about as good of pitching against us that I've seen in awhile," Mizzou Head Coach Tim Jamieson said. "Our hitters battled and competed, but we were just overmatched tonight. The first inning was the difference in the game. After that we settled down and competed well."
Junior Nick Tepesch turned in 7.1 innings pitched, striking out four. He hit two and gave up two hits to the first four batters he faced, but settled in to allow just three hits the remainder of the game. Tepesch allowed only two base runners in his final 3.1 innings of work, but picked off both runners to face the minimum over that stretch.
The outing was the longest of the season for Tepesch, whose career long is eight innings pitched. He is now 2-1 on the season.
"Nick pitched well," Jamieson said. "He pitched out of jams when he needed to and that is a mark of a good pitcher. He made good pitches and we played good defense behind him."
Liberto's first-inning hit extended his hitting streak to six games, which is one short of his career long. Garcia also extended his hitting streak to six games with his double in the fourth.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 2:05 p.m. with the final game of the weekend set for 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.