Eric Garcia hit a solo homerun.
March 28, 2012
Columbia, Mo. - Mizzou (15-9) concluded its month-long homestand on a bitter note by dropping the finale of a two-game series against Central Arkansas by a final score of 8-2. The Tigers hung 10 hits on the Bears despite the two-run effort, including Eric Garcia's solo bomb over the right field fence. The shot was Garcia's first home run of the 2012 campaign.
Brett Graves had Mizzou off to a fast start, forcing a 1-2-3 top of the first inning. Conner Mach singled with two outs in the bottom of the frame, and Scott Sommerfeld's single on a full count advanced Mach to third, but both were stranded to end the inning. After the Bears were held off the board in the top of the second, Garcia launched a home run of the year over the trees beyond the right field fence to take a 1-0 lead heading to the third inning. Central Arkansas responded with a two-out solo shot to right center, knotting the game at one. The Tigers were then sat down in order in the bottom of the inning. A single led off the fourth inning for the Bears, then a double to the right field corner scored a run to make the score 2-1. A wild pitch moved the runner to third with no outs, then a passed ball scored the runner from third, giving Central Arkansas a 3-1 lead. The Tigers notched one hit in the bottom of the inning, but did not score.
Kyle Barbeck replaced Graves on the mound in the fifth and held the Bears off the board. Dillon Everett singled with an out in the bottom of the inning, and Brannon Champagne singled to right with two outs to extend his on-base streak to 16 games. Mach's single to left scored the runner from second to cut the deficit to 3-2 before the inning ended. The Bears threatened in the sixth with a runner on second and no outs until Barbeck snagged a hard grounder up the middle and tagged the runner between second and third, a critical out to keep the sixth scoreless.
Central Arkansas put runners on first and second with one out, and Dusty Ross entered the game to take over for Barbeck on the mound. Ross induced a flyout to right without a tag-up on the play, and he followed that out with a forced groundout to Mach at third base to end the inning and preserve a one-run deficit for Mizzou. Blake Brown singled with two outs to right, then two throwing errors by Central Arkansas allowed Brown to advance to third, but was stranded to end the inning. The Bears put a runner on second with one out after a double to left in the top of the eighth, and the run scored after a dropped ball on a play at the plate, making the score 4-2. A two-out single scored another run to increase the gap to three before Jake Walsh came in to pitch for the Tigers. Walsh gave up a double to the first batter he faced, scoring both runners to give Central Arkansas a 7-2 advantage at the end of the top of the eighth. Sommerfeld singled with an out in the bottom of the inning, then advanced on Ben Turner's groundout to short.
Brett Thomas pitched the top of the ninth for Mizzou, and an error allowed the Bears to tack on an eighth run for the Bears despite being held hitless in the inning. Dane Opel singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but a double play emptied the bases and left Mizzou to their final out, which came from the next batter.
Mizzou now takes to the road for a weekend series against the Texas A&M Aggies. Keep up to date with Mizzou baseball on the team twitter page (@MUTigerBaseball) or by checking in at MUTigers.com.
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