March 30, 2011
SAN MARCOS, Texas - Junior third baseman Conner Mach hit a game-winning single in the top of the 11th inning to propel the Mizzou baseball team to its second-straight extra-inning win as it topped Texas State, 3-2. The win improves the Tigers to 13-12 on the season. Senior lefty Kelly Fick earned the win for the Tigers as he threw the final two innings of the game, allowing just two hits. He was one of eight pitchers used by the Tigers in the win.
The Tiger pitching staff continues to be the story as of late as the eight hurlers did not give up an earned run in the 11 innings of action on Wednesday. In fact, dating back to the final two innings of the Central Arkansas series finale, the Tiger pitching staff has given up just one earned run in the last 33 innings as both of Texas State's runs on Wednesday were unearned. The streak is also at 18 straight innings without and earned run for Mizzou.
The Tigers used a wild 11th inning to take a late lead over Texas State. With two outs and a runner on second, Brannon Champagne struck out, but Bobcat catcher Andrew Stumph let the ball go through to the back stop, allowing Champagne to reach base on the passed ball. That also allowed Jesse Santo to advance to third, setting the stage for Mach, who laced a single to left, knocking in the game-winning run. Fick closed out the game, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the 11th to earn the win.
Mach led all Tiger batters, going 3-4 at the plate with a pair of RBI and a walk. Dane Opel also put together a nice game, going 2-4 with the other RBI for the Tigers. Of the eight Tiger pitchers, none went more than two innings and Fick was the only pitcher to throw more than 30 pitches in the outing. Santo led the team with a pair of runs scored in the game and second baseman Eric Garcia also scored a run.
Followed by four scoreless innings by the Tiger pitching staff, Mizzou got on the board in the fifth inning after a sacrifice fly from Mach, scoring Santo who reached on a seeing-eye single through the right side earlier in the inning. But Texas State was able to get out of the inning after Eric Garcia
struck out for the third time in the game.
Texas State got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, also scoring on a sacrifice fly. The runner reached base on an error by Santo, making it an unearned run for the Bobcats. They added another unearned run in the seventh after Garcia short-armed a routine 4-3 groundout, allowing a run to score. They went on to load the bases, but McCormick pitched out of the jam to keep the Tigers down by only a run.
That was big because Mizzou came back to plate the tying run in the eighth on an RBI single by Opel, scoring Garcia, who atoned for his seventh-inning error by reaching base and scoring the tying run in the next frame. Mizzou loaded the bases with one out, but a strikeout by pinch hitter Dillon Everett and a groundout by Santo stranded the bases loaded.
McCormick came back on the eighth and retired the side in order, using a sensational 1-3 groundout for the second out, keeping the Tigers in the game. In fact, he and Fick were nearly flawless in the final 4.1 innings of work, setting the stage for the late-game heroics.
Mizzou will be back in action this weekend as they will stay in Austin for a three-game series with No. 8 Texas, beginning at 6 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.