April 7, 2007
MANHATTAN, Kan.-- -
Mizzou sophomore Rick Zagone recorded his second complete game in his last three starts and came just two outs shy of recording his first career no-hitter, as Missouri defeated Kansas State 3-0 on Saturday. A single by Justin Bloxom with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning was all that would stand between Zagone and a no-hitter.
A day after KSU put up 12 runs on 16 hits, Zagone struck out a career-high 11, as he matched a career-best with just the one hit allowed to remain unbeaten this year at 6-0. The complete game is the third of Zagone's career with all three having come away from Taylor Stadium.
"It felt good to get the win," Zagone said. "It was a great win for us. After yesterday, I wanted to show our guys that I would keep the number of runs down and make it easier of them. There were a few tough situations, but I just tried to stick with the game plan."
Zagone retired the side in order in four innings and after Kansas State loaded the bases with two walks and an error in the eighth inning, Zagone forced pinch hitter J.J. Muse to hit a ground ball, getting a force out at third base to end the threat.
"Rick was tremendous today," Mizzou Head Coach Tim Jamieson said. "We've had trouble scoring runs this weekend, so Rick knew he had to be good. He got better as the game went on. His pitch count was a little higher than I usually like it, but he can handle it."
The game was scoreless through six innings, before Mizzou senior John McKee homered to lead off the top of the seventh for the game's first run. The home run was McKee's fourth of the season, which leads the team, and extended McKee's hitting streak to six games.
Later in the seventh, the Tigers loaded the bases and junior Lee Fischer delivered a single through the middle of the infield to bring freshman Trevor Coleman and junior Jacob Priday around to score.
"This was a big win for us," Jamieson said. "After yesterday's loss, we needed to be good today. And now we've given ourselves an opportunity to win another series."
Missouri is now 23-9 on the year and 5-3 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats fall to 22-9 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
The series in Manhattan will conclude at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Next week, the Tigers travel to St. Louis to face SLU on Tuesday, before returning home for a three-game series with Texas A&M getting underway at 6:30 p.m. next Friday at Taylor Stadium.