April 8, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. - The Mizzou baseball team fell, 3-2, after a ninth-inning fielding error with two outs at No. 23 Oklahoma State Friday night (April 8) at Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. The loss drops the Tigers to 13-17 on the season and 1-5 in Big 12 play. The Tigers got a nice start from freshman lefty Rob Zastryzny as he went 7.2 innings while scattering just five hits, allowing two earned runs and striking out a career-best eight.
But it was all for not as OSU plated the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. After a leadoff walk and two productive outs advancing the runner to third, Tiger shortstop Jesse Santo bobbled a routine grounder allowing the winning run to score, ending the game. Mizzou rallied from down 2-0 after the first inning to tie the game in the seventh, but it left runners aboard in the seventh and eighth innings, a big reason why OSU was able to claim the walk-off win. The Tigers left 10 men on base in the loss.
Jonah Schmidt led Mizzou, going 2-3 at the plate and Brannon Champagne also tallied a two-hit game, going 2-4 with an RBI. Sophomore Blake Brown launched his first homerun of the season - a solo shot in the seventh - as well as he scored a run and drove in another in the loss.
In the first inning, Mizzou stranded Champagne on second in the top of the frame and Zastryzny walked leadoff hitter Devin Shines to open the bottom of the first. That led to a two-run homer over the left field fence for two-hole hitter Dane Phillips to give Oklahoma State an early 2-0 advantage.
But the Tigers scored in the top of the fifth inning. Scott Sommerfled singled to short and Santo was hit by a pitch. Oklahoma State catcher Jared Womack was then charged with a passed ball, advancing the runners to second and third with just one out for Brown, but he struck out swinging on a 2-2 count, bringing Champagne to the plate. He sent a chopper up the middle and beat the throw by Cowboy shortstop Hunter Baily, allowing Sommerfeld to score the first run of the game for Mizzou, cutting the lead in half at 2-1.
It took until the seventh inning for the Tigers to tie the game and it came on a solo shot to left field by Brown, good for his first homerun of the season. It came on a 3-1 pitch after he swung through a 3-0 fastball on the previous pitch by OSU starter Mike Strong. The homerun was the second career jack for Brown and his first since March 23 of last season against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. It could have been a two-run blast, but Santo was caught stealing earlier in the at-bat. Mizzou threatened with two runners on after the solo shot, but the Tigers were caught on a double-steal to end the inning.
Zastryzny came back out for the bottom of the seventh and retired the side, allowing just one hit in the frame as he kept things knotted at 2-2 headed to the eighth. Schmidt singled up the middle to open the Tigers' half of the eighth and then Eric Garcia got a pinch-hit single through the right side and advanced to second on the throw, putting runners on second and third with no outs. But Dane Opel struck out swinging, Sommerfeld grounded out to third and Santo struck out looking to get OSU out of the jam.
Zastryzny came back out in the eighth and struck out the first two batters of the inning, matching his career-best with eight. That made way for lefty reliever Phil McCormick who made his Big 12-leading 18th appearance. He got the final out of the inning, sending the game to ninth knotted at 2-2.
Mizzou went in order in the ninth and OSU plated the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on the fielding error by Santo on what would have been the third out. The run charged to McCormick was unearned but he was tagged with the loss. Chris Marlowe earned the win for OSU after throwing 2.1 innings of relief.
Mizzou and Oklahoma State will continue their three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Reynolds Stadium. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.