April 10, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. - The Mizzou baseball team dropped its series finale at No. 23 Oklahoma State, 7-3, on Sunday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater. The loss drops the Tigers to 13-19 on the season and 1-7 in Big 12 play. Mizzou got back-to-back home runs in the first inning by Blake Brown and Jonah Schmidt, but a five-run fourth inning by the Cowboys put the game out of reach for the Tigers. Jeff Emens was tagged with the loss for Mizzou while OSU's Andrew Heaney earned the win as he moves to 4-2 on the season.
The Tigers got on the board early as they notched a pair of home runs in the first inning off of OSU starter Randy MCurry. Brown launched an opposite field home run over the right field fence to put the Tigers on top, 1-0. The homerun marked the third straight game in which Brown has homered, making him the first Tiger to hit home runs in three straight games since Greg Folgia in 2009.
But that wasn't it for the Tigers in the first as Schmidt tallied his team-leading fourth home run of the season in the very next at-bat, launching a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left, putting the Tigers on top, 2-0. His solo shot marked the first time this season that Mizzou has posted back-to-back jacks this season.
In the bottom of the first, Dusty Ross, who made his first career start on Sunday, let up a two-run home run with no outs to OSU designated hitter Dane Phillips, knotting the score at 2-2. The homer broke a nine-inning scoreless streak for Ross as the runs were the first that he had allowed in six appearances dating back to March 12. But he retired three of the next four batters to get out of the inning. He went 3.0 innings and scattered four hits and gave up two earned runs while striking out four, just one off of his career-best.
The score stayed tied at 2-2 until the fourth as Emens came on to relieve Ross. He gave up five straight singles, allowing a pair of runners to score for OSU, putting the Cowboys up 4-2. That made way from Brad Buehler
to pick up Emens. He induced a 4-6 fielder's choice but gave up a two-out single to Phillips, plating two more runs, and a double to Zach Johnson to score another run, giving OSU a 7-2 lead. Four of the runs were charged to Emens, who went just 0.1 innings, while the other went to Buehler.
Mizzou threatened in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with one out. Conner Mach drove in a run on an RBI single through the left side, but a great play OSU third baseman Mark Ginther on the next at bat ended the threat. Dane Opel popped up a pitch into foul territory and Ginther tracked it down and made an over-the-shoulder catch. He then turned and threw home to get Schmidt at the plate as he was attempting to tag up and score from third, completing the double play. The twin killing ended the threat for the Tigers, but they did cut into the OSU lead at 7-3.
Lefty reliever Phil McCormick made his third appearance of the series and 20th of the season and held OSU scoreless over 2.0 innings, allowing just one hit. He continues to lead the Big 12 in appearances this season with 20 after throwing in all three games this weekend. But the Tigers could not push across any more runs over the next four innings as OSU was able to win the game, 7-3. Mizzou left 14 runners on base in the game, including the bases loaded in the ninth.
Mizzou returns home next week for a Wednesday game with SIU-Edwardsville before hosting Kansas for a three-game weekend series beginning Friday. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.