April 14, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - The Mizzou baseball team built a 2-0 lead but couldn't hold on as it dropped its second straight game, 8-4, to Oklahoma on Saturday (April 14) at L. Dale Mitchell Field. Tiger starter Blake Holovach was given a 2-0 lead in the top of the first but gave up seven earned runs over 5.2 innings as he was saddled with his second straight loss. He is now 5-2 on the season and the Tigers are now 18-16 on the season and 3-8 in Big 12 play.
The Tigers were led on the day by Conner Mach, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored while Eric Garcia went 1-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in. Blake Brown also extended his Big 12-best hitting streak to 21 games while Brannon Champagne reached base for the 26th consecutive game, the second-best active streak in the Big 12.
Mizzou loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning after hits from Mach and Ben Turner sandwiched around a Dane Opel hit-by-pitch. That brought in Garcia who sent a bloop single into left field that scored Mach and Opel. Oklahoma left fielder Erik Ross committed an error on the play letting the ball get past him, but he recovered and was still able to throw out Turner at the plate for the third out of the inning.
Holovach took to the mound in the bottom of the first inning and gave up three consecutive hits to open the game and then a pair of sacrifice flies tied the game at 2-2. Holovach then gave up another hit and plunked a batter to load the bases but got a flyout to center to end the inning, sending the game to the second inning knotted at 2-2.
After the Tigers were retired in order in the second, Holovach continued to struggle in the bottom half of the inning, allowing four more hits and two more runs as OU took a 4-2 lead into the third inning. But the Tigers jumped all over OU starter Jordan John in the third, started by a leadoff double off the bat of Brown, who has now hit safely in a Big 12-best 21 games. He came around to score on a bloop single by Champagne, who also extended a streak as he has now reached base safely in 26 straight games, the second-best active streak in the Big 12. That made the score 4-3. Champagne then came around to score on an error on a fielder's choice off the bat of Opel as the Tigers tied the game at 4-4.
Holovach worked around a pair of walks in the bottom of the third inning and posted his first scoreless frame of the game but Mizzou failed to plate any runs in the top half of the fourth. In fact, both pitchers began to settle in until Holovach ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. After putting together three straight shutout innings, Holovach walked OU's Max White and then served up a two run homer to Hunter Lockwood, his Big 12-leading ninth of the season. Following the homer Holovach walked the next batter and John Miles
then came in to relieve him and served up another two-run shot to Evan Mistich to put OU on top, 8-4.
The score stayed that way until the final pitch as OU put together six shutout frames to close the game. The Tigers and Sooners will play the series finale tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Norman. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.
- Blake Brown extended his Big 12-best hitting streak to 21 games with a leadoff double in the third inning. The school record hit streak is 26 straight games by Grant Ingram (1994) and Shane Fairbanks (1981).
- Brannon Champagne singled in the top of the third as well, extending his streak to 26 straight games reaching base safely. That is now the second-best active streak in the Big 12, trailing only Texas leadoff hitter Mark Payton (30 straight games).