Blake Brown tallied a walk-off single to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.
April 16, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Just moments after the Mizzou softball team walked off with a win, the Mizzou baseball team followed suit by tallying a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth with one out to give Mizzou a 3-2 win over rival Kansas on Saturday afternoon (April 16) at Taylor Stadium. Sophomore outfielder Blake Brown knocked a 2-0 slider to right field off of KU's Colton Murray, scoring Brannon Champagne to earn the win for the Tigers.
The win improves the Tigers to 14-21 this season and 2-8 in Big 12 play. Senior Phil McCormick got his fourth win of the season in the contest, throwing the final 2.2 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two. His biggest strikeout came in the top of the ninth as he got Jason Brunansky on a swinging third strike, stranding the go-ahead run at third base. McCormick's relief work came in relief of junior starter Matt Stites who threw 6.1 innings while allowing just one earned run (two total) while striking out seven. It was a gutty performance for Stites, who was beaned on the left leg by a line drive in the fifth inning. He remained in the game and threw 115 pitches.
After Kansas scored an unearned run in the first and another in the run in the third, Mizzou got on the board in the fifth inning. Champagne started the inning with a single up the middle and he later scored on a wild pitch. Senior designated hitter Jonah Schmidt then came up with a huge two-out hit, lacing a 3-2 pitch up the middle to score Brown, who had reached base on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning.
That was all the offense for the Tigers until the ninth inning. They had plenty of chances before then, but the ninth is when the Tigers pounced. Facing Murray, the Jayhawk closer who entered the game with a 1.50 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 24.0 innings pitched this season, Champagne tallied a single to lead off the inning. He was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Eric Garcia and scored on the very next at-bat on Brown's game-winning single.
In all, Mizzou tallied just six hits in the game but walked nine times and was hit by two pitches in the game. The Tigers first four hitters were the only ones to tally hits in the game, highlighted by Champagne, who went 3-5 with two runs scored. Brown and Schmidt had the Tigers' two RBIs on the day with one apiece. Along with his game-winning hit, Brown went 1-2 at the plate with three walks in the game. Garcia also went 1-1 at the plate with three walks. Both Garcia and Champagne are currently riding six-game hit steaks as well.
Mizzou and Kansas will play for the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Taylor Stadium. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigersBaseball.
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