Sophomore Jeff Emens
April 30, 2010
LUBBOCK, Texas- - Mizzou improved to 4-1 in extra inning games this season by defeating Texas Tech 12-8 in 11 innings on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series in Lubbock, Texas. It was the second-straight extra-inning win in Big 12 play for the Tigers.
With the score tied at eight, the first four Tigers to the plate in the top of the 11th all reached, starting with back-to-back singles from senior Aaron Senne and junior Brett Nicholas. Junior Andrew Thigpen, who was inserted as a pinch hitter, reached on an error as he was attempting to sacrifice. Freshman Dane Opel followed with a two-run single to score the go-ahead runs. The Tigers tacked on two more runs on a sacrifice fly from redshirt freshman Andreas Plackis and an RBI double from freshman Eric Garcia and held on for the 12-8 victory.
"It was a great team win," Head Coach Tim Jamieson said. "We had so many guys contribute. Several guys had timely hits and drove in runs. We had to use a lot of guys out of the bullpen. It looked like it was going to be our game early on, but we knew they would battle back."
Missouri had built a 7-0 lead before Tech began to chip away and eventually tie it in the ninth inning to force extra innings.
Garcia hit his fourth home run of the season to put the first run of the game on the board in the top of the third inning. The Tigers (23-17, 7-8 Big 12) added three more runs in the third inning, including a two-run double by Nicholas, which extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Nicholas has had a hit in 31 of the 39 games he's played in this season. He finished the game 2-for-5 and has had at least two hits in 13 of the 16 games during his streak.
The lead was pushed to seven after three more runs scored for Mizzou in the fourth inning, highlighted by sophomore Ryan Ampleman's two-run home run, the second homer of his career.
Texas Tech (24-22, 10-9) got on the board with a solo home run by Barrett Barnes in the bottom of the fourth inning. The home run by Barnes started a four-run fourth inning as the Red Raiders cut the Tigers' lead to three. Scott LeJune led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run and two batters later Bonham Hough homered to pull the Red Raiders to within one at 7-6.
Missouri tacked on a run in the top of the eighth as Garcia walked to open the inning and, after Ampleman was hit by a pitch, senior Michael Liberto advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Garcia then scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore Ryan Gebhart. Garcia had three hits, drove in three and scored three times on Friday night.
TTU answered with a run of its own in its half of the eighth then tied the game with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a pair of singles and a fielder's choice. The Red Raiders loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, but sophomore Jeff Emens got a strikeout and a foul out to end the threat, leading to the Tigers' four-run 11th inning. Emens picked up the win after pitching 3.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits.
The win is the fourth straight for Mizzou and with the victory, the Tigers finish the month of April with a winning record at 7-6.
The series between the Tigers and Red Raiders will continue at 5 p.m. on Saturday, with the final game of the weekend scheduled for Noon on Sunday. Junior Nick Tepesch (4-3) is scheduled to pitch for Mizzou on Saturday, while Texas Tech is slated to start Bobby Doran (3-2).
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