May 6, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Mizzou baseball team earned its fifth Big 12 win in seven tries after topping Kansas State, 5-4, on Friday night (May 6) at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan. The Tigers used a three-run fifth to back starter Eric Anderson, who earned his first win of the season after throwing 7.0 innings, allowing just four earned runs on eight hits. Senior lefty Phil McCormick came on and earned a six-out save for his fifth of the season as well. The win improves Mizzou to 20-26 this season and 7-11 in Big 12 play.
The Tigers were led at the plate by Jesse Santo, who went 2-4 with a pair of RBI, good for his fourth multiple-RBI game of the season which is just one off of the team lead this season. Conner Mach tallied a two-hit night, going 2-5 with a run scored as he continues to swing a hot bat since moving to the leadoff spot. Designated hitter Jonah Schmidt went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI and catcher Ben Turner went 1-3 with a run scored. First baseman Eric Garcia went 1-4 with an RBI and Blake Brown was 0-3 with a run scored. Freshman CJ Jarvis also continued to swing a hot bat, going 1-4 with an RBI.
Mizzou struck in the second inning, tallying a run as it began to rattle KSU starter Kyle Hunter. Brown led off the inning with a walk on four pitches and he stole second base before Tuner singled, moving him to third. That brought in Santo with an RBI opportunity with runners on the corners and no outs. He laced a double into right center for his first extra-base hit during Big 12 play, scoring Brown and moving Turner to third. That gave Mizzou a 1-0 lead.
But the inning could have been bigger as freshman Jarvis launched a fly ball to right field that looked to score Turner on a sacrifice fly, but third base umpire Greg Harmon ruled that Turner left early, turning an RBI sacrifice fly into a double play. Andrew Thigpen
then popped up to end the inning.
The Tigers added another run in the third inning as Hunter's pitch count continued to build. Mach led off the inning with a double to deep center field. Brannon Champagne then bunted him to third and Eric Garcia drove him in on an RBI groundout to second, giving Mizzou a 2-0 lead. The RBI for Garcia was his 16th of the season.
K-State countered in the third, scoring a three runs off of Anderson. Dan Klein and Jake Brown tallied back-to-back singles to open the inning and the two were bunted to second and third on a sacrifice. Nick Martini then singled to first, scoring a run, and Jason King tallied a sacrifice fly to tie the score at 2-2. Jared King then knocked an RBI single to right to plate the go-ahead run.
Mizzou evened the score in the sixth on a huge hit by Schmidt as he ripped a one-out double to left field, driving in Champagne, who reached base on a bunt and stole second base. The RBI for Schmidt was his 25th of the season and tied the game at 3-3. Santo then came up with another huge hit as he did in the second inning, knocking a line drive to right field, scoring Schmidt from second base, putting Mizzou back on top, 4-3. Jarvis singled in the next at-bat to drive in Turner, who advanced from first to third on Santo's single. That gave Mizzou a 5-3 lead and three runs in the inning.
K-State cut into the lead in the bottom of the seventh after Mizzou stranded the bases loaded in the top of the frame. After retiring the first two batters of the inning on good defensive plays by Garcia at first base, KSU's Mike Kindel launched a solo shot to right field, cutting the Tiger lead to 5-4.
McCormick then made his Big 12-leading 28th appearance as he came on to close out the game for Anderson in the eighth inning. He pitched around a lead-off hit in the eighth, stranding a runner on third. He then retired the Wildcats in the ninth to earn his fifth save of the season, working around a walk by Martini in the bottom of the ninth.
Mizzou and K-State will resume their series tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.