May 6, 2012
Columbia, Mo. - After losing a three-run lead in the eighth inning, the Mizzou baseball team (25-22) kept its composure as it notched a 7-6 win in 11 innings in the series finale against the No. 25 Texas Longhorns. Case Munson's first career walk-off came on a sacrifice fly to center field that scored a tagging Dillon Everett from third base. Dane Opel's three-run shot in the third put Mizzou ahead for the first time in the contest as well. The Tigers' series win over Texas was the Longhorns' third series loss in their previous 27 Big 12 series, and the first series win over a ranked opponent for Mizzou since taking the series over Texas A&M in the 2011 season.
The first two Texas batters reached base with an infield single and a hit-by-pitch, but then forced a pop up as the next hitter attempted to bunt for the first out of the game. A flyout to right put runners on the corners with two outs, and a strikeout ended the inning scoreless. The Tigers then went down in order in the bottom of the inning after an unexpected pitching change by the Longhorns. Blake Holovach walked the leadoff batter, but the Longhorns did not score. Andreas Plackis opened the bottom of the inning with a single to left, and Conner Mach was hit by a pitch two batters later to put two on with one out. Plackis took third on a pitch in the dirt two batters later, but was left stranded. Texas put their leadoff hitter aboard with a walk again in the third, and a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second. A wild pitch put the runner on third with one out, and a single to center scored the run to give Texas a 1-0 lead. After forcing a pop up to foul territory, Holovach walked the next two batters to load the bases with two outs. John Miles then entered to pitch, and induced a flyout to left to end the inning, stranding three runners on base. Back-to-back one-out walks to Eric Garcia and Dillon Everett put two on with one out, but both were left stranded.
Miles walked the leadoff batter in the fourth, and then an errant throw on a bunt by the following batter put runners on the corners with no outs. A sacrifice fly to left by the next batter scored the run, making the score 2-0 favoring the Longhorns. After hitting a batter to put two on with one out, a flyout to center and a groundout prevented the Longhorns from adding more runs. Blake Brown reached base to lead off the bottom of the frame, and Mach put runners on the corners with no outs with his single to right. Opel made the most of his at bat by launching a three-run shot over the right field fence, his ninth of the season, to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. Scott Sommerfeld then singled to center, and advanced to third on Brannon Champagne's sacrifice bunt followed by Garcia's groundout to the right side. Everett's single to center then scored Sommerfeld for a 4-2 advantage. Both the Longhorns and Tigers then went down in order in the fifth inning. After a flyout to center, Texas notched a solo shot to cut the Tigers' lead to 4-3. Back-to-back singles then put runners on first and second, and a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance a base before Miles struck out the Longhorn batter. A flyout to right then ended the inning with the Tigers still clinging to a one-run lead before Mizzou went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame.
After Miles recorded a flyout to start the seventh, Jake Walsh entered the game, and recorded one out before leaving with an apparent injury. Dusty Ross entered the game to wrap up the inning scoreless. Garcia led off the bottom of the inning with a double to right, and Everett singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Ben Turner's single to center scored a run to give Mizzou a 5-3 lead. Plackis reached base as his sacrifice bunt was bobbled and dropped by the pitcher attempting to make a play, and Brown singled in another run to build the lead to 6-3, but the next three Tigers were retired without adding runs. The leadoff batter reached on error in the eighth, and two straight singles loaded the bases with one out. Ross responded by striking out the next batter, but a walk then cut into the Tiger lead, making the score 6-4, and a single to right tied the game at six before Jeff Emens entered to get the final out of the inning. Mizzou was then put down in order in the bottom of the frame. Texas threatened with two on and two outs in the ninth, but Mach's diving grab on a hard shot down the third base line saved a run and ended the inning. Plackis singled with one out in the bottom of the inning, but the Tigers could not score.
Brett Graves took over on the mound in the 10th and walked the first batter he faced. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runner to second, and two groundouts to Everett ended the inning scoreless. Sommerfeld was the only Tiger to reach in the 10th, and Graves continued to keep Texas scoreless through the 11th. Everett notched an infield single with one out, then Texas made two errors on one ground ball off Turner's bat that put runners on the corners with one out. Munson then shot a fly ball to deep center, and Everett tagged up from third to score the winning run.
The Tigers now have a Wednesday (May 9) game against in-state rival Missouri State at 6 PM. Keep up to date with Mizzou baseball by following the team's twitter page (@MUTigerBaseball) or by checking in to MUTigers.com.
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