Baseball Wins Third Straight Big 12 Series

<i>Conner Mach had a three-run homer in the second inning.</i>

Conner Mach had a three-run homer in the second inning.

May 8, 2011

Box Score

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Mizzou baseball team won its rubber match at Kansas State, 12-8, on Sunday afternoon (May 8) at Tointon Family Ballpark in Manhattan. The win gives Mizzou three straight Big 12 series wins for the first time since 2009 and improves the Tigers to 21-27 and 8-12 in Big 12 play. Mizzou has also now won the last seven series against K-State as the Wildcats have not defeated the Tigers in a series since 2004. Dusty Ross (3-4) earned the win for the Tigers and Phil McCormick got the save, his sixth of the season.

Mizzou was led at the plate by Conner Mach, Blake Brown and Jonah Schmidt, as each homered in the contest. Mach went 2-6 with three RBI and a run scored and Schmidt went 2-4 with one driven in and three runs scored. Brown went 2-4 with three RBI and three runs scored and shortstop Jesse Santo also had a nice day, going 2-4 with a run scored. Brannon Champagne and Scott Sommerfeld also tallied RBIs in the game. Champagne went 3-6, extending his hitting streak to eight straight games, matching his and the team's season-long streak. Ben Turner also went 1-4 with a two-run double in the eighth.

Brown got the Tigers on the board in the top of the second inning, launching his sixth home run of the season over the left field fence. It was a two-run shot as Schmidt had singled to open the inning and it came off of K-State starter Shane Conlon, who had got through the first inning on just 12 pitches before giving up the single and the homer top open the second.



Following Brown's blast, Santo singled and CJ Jarvis drew a walk to put two men on for Andrew Thigpen, who grounded into a fielder's choice on an attempted sacrifice bunt. That brought in Mach, who blasted a three-run shot off of the foul pole in left field, good for his third home run of the season and second of the series. That made the score 5-0 in favor of the Tigers as Zastryzny went back to the hill in the bottom of the frame.

The freshman lefty gave up a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the second, keeping K-State within striking distance at 5-2. The Wildcats then scored two more runs in the third inning as Zastryzny's day ended, giving way to Dusty Ross to get him out of the jam. Ross threw 2.0 innings and kept the Wildcats at bay, allowing just one hit and striking out two batters, keeping the score at 5-4.

From there, senior lefty Phil McCormick got the Tigers out of the fifth inning and sent the game to the top of the sixth where Mizzou tacked on some insurance. Freshman Dillon Everett, who was in the game as a replacement for Jarvis who got ejected for arguing balls and strikes, tallied a one-out single. Thigpen then popped up, putting K-State one out from getting out the inning. But Mach singled on a hit-and-run to put runners on the corners for Champagne. He then knocked a seeing-eye single through the right side to plate Everett, giving Mizzou a 6-4 lead.

McCormick struggled in the bottom of the sixth and walked the first two batters. Then on a sacrifice bunt attempt, Everett committed an error, allowing a run to score, cutting into the Tigers' advantage at 6-5. Then things got wild. With McCormick on the mound, Jake Brown grounded a ball back to McCormick and he caught Tanner Witt between second and third. He was tagged out in the rundown and the Tigers then caught Chase Graskewicz in a rundown between second and third after tagging Witt out and they completed the 1-2-5-4 double-play, tagging Graskewica out. MCormick then induced a ground out to get out of the inning with the Tigers still on top, 6-5.

That was big for the Tigers, who added to their lead in the seventh inning. Schmidt tallied his second hit of the game, launching a solo shot to left field for his sixth big fly of the season, giving Mizzou a 7-5 lead. Then, after Brown walked, Santo doubled to left center and Brown went to third and scored after the routine relay throw was dropped by the Wildcats, giving Mizzou an 8-5 lead. Pinch hitter Scott Sommerfeld then singled up the middle to score Santo and Mizzou took a 9-5 lead.

Mizzou tacked on three more runs in the eighth and from that point, McCormick worked around a pair of hit batters in the seventh, allowed two runs in the eighth and a homer in the ninth, but the offense gave him enough support as he earned the 4.1 inning save, his sixth of the season.

Mizzou will be back in action next weekend as it host Texas Tech in its final home series of the season. The series begins at 6 p.m. on Friday (May 13).

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