Senior Steve Gray
May 20, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.- - No. 3-seeded Missouri won its opening game of the Big 12 Championship for the fifth time in the last six years with a 5-2 victory over sixth-seed Texas A&M on Wednesday at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Junior Kyle Gibson struck out seven and allowed just three hits in six scoreless innings pitched to pick up his 10th win of the season. The victory was the 27th of his career, tying him for third place in school history for career wins.
The seven strikeouts for Gibson on Wednesday give him 123 for the season, which is tied for fourth most in MU history. He needs five more strikeouts to move into second place and is only eight behind record holder Max Scherzer (2005).
Junior Greg Folgia drove in each of the first two runs of the game for Mizzou on a pair of sacrifice flies in the first and third innings. His first sacrifice fly drove in senior Austin Holt, who opened the inning with a walk.
Senior Ryan Lollis connected on extra-base hits in each of his first two at-bats, doubling in the first inning before reaching on a triple in the third. He scored in the third inning on Folgia's second sacrifice fly of the game.
Lollis finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Folgia was 0-for-2, but had the two RBI.
The Tigers extended their lead to four after a two-run home run by senior Steve Gray in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was Gray's fourth homer of the season. Also scoring on the home run was senior Kyle Mach, who had doubled to open the inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.
The 16-game streak matches the longest streak by a Tigers since James Boone hit safely in 16-straight games in 2004. During the streak, Mach is hitting .469 with seven doubles during the hitting streak.
Missouri three double plays on the day, including one to end the second inning as Lollis made a leaping catch in right field and then doubled off an Aggies' runner. Texas A&M got the first two runners on in the sixth, before forcing Joe Patterson to ground into a double play. In the eighth, the Aggies loaded the bases before Patterson again grounded into an inning-ending double play. Patterson entered the game with a 10-game hitting streak, but was 0-for-3 on the night.
The Aggies scored both of their runs in the ninth inning, as runners crossed the plate on an error and a wild pitch. Sophomore Nick Tepesch put an end to the Texas A&M threat, coming on in relief with one out in the ninth and getting the final two outs of the game to pick up his first save of the year.
The Tigers have won four-straight games 12 of their last 14 games. They have won their opening game of the Big 12 Tournament in five of the last six years.
Mizzou (33-23) will continue pool play on Friday, taking on No. 7 seed Oklahoma at 3 p.m.
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