No. 3 Baseball topples Missouri, 8-5
March 7, 2010
HOUSTON -- The No. 3 Texas Longhorns had four players log multiple-hit games in an 8-5 win over the Missouri Tigers at the Houston College Classic on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
A day after the Longhorns managed just three hits in a 1-0 loss to the Houston Cougars, Tant Shepherd and Kevin Keyes each reached the total individually. Shepherd went 3-for-5 with one double and two RBI. Keyes went 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI.
The Tigers pounced on the Longhorns with two runs in the top of the second. With one out, Dane Opel was hit by a pitch and Jonah Schmidt followed by depositing a 3-1 offering just left of the rightfield foul pole for the 2-0 lead.
Missouri (4-5) tacked on another run in the third. With two outs, Eric Garcia and Aaron Senne both singled through the left side of the infield to put runners on the corners and Brett Nicholas pushed a hit through the right side to plate Garcia for the 3-0 advantage.
Texas (8-3) trimmed a run off the lead in the third. Etier drew a leadoff walk and Shepherd singled through the left side to put two runners on. After a pair of fly outs, Keyes laced a single into centerfield to break the scoring seal.
The Longhorns exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth to take their first lead of the game. Brandon Loy drew a leadoff walk and Rupp and Keyes followed with singles to load the bases. Paul Montalbano drew a five-pitch walk to plate Loy. After Connor Rowe struck out, Kyle Lusson tied the game with a sacrifice fly to rightfield. Kevin Lusson drew a walk to saturate the sacks with Horns again and Etier gave Texas its first lead of the game with a two-run single to rightfield plating Keyes and Montalbano for the 5-3 lead. Shepherd capped off the rally with a wall-banger to leftfield, driving in Kevin Lusson and Etier to inflate the cushion to 7-3.
Missouri mounted a rally in the eighth inning to stay within striking distance. With one out, Nicholas doubled and Opel followed with a walk of Texas starter Cole Green. Green was lifted for Chance Ruffin, who allowed a walk to Schmidt and an RBI single by Kale Gaden, to trim the lead to 7-4. With bases loaded, Ryan Ampleman appeared to sneak a bouncer through the middle of the infield, but Loy, UT's shortstop, made a diving stop and flipped to Etier covering at second, limiting Missouri to an RBI fielder's choice. Ruffin finally slammed the door with a strikeout of Michael Liberto and the Horns got out of the top of the eighth with a 7-5 lead.
Etier provided an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when he drove a 3-2 pitch into the Crawford Boxes in leftfield.
Green (3-0) earned the win for the Longhorns, allowing five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out four over 7.1 innings. Ruffin picked up his third save of the season, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out three over 1.2 shutout innings.
Zack Hardoin (1-1) was saddled with the loss for Missouri. He did not record an out, yielding three hits on two hits and one walk.
Garcia, Senne, Nicholas and Gaden each had two hits for Missouri.
The Longhorns went 2-1 at the 2010 Houston College Classic, scoring a 2-1 win over No. 9 Rice on Friday in addition to the loss to Houston on Saturday.
Texas returns to action on Tuesday when the Longhorns host the Texas State Bobcats in 6:05 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.