No. 1 Baseball rallies for 4-1 win over No. 14 Missouri
AUSTIN, Texas -- Scoring four runs between the fifth and seventh innings, including three with two outs, No. 1 Texas (36-8, 12-6 Big 12) collected a 4-1 come-from-behind victory over No. 14 Missouri (30-12, 10-6 Big 12) in front of 5,329 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Friday, April 29. The win was not only the Horns' ninth in their last 11 games, but also gave them 14 comeback victories on the season.
Missouri second baseman Zane Taylor led off the game by sending the third pitch he saw over the right field fence for a 1-0 Tigers' lead. UT attempted to answer in the bottom of first when the Horns placed runners on second and third with two down after a fielder's choice and a ground-rule double off the bat of Will Crouch (Austin, Texas), but Chance Wheeless' looping liner to left was hauled in by MU shortstop Gary Arndt to end the threat. Following a scoreless second and third for each offense, both lineups then put two runners on in the fourth, but starters Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas) for Texas and Max Scherzer for Mizzou had a double-play and a soft liner, respectively, keep it a one-run game.
A Robby Hudson (Redlands, Calif.) leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth combined with a sac bunt and a two-out single from fellow senior Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas) to knot the game at 1-1. Two innings later, Hudson singled to open the Horns' half of the seventh, moved to third on a balk followed by a passed ball and then scored on a one-out sacrifice fly from Johnston to stake Texas to a 2-1 lead. Still alive in the frame, with Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) on second after a walk and a stolen base, and Crouch on first via a base on balls, the two pulled a double steal in front of a two-out single from Wheeless to push the UT advantage to 4-1.
After reliever J. Brent Cox (Bay City, Texas) worked a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, the Longhorns loaded the bases on two walks and a bunt base hit from David Maroul (Benbook, Texas) with no outs in the bottom of the frame, but MU reliever Travis Wendte induced a fielder's choice groundout to cut down the runner from third at home before recording his first strikeout and then getting a flyout to keep it a three-run contest. Although Missouri grabbed the momentum briefly following the bases-loaded stand, Cox recorded a strikeout and a double-play grounder to close out the win and earn his 11th save of the season. Picking up his eighth victory of the year was McCulloch, who allowed one run on six hits and struck out five, while Scherzer incurred only his second loss of the season despite a 6.2-inning effort.
Headlining the night for Texas were Johnston, who drove in two of UT's four runs while also extending his current hit streak to eight games, Hudson, who scored twice and singled, and the duo of Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) and Maroul, who each registered a pair of hits. The Tigers, meanwhile, were paced by first baseman Derek Chambers, who went 2-for-3, and Taylor, who accounted for Mizzou's lone run with his first home run of the year. Of additional note for the Longhorns, Stubbs upped his present hit string to 11 games with a first-inning single and Cox lengthened his scoreless innings streak to 18.1 frames with two shutout innings to seal the win.
These two teams square off in the second game of this series at Disch-Falk Field at 2 p.m. Central on Saturday, April 30.