No. 3 Baseball loses third straight to Missouri, 7-5
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- With the Tigers scoring three times in the bottom of the eighth to overcome a one-run deficit, No. 3 Texas dropped a 7-5 decision to Missouri in front of TBA fans at Taylor Stadium on Sunday, May 21.
Despite a four-hit day from Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas), the Longhorns (38-18, 19-7 Big 12) lost for the third time in three days to Missouri (29-24, 12-15 Big 12) as the Tigers earned a series sweep to cap the 2006 regular season for both clubs.
Using two walks and a balk to place runners at second and third with one down in the top of the second, the Horns received a single from Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas) to score twice and claim a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, the Tigers loaded the bases with no outs via a single, a walk and a bunt base hit, but Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas) surrendered only one run on a fielder's choice groundout from Gary Arndt as he registered his first strikeout of the day and his defense threw two runners out at the plate. UT then loaded the bases for itself with one out in the third and grabbed a 3-1 lead with a sac fly off the bat of Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas). After MU starter Aaron Crow worked around a one-out triple from Clark in the fourth, Mizzou opened the bottom of the frame with two walks. An error followed by an infield chopper that went for a base hit then scored both runners and knotted the game at 3-3 before another infield hit and a wild pitch gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
Answering in the top of the fifth, the Longhorns got a RBI-groundout from Hunter Harris (Tulsa, Okla.) after putting runners on second and third with one down to tie the game at 4-4. Two innings later in the seventh, UT again had runners on second and third with one down before Harris delivered a sac fly to stake Texas to a 5-4 advantage. In the bottom of the eighth, Mizzou put runners on the corners with no outs courtesy of a leadoff walk, a stolen base and a single. After a groundout, an intentional walk followed by a hit batter then tied the contest at 5-5 and kept the bases loaded with one out. A two-run single from Arndt continued the rally and established a 7-5 Missouri lead before reliever Randy Boone (Yoakum, Texas) induced a groundout and posted a strikeout to end the frame. While the Horns received a two-out single from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, Mizzou's Travis Wendte got his next batter to flyout to center field to earn his second save in three days. Taylor Parker, who allowed only one run over 3.1 innings of relief, picked up the win for Missouri as Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas) shouldered the loss for Texas.
Headlining the afternoon for UT was Wheeless, who matched career-bests for both hits (4) and runs (3), the tandem of Stubbs and Clark, who each went 2-for-4, and McCulloch, who allowed only two earned runs over six strong starting frames. Missouri, meanwhile, was led by Arndt, who scored once and drove in three runs during a 1-for-4 outing, Zane Taylor, who collected a pair of hits, and Brock Bond, who went 1-for-2 with two runs scored. Of additional note for UT, Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) extended his current hit streak to a career-best 13 games.
The Longhorns now head to AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the 2006 Big 12 Conference Tournament (May 24-28). As the No. 1 seed in the tourney field, UT will face No. 8 seed Texas Tech in the opening round on Wednesday, May 24 at 1 p.m. On Thursday, Texas will face No. 5 seed Baylor at 5 p.m. and play No. 4 seed Nebraska on Saturday at 1 p.m. To purchase tickets, call (405) 236-5000.