No. 2 Baseball escapes Saturday with a 6-4 win over Missouri
May 22, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- An error and wild pitch were the difference for the No. 2 Texas Longhorns as they registered a 6-4 win over the Missouri Tigers at Taylor Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Texas moved to 45-8 and 23-3 in Big 12 Conference play. The Longhorns tied the Big 12 record for most league wins. Texas Tech went 23-7 in 1997 and their mark was matched by Texas A&M (23-6) in 1999 and Baylor (23-7) in 2000. It also marked UT's 27th victory in the last 28 games for Texas.
With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Cameron Rupp hit a fly ball to the warning track, but Missouri rightfielder Jonah Schmidt was unable to secure it in his glove. Russell Moldenhauer drew a walk and Connor Rowe laid down a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Tigers' reliever Tyler Clark uncorked a wild pitch to allow Rupp to score the go-ahead run and Kevin Lusson followed with a sacrifice fly to leftfield to plate Moldenhauer with an insurance run and the 6-4 advantage.
Texas drew first blood in the top of the second inning. With one out, Kyle Lusson singled to leftfield and moved to second on a groundout by Connor Rowe. After Kevin Lusson was issued a base on balls, Jordan Weymouth laced a single through the right side of the infield to drive in Kyle Lusson for the 1-0 lead.
Missouri (27-24, 10-15 Big 12) staked claim to its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Ryan Gebhart singled through the right side of the infield and scored when Dane Opel roped a double down the leftfield line. Opel came around to score the go-ahead run on an Aaron Senne single through the right side for the 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, Connor Rowe launched a 2-1 offering into the stratosphere over the leftfield fence to knot the game at 2-2.
Texas regained the advantage in the fifth inning. Tant Shepherd doubled down the rightfield to start the frame. He moved to third when Kevin Keyes hit a deep flyout to the Schmidt in foul territory and scored when Rupp bounced a single back up the middle to give the Longhorns a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers' came roaring back in the bottom half of the fifth. Dane Opel hit a wall-banger to rightfield for a lead-off double. With two outs, Brett Nicholas gave Missouri the lead when he deposited a 1-1 pitch over the wall in leftfield to give Missouri a 4-3 edge.
The Longhorn tied the game at 4-4 in the eighth. Kevin Lusson reached on a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Weymouth. Cohl Walla followed with a double down the leftfield line to drive in Lusson with the equalizer.
Chance Ruffin (6-1) retired all five batters he faced in 1.2 innings to earn the save. He entered the game with two on and one out in the eighth, and induced a groundout and struck out the next batter with both runners in scoring position. He added another strikeout in the ninth to give him two in the game and seven for the weekend.
Clark (2-2) was saddled with the loss for Missouri. He allowed two unearned runs and issued a walk and tossed a wild pitch over 1.1 innings out of the bullpen. Tigers starter Kelly Fick yielded three runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out four over 4.1 innings. Brad Buehler came in to settle things down for Missouri, allowing just one run on one hit and three walks while striking out four over 3.0 innings.
Walla, Shepherd and Rupp each had two hits to lead the Longhorns offense. Texas batters registered 11 hits and drew six walks on the afternoon.
Opel and Garrison McLagan were the lone Tigers to register multiple hit games, each accounting for two.
The Longhorns will look for their sixth Big 12 series sweep of the season on Sunday. First pitch against Missouri was moved to 12 p.m. at Taylor Stadium.