courtesy of texassports.com
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The No. 25 Texas Longhorns were unable to take full advantage of their scoring opportunities and dropped a 5-4 decision to the Missouri Tigers in Big 12 Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Taylor Stadium.
Tied 4-4 after six innings, Texas got the leadoff runner aboard in both the seventh and eighth frames, but were unable to produce a run.
In the seventh, Kevin Lusson reached on a leadoff single to rightfield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tim Maitland, but Mark Payton struck out looking and Brooks Marlow grounded out to second to end the frame.
Erich Weiss started the eighth inning with a double to leftfield, but he was stranded there as Jonathan Walsh struck out swinging, Jacob Felts flied out to leftfield and Alex Silver popped up to first base.
In the eighth inning, Missouri (24-22, 8-12) made the Longhorns pay for their inability to squeeze out a run. With one out, Scott Sommerfeld singled through the left side of the infield off Texas reliever Nathan Thornhill. Hoby Milner entered from the bullpen to spell Thornhill on the mound and caught Brannon Champagne looking for the second out of the inning. Eric Garcia plated Sommerfeld for the game-winning run lofting a double over the head of Maitland in centerfield to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead.
The Longhorns drew first blood in the top of the first inning. Payton hit a wall-banger to centerfield for leadoff double to start the frame and with one out Weiss launched a two-run home run over the rightfield foul pole to give Texas a 2-0 lead.
Missouri benefited from poor fielding by the Longhorns in the home half of the first to tie the game at 2-2. With one out, Dillon Everett reached first when Texas first baseman Silver dropped the ball running to first for the putout. Ben Turner grounded to shortstop Jordan Etier and rather than go for the force out at first Etier attempted to beat Everett to second base. Everett won the race putting two runners on. Andreas Plackis made the Longhorns pay for their miscues by hitting a game-tying double to the gap in left centerfield.
The Tigers took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the second when Sommerfeld hit a solo home run over the leftfield fence for the 3-2 lead.
Texas (27-17, 13-7 Big 12) manufactured a run without a hit in the top of the third to tie the score at 3-3. Payton drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Marlow and stole third base. Weiss knocked Payton in with a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the equalizer.
Missouri reclaimed the lead in the home half of the third inning. Blake Brown deposited a double into the gap in left centerfield and moved to third on a deep fly ball to centerfield by Conner Mach. Case Munson roped a single into leftfield to plate Brown for the 4-3 lead.
Texas knotted the game again in the top of the fourth. Jacob Felts hit a leadoff double to leftfield and moved to third on an infield single by Silver. Etier hit a rope to the gap in right centerfield. Brown, the Tigers’ rightfielder, was able to track it down, but Felts scored on the sacrifice fly to tie the score at 4-4.
Longhorns’ starter Dillon Peters lasted 2.1 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out four. Thornhill (4-5) was the tough-luck loser for the Longhorns despite pitching 5.0 innings of solid relief. He allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out four.
Tigers’ starter Jeff Emens worked 3.1 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits and one walk while striking out two. Ryan Yuengel weaved 3.0 innings of shutout relief, scattering two hits while fanning two. Dusty Ross (2-0) earned the win allowing one hit and striking out three in 2.0 shutout innings.
Weiss led all batters at the plate going 3-for-3 with two doubles, one home run, one run and three RBI. Felts went 2-for-4 with one double and one run scored.
Turner and Sommerfield each had two hits for Missouri. Turner went 2-for-4 with one run. Sommerfeld went 2-for-3 with one home run, two runs and one RBI.
Texas and Missouri wrap up the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Taylor Stadium.