April 21, 2011
WACO, Texas - Baylor's only offensive production came with a pair of solo homers, and Missouri took advantage of the Bears' defensive miscues to take a 4-2 win in the series opener on Thursday night at Baylor Ballpark.
"It is telling that the only runs we scored were on fly balls," head coach Steve Smith said. "We did not do a good job at the plate. Give them credit. I don't want to take anything away from them, particularly their last guy (Phil McCormick)."
Missouri (14-22, 3-9 Big 12) twice overcame one-run deficits against the Bears, and the Tigers took advantage of a defensive miscue to plate the game-winning run after the Bears failed to turn what could have been an inning-ending double play in the seventh.
Josh Turley (2-3) took the loss after allowing four runs - three of which were earned - on seven hits with no walks and a career-high-tying seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings. It was the fourth time in Turley's last five outings that he's worked into the seventh inning.
"I thought Josh did a great job," Smith said. "I thought he hurt himself in his last inning with his fastball, but he was trying to pitch with no offense. He had to almost be letter perfect and he was close to it. You can't find any fault in how he threw. The game was lost on the defensive side and with a lot of poor execution on the offensive side."
Turley retired the first 11 batters of the game before Brandon Brown singled through the right side of the infield with two outs in the fourth. The Bears spotted the sophomore southpaw to a 1-0 lead when Towey led off the bottom half of the inning with his fourth home run of the season - all of which have come in Big 12 play.
Missouri starter Eric Anderson then walked Dan Evatt before turning the ball over to his bullpen. Brad Buehler (2-2) escaped the fourth inning and ended up getting the win after allowing one run in 2.0 innings of relief.
The Tigers evened the score when Brannon Champagne blooped a two-out RBI single into right-center field, but the Bears responded in the bottom half when Muncy hit his fifth home run of the season to put Baylor back in front 2-1 heading to the sixth.
Conner Mach led off with a single, and a well-executed hit-and-run gave the Tigers runners on the corners with no outs in the inning. Turley struck out Brown to get the first out in the inning, and it looked like he might escape unscathed when he fielded a comebacker and fired to Landis Ware at second for a potential double play. Ware couldn't handle the throw and all runners were safe.
With runners again on the corners, the Tigers send Eric Garcia in motion from first base, and though the Bears caught him stealing, the prolonged rundown allowed Jesse Santo to score what would prove to be the winning run, giving Missouri a 3-2 lead.
Mach drove in another run with a groundout in the seventh, and though Max Garner held the Tigers scoreless in 2.2 innings of one-hit relief, the Bears couldn't close the gap.
Baylor had two runners in scoring position with two outs in the seventh, but Phil McCormick got Josh Ludy to ground out to end the threat. McCormick earned his third save of the season with 2.1 innings of one-hit relief.
Baylor's last chance came when Steve DalPorto drew a leadoff walk in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but McCormick retired the next three batters to end the game.
The Bears and Tigers resume the series at 3 p.m. Friday. Logan Verrett is expected to take the mound for Baylor against Missouri freshman left-hander Rob Zastryzny. Saturday's series finale is scheduled for noon.