April 23, 2011
WACO, Texas - Baylor was held to five hits, made a pair of errors that led to unearned runs and gave up five runs in the ninth as Missouri won the series finale, 10-1, on Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
Baylor (21-20, 7-11 Big 12) dropped its fourth straight Big 12 series, while Missouri (16-23, 4-10 Big 12) won its first conference series of the season.
"We have a couple of guys who every time they go up there are taking good quality at bats, but the majority are struggling," head coach Steve Smith said. "They are kids and there is a lot of panic setting in. They want to do it so badly that they don't take their time to be as mentally prepared as they have been in the past. But they are our guys and we will stand by them and keep putting them out there and working with them to see if we can't squeeze something more out of them."
Trent Blank (3-2) took the loss despite allowing only two earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He also allowed one unearned run in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Missouri starter Matt Stites (2-3) held the Bears to one run on four hits with four walks and nine strikeouts in 7.2 innings. A two-out error in the eighth ended his day, but Phil McCormick came out of the bullpen and allowed only a single in 1.1 scoreless innings of relief to close out the win.
The Tigers struck first with a run in the third inning. Ben Turner led off with an infield single, and he moved to third with one out on C.J. Jarvis' single. Conner Mach delivered a sacrifice fly to break the scoreless tie.
The Bears got their lone run when Josh Ludy hit a 2-0 pitch the opposite way for his third home run of the season in the fourth inning. That tied the game at 1-1, but Missouri quickly regained the lead and held it the rest of the way.
A one-out error was followed by a single and a walk to load the bases, and Brannon Champagne's fielder's choice grounder scored Andrew Thigpen with an unearned run to give Missouri a 2-1 lead.
Blank worked out of that inning without further damage, but the Tigers chased him from the game after two singles and a sacrifice bunt in the sixth. Brad Kuntz came on in relief to face Turner, who reached on an error that scored a pair of runs. Mach later added a RBI single to give Missouri a 5-1 lead.
"We have to start pitching well," Smith said. "We need our guys to do what their guy did for them today."
Baylor's best chance to cut into the lead came in the seventh when Joey Hainsfurther reached on a one-out bunt single and Lawton Langford walked, but Stites struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Missouri added on five runs against a trio of Baylor relievers in the ninth, and McCormick worked around a leadoff single from Chris Slater in a scoreless bottom half of the ninth.
Jonah Schmidt led went 5-for-5 with one run scored and Jarvis went 4-for-4 with a walk and one RBI to lead Missouri at the plate. Five different Baylor batters had one hit each, including Langford's first career double.
Baylor plays eight of its next nine games on the road, starting with Tuesday's game at UTSA. The game will be played at Wolff Stadium and is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. The Bears return to Big 12 play with a three-game series at Nebraska starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.