COLUMBIA — After spending the previous month preparing for it, the No. 4-ranked Missouri Tigers entered Friday night’s Big 12 Conference opener on a roll. Their pitching staff, touted by many publications as the best in the nation, has weathered the loss of No. 2 starter Rick Zagone, and is threatening to exceed expectations. Their defense, a returning strength, has been the conference’s best, and a lineup that had struggled to score runs early in games has been staking its pitchers to leads.
Defense keeps struggling hitters in lineup
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