COLUMBIA — Apparently Missouri senior designated hitter Jacob Priday just couldn’t get enough. Following a weekend in which he set the single-game Missouri records for home runs and RBI en route to earning Big 12 Conference and NCBWA National Player of the Week honors, Priday set out to show he was no one-game wonder Wednesday night at Taylor Stadium.
With his shot over the scoreboard in left field, his second home run in the game, Priday became Missouri’s career leader in home runs with 46, surpassing the old record of 45 held by Mike Rogers (1984-87). His three RBI in the game also gave him the Missouri career RBI record. His career RBI total stands at 223, one more than previous record-holder Ryan Fry (1995-98) tallied.
Although he said he was happy with having set the records, he also said he was a bit relieved to get it out of the way before the Tigers got back to Big 12 Conference play this weekend.
“I haven’t really put that much thought into it,” Priday said, “but looking back on it, it’s a big accomplishment, and I’m kind of glad I got it.”
While the power display was nice, it certainly wasn’t excessive. The Tigers needed every bit of Priday’s 3-for-3, three-walk, four-run performance to defeat William Woods 16-9. Though overshadowed by his teammate, sophomore left fielder Aaron Senne also had a big night, collecting three hits, including his eighth home run for five RBI and three runs scored.
The offensive fireworks, however, came later in the game.
As they have become accustomed to doing while facing a lesser mid-week opponent, Missouri (26-9) seemed to come out flat.
Defensively, the Tigers had two errors in the early going, though that number hardly accounts for the amount of misplays that occurred. Shortshop Andrew Thigpen, who has hit well since taking over the spot from Lee Fischer, struggled again in the field. Jonah Schmidt, a utility man starting at first base also had problems, committing an error, botching a cut-off throw and failing to make a play on an errant throw by third baseman Kyle Mach. The defensive misplays of both earned them seats on the bench.
The pitching staff struggled as well and, until Priday’s home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Missouri bats had shown no life either, That was made more surprising when it is considered that William Woods inexplicably used 10 pitchers in what was either a little league-like effort to play everyone, or an odd attempt to set some records of their own.
To their credit, however, the Owls did collect 19 hits, forcing Missouri coach Tim Jamieson to use six pitchers from the back end of one of the nation’s top staffs. Had they not walked 15 batters and hit three more, perhaps it could have been their night instead of Jacob Priday’s.