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MU baseball loses to Texas A&M on awkward play

Sunday, March 22, 2009 | 6:56 p.m. CDT; updated 7:46 p.m. CDT, Sunday, March 22, 2009
MU's Trevor Coleman absorbs the aftershock as Texas A&M's Brooks Raley slides into home plate Sunday in Columbia.

The Missouri baseball team got offensive this weekend.

Missouri (11-12) lost 6-5 to No. 3 Texas A&M (14-9) in the series finale at Taylor Stadium on Sunday. However, the Tigers scored at least two runs in the first inning in each of the three games against the Aggies this weekend. 

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"I'm pleased with the offensive effort," coach Tim Jamieson said.

The Tigers tied Sunday's game in the bottom of the eighth inning with two runs. But the Aggies went ahead in the top of the ninth for good when Brooks Raley stole second base and, while sliding, kicked the ball from MU shortstop Michael Liberto's glove. The ball sailed into left field and before Rex Meyr could throw home, Raley scored the winning run.

"It's a Sunday in the Big 12, and anything can happen on Sunday," catcher Trevor Coleman said. "It just goes to show that every little bounce matters."

Coming into the series against Texas A&M, the Tigers struck out too much, didn't get hits with runners in scoring position and just took bad at-bats, Jamieson said. It got so bad that the Tigers only had four hits in their win over a 2-12 SIU-Edwardsville team on Wednesday.

"Offensively we have to be better than that," Jamieson said after Wednesday's game. "I look at the quality of our at-bats, and it was a low percentage."

That prompted Jamieson to shake up his lineup.  Liberto moved into the lead-off position, and former lead-off man Greg Folgia was moved to sixth. He also inserted freshman outfielder Ryan Gebhart into the lineup and moved Folgia to first base. 

 "Once we do put it together, I don't think people are going to be able to beat us because we have the pitching," senior Ryan Lollis said.

Twice on Sunday when the team already had two outs, the Tigers rallied to score two runs including in the bottom of the eighth when Missouri was losing by two before tying the game up.

"Two-out rallies are awesome," Lollis said. "You get a lot of momentum going. It's fun when you do it that way."

The Tigers look to keep the offensive momentum going in mid-week games against the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Wednesday.  Senior Ian Berger will get the start for the Tigers on Tuesday night.


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