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Tiger offense picks up Gibson in win over Texas Tech

A 10-run inning helps Missouri roll to an 18-7 win over the Red Raiders.
Friday, April 24, 2009 | 9:20 p.m. CDT; updated 10:55 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 24, 2009
Left Fielder Aaron Senne celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run against Texas Tech on Friday. Missouri trounced the Red Raiders 18-7 in the first game of the teams' weekend series.

COLUMBIA — Stepping into the batters box a single away from the cycle, left fielder Aaron Senne said he'd would have rather hit another double or home run than a single to complete the feat.

Senne struck out swinging, but the left fielder went 3-for-6 with three RBI in the Tigers 18-7 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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"They told me in the dugout," Senne said. "It felt really good."

Senne hit his first home run of the year to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead in the fifth inning after almost getting struck in the head by Texas Tech pitcher Robert Kilcrease's first two pitches.

Met by the team at home plate, Senne had a grin across his face. Senne had gone 148 at-bats before hitting his first home run of the year.

"It was a pretty big celebration," Senne said.

Center fielder Greg Folgia joked that he popped up quickly in his at-bat following Senne's home run so he could get back to the dugout to join the celebration. Senne had a different view of Folgia's pop-up.

"I think he popped up because he was trying too hard to hit back-to-back home runs," Senne said. "I did the same thing last weekend against K-State."

The offensive outburst didn't stop at Senne. The Tigers put on a hitting display in the bottom of the eighth inning to sew up the win.

Missouri sent 13 men to the plate in the inning on the way to scoring 10 runs and helping starting pitcher Kyle Gibson earn a win after he gave up five runs in the first inning and seven runs in 6 2/3 innings.

"We're not going to score seven, eight or nine runs every game but they're starting to hit the ball good," Gibson said.

Gibson struck out the first two Texas Tech(20-25) batters of the game and made them look silly in the process. It was getting the third out of the first inning that led to trouble for Gibson.

Gibson gave up three singles and a walk leading to two Red Raider runs before Berry hit a Gibson fastball into the Missouri (22-21) bullpen. Gibson watched the ball fly into the bullpen the stood with his glove extended towards the home plate umpire waiting for another ball.

"He's a good first pitch hitter," Gibson said of Berry. "When you give a good batter a pitch like that, they're going to hit it."

Last year, after giving up five runs in the first, Gibson would have folded up his tent. But in this game he recovered to throw five straight scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. Gibson threw 119 pitches.

"He has one more year of confidence and maturity," coach Tim Jamieson said. "I'm sure it would have been a different situation last year."

For the second consecutive weekend, the Tigers offense picked up Gibson. Last week, it hit two home runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat Kansas State.

Missouri scored a run in the bottom of the first and added four in the bottom of the third to tie the game thanks to Greg Folgia's two-RBI double down the left field line with two outs.

"I'm seeing it pretty well," Folgia said. "It's easy to hit when you have guys like Lollis, Coleman, Senne and Gray hitting around you. You see a lot more pitches to hit."

Gibson gave up two more runs in the top of the seventh before being pulled by Jamieson.  Phil McCormick replaced Gibson to get the last out of the seventh inning with runners on first and second.

"The biggest guy of the game was Phil McCormick," Jamieson said. "They're warming up their best pitcher and if they tie the game or take the lead, we don't score 10 runs in the seventh inning."

The win moves Missouri into seventh place in the Big 12 standings one game ahead of Texas Tech. The three game series resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday at Taylor Stadium.

 


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Comments

Ben Hyman April 24, 2009 | 11:06 p.m.

Real Baseball Intelligence (RBI), a leading resource in the evaluation of amateur baseball talent and draft coverage, has ranked Kyle Gibson the #4 prospect in the 2009 MLB Draft. View his free scouting report (with video) at withthefirstpick.net/kyle-gibson

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