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Folgia's two homers propels Tigers to win over KU

Friday, May 8, 2009 | 9:02 p.m. CDT; updated 9:07 a.m. CDT, Monday, May 11, 2009
Teammates congratulate Missouri junior Greg Folgia after his dive into home plate during the Tigers' game against KU at Taylor Stadium on May 8.

COLUMBIA — The Missouri Tigers never get tired of celebrating with a victory line against Big 12 opponents.

The Tigers won their seventh straight Big 12 game beating rival Kansas 8-5 Friday night at Taylor Stadium.

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In the sixth inning, Missouri outfielder Greg Folgia gave the Tigers a four run lead thanks to his second home run, a strange one.

Folgia hit a ball to the warning track that carried and KU centerfielder Jason Brunansky dove to make the play but slammed into the center field wall. Folgia sprinted to third then got the go home signal from third base coach Evan Pratte. Folgia took a deep breath running out of steam and flopped head first to beat the throw at home. 

"Once I saw him hit the ground I started running a little faster," Folgia said. "I was out of breath before I got to third. That was the only energy I had left, I just wanted to dive in the pool."

Folgia also hit a solo home run in the first inning to give the Tigers their first lead.

Tiger pitcher Kyle Gibson pitched eight innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and striking out eight Jayhawks for his ninth win of the season. Gibson leads the Big 12 with 115 strikeous in 91 2/3 innings.

"That's something I try to do every Friday night," Gibson said. "I try to come out here and make a statement."

All of Kansas' runs came via the home run. In all, the Jayhawks (34-17) hit three home runs. Two of them came off Gibson including Buck Afenir's three-run home run in the third inning that gave the Jayhawks their only lead of the night.

After giving up the home run to Afenir, Gibson retired 14 straight Jayhawks.

"We've seen that all year where he has another level to go," Coach Tim Jamieson said. "Whenever he's middle to late in the game. He's been good all year and he's a phenomenal Friday night guy."

Freshman Garrison McLagan made his collegiate debut. A few weeks ago McLagan was expecting to redshirt. He was enjoying an Andy's Frozen Custard while his team was in Manhattan, Kansas playing Kansas St. Friday night he was the designated hitter. McLagan went 1-for-4 with his first hit coming in the fourth inning.

"Last night, I talked to Coach Vitello, there was a possibility of taking off my redshirt and using my bat at a DH positon," McLagan said.  "I didn't know until about 3:45."

McLagan could have been a senior in high school at Columbia's Christian Fellowship school, but graduated early to join the Tigers for the spring baseball season. Christian Fellowship doesn't have a baseball team. Missouri coaches have noticed improvement in his approach at the plate the last couple weeks and decided to reward him with playing time.

"It's been coming for a couple weeks, he's really been swinging it really well." Jamieson said. "The beginning of January, he was very much a high school senior. He was really overwhelmed."

The win moves Missouri (29-22) into second place in the Big 12 one-and-a-half games behind Texas after Kansas St. and Texas A&M both lost on Friday evening.


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