Mistakes and errors result in home loss for Missouri baseball

Friday, March 11, 2011 | 10:08 p.m. CST
Le Moyne College sophomore Ryan Mahoney tags MU sophomore Brannon Champagne out as he slides into second base on Friday.

COLUMBIA – One play consisting of a missed catch in the outfield and a high throw to third base seemed to best capture the Missouri baseball team’s struggles Friday night in a 6-5 home loss.

Despite a host of mistakes at the plate, running bases and fielding, Missouri (4-9) found itself tied with Le Moyne (3-9), a Division II school from Syracuse, N.Y. But in one play, the Tigers quickly found themselves trailing again.

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Missouri vs. Le Moyne

When: 1 p.m.

Where: Taylor Stadium

Coverage: KTGR 100.5 FM/1580 AM

Missouri vs. Le Moyne

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Taylor Stadium

Coverage: KTGR 100.5 FM/1580 AM

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In what can only be described as a wacky series of events in the top of the eighth inning, right fielder Blake Brown received an error when he was unable to make a play on an RBI single hit by Le Moyne third baseman Ryan Mahoney. After center fielder Brannon Champagne got the ball to Eric Garcia at second base, Garcia then overthrew Conner Mach at third base. After it was all said and done. Mahoney ended up scoring along with two of his teammates to give Le Moyne a 6-3 lead.

Missouri’s offense almost salvaged the damage in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Tigers got three hits and drove in two runs, but left three men on base as first baseman Scott Sommerfeld struck out to end the game.

“I thought we played hard, the kids didn’t give up,” coach Tim Jamieson said after the game. “I thought there were a lot of real positives, but we made way too many mistakes and that’s what cost us the game.”

Earlier in the week Missouri struggled on offense, but Friday night the Tigers got 15 hits and only struck out once. In the game against Le Moyne, it was simple mistakes that plagued the Tigers.

“The frustration comes when you see some improvements in an area you’ve been working on, but then you go backwards in some other areas,” Jamieson said. ”And it’s really simple things. It’s things that are not that difficult.”

After Wednesday’s loss to Gonzaga, Brown, who bats leadoff, took responsibility for the players’ passivity at the plate. After Friday’s loss, Brown felt even worse about his role in the loss.

“This one definitely hurts a lot more because it’s my fault and I missed that ball,” he said. “So this one hurts a lot more, personally.”

When Brown made that error in the eighth inning, he went down to the ground and stayed lying there for several minutes after the play. Brown stayed in the game, but was icing his knee after the game. He said he merely slipped on the grass, still wet from the recent rain, and expects his sore knee to be fine.

Even after the crazy series of events in the eighth inning, perhaps the most surprising things to come out of the night were Champagne’s plate appearance statistics. In five plate appearances, Champagne recorded one single and was hit the other four times.

Champagne said taking the hits, two to his upper body and two to his lower body, didn’t really hurt. But he was just as surprised as everyone else when he was hit four times.

“I feel like that happens maybe once in a lifetime,” Champagne said. “I’ll definitely take it every game. I was just getting up on the plate and he (Le Moyne’s pitcher) tried to come inside and just missed a little bit, and I wasn’t afraid to just take one for the team and get on base.”

Missouri plays Le Moyne three more times this weekend. There will be a doubleheader Saturday, with games at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and another game Sunday at 1 p.m.

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