Missouri baseball beats Ball State to win first home series

Sunday, March 4, 2012 | 5:44 p.m. CST; updated 7:05 p.m. CST, Sunday, March 4, 2012
Red-shirt sophomore Jake Walsh pitches against a Ball State batter on Sunday at Taylor Stadium. Walsh did not give up any runs during the game.

COLUMBIA — Dillon Everett was just looking for a pitch to hit. 

Although Ball State pitcher T.J. Weir had walked three Tigers to load the bases in the fourth inning, the Missouri second baseman swung at the first pitch he saw and laced a double into the outfield. 

"Batting in the nine hole, sometimes they like to get after me early in the count, so I was dialed up on deck," Everett said. "I was timed up pretty good, so when he threw that first fastball, I was pretty on it."

The two-run double gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead and set up a four-run inning that would set the tone for Missouri's 9-2 win, its second rout of the Cardinals in as many days. 

Everett, a sophomore, has struggled at the plate since taking over for Andrew Thigpen, who graduated in 2011.  After going 2-for-22 in Missouri's first eight games, Everett went 3-for-4 Sunday and hit his first two doubles of the year. 

"He's been hitting the ball hard, he just hasn't had the luck to show for it," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "Keep doing the right thing, the balls start to drop in a little bit."

Everett's turnaround was one of many for Missouri, as the Tigers ended a four-game losing streak with back-to-back victories against Ball State to win its first home series. 

On the mound, junior transfer Blake Holovach was successful in his first start as a Tiger after four bad appearances out of the bullpen. 

Jamieson had placed Holovach in the bullpen to add some experience to an otherwise young relief corps, but decided to give him Sunday's start after the team was swept in San Francisco last weekend.

"We think we have enough pitching depth to play around with our starting rotation, but we thought we could really make our bullpen strong with Holovach in there, and he just pitched differently," Jamieson said. "I feel real good about our starting rotation right now."

Missouri will try to carry its momentum as it continues its 19-game homestand. The Tigers will play the University of Nebraska-Omaha at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at Taylor Stadium.

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