COLUMBIA — The sun had started to set and the stadium lights were switched on.
Dusty Ross came running in from the bullpen.
The Missouri baseball team was ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh. Starting pitcher Blake Holovach had loaded the bases and manager Tim Jamieson called on Ross, a senior, to get the Tigers out of the jam.
On his first pitch, Ross got UNC-Charlotte pinch hitter Tony Montalbano to ground out to the second basemen.
The score stayed the same for two more innings, and the Tigers came away with a doubleheader sweep of Charlotte on Saturday at Taylor Stadium. The Tigers won the first game 5-3.
Rob Zastryzny started the first game for the Tigers. Zastryzny gave up one earned run and struck out three in six innings of work. Dane Opel, the Big 12 Player of the Week did well at the plate, going 2-for-3, driving in a run and scoring one.
After starting the year in the bullpen, Holovach was given the start for the second game. He struck out eight in his first start on March 4 against Ball State. He turned in another strong performance Saturday, going 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and striking out three.
Ross, after getting the Tigers out of the seventh, threw a perfect eighth.
Jamieson had been concerned about the depth of his bullpen and was glad to see Ross pitch so well.
“That’s a situation where we have to put him in and see how he does,” Jamieson said. “We have one more guy we can trust in the bullpen than we started with today.”
Opel also played a big role in the bottom of the sixth. With the game tied at 2 and the count 1-2, Opel launched a solo home run over the left field fence to give the Tigers the winning run.
Tiger reliever Jake Walsh recorded the save in both games, bringing his season total to five.
The Tigers will look to finish the four-game sweep of the 49ers on Sunday. Brandon Platts will get the start. Game time has been changed from 1 to 3 p.m. at Taylor Stadium.