COLUMBIA – Eight was Missouri's lucky number in its game Tuesday night against Central Arkansas.
A spring break plagued Taylor Stadium saw the Tigers trail the Bears all the way up until the bottom of the eighth inning when Missouri's hitters scored eight runs, turning a 7-4 deficit into a 12-7 lead. Senior right-hander Dusty Ross took the mound in the ninth and shut the door on the stunned Bears.
Missouri center fielder Brannon Champagne has reached base in 15 consecutive games after his two-for-five night against Central Arkansas on Tuesday night.
Left fielder Scott Sommerfeld tacked on two hits to his team leading .333 batting average.
Junior pitcher Kyle Barbeck was the fortunate pitcher of record in the eighth inning, earning his first victory of the season despite throwing one inning and surrendering one run.
Missouri (15-8, 2-1 Big 12) was coming off a big weekend in which they took two of three from Oklahoma State to kick off its Big 12 Conference schedule, but the Tigers came out sluggish and unfocused in front of just 383 fans against a mid-week nonconference opponent ... again.
Starting pitcher Jeff Cline didn't make it through the second inning. Freshman pitcher, Ryan Yuengel relieved Cline only to give up two runs in 2 1/3 innings. And Brandon Platts, the fourth Tigers pitcher of the game, walked two and gave a hit in his one inning of relief.
As for the bats, even the eight-run eighth wasn't really a product of solid hitting. The Tigers scored all those runs on only four hits. They were four batters hit by pitches, a walk, a wild pitch and two costly defensive plays by an imploding Central Arkansas team.
Missouri coach Jamieson said the Tigers were fortunate to escape with a win in an "ugly game."
"It wasn't horrible. It just wasn't as good as it needs to be," Jamieson said. "We have to improve in the middle week. There's so many reasons to come out and play well but for whatever reason, between conference weekends, things slip a little bit, and it's frustrating and you yell and scream at them and do what you got to do, but they got to decide what's important."
What's important Jamieson said is to not underestimate opponents and to come out during the week prepared, not taking any team lightly.
The Tigers will have a chance to improve on their performance a 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, when they finish up their two game set with Central Arkansas (10-11).