COLUMBIA — When Missouri baseball's first two batters struck out in the first inning in its game against Kansas State on Friday, Missouri pitcher Rob Zastryzny prepared to take the field, as he always does when there are two outs.
Instead of a quick third out and trot to the mound, however, Zastryzny watched the Tigers score four runs, thanks in part to an error by the Wildcats' first baseman on a Dane Opel ground ball.
Andreas Plackis took over the first base position from the injured Mike McGraw and went 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
Shortstop Eric Garcia hit his second home run of the year in the first inning.
Of Missouri's 13 runs, only 8 were earned.
The two-out rally set the tone for Missouri's offense, as the Tigers (19-17, 4-9) busted out of a slump to defeat Kansas State (19-19, 3-10) by a score of 13-4.
"Four in the first inning was good because I struggled a little bit in the first and then I got out of it," Zastryzny said. "It motivated me, gave me more confidence in myself, and it motivated the defense and they played well today."
Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said he was encouraged that the Tigers followed the rally with two runs in the second inning.
"What we've done at times this year, we'll have a good inning and then we don't see another one for a while," he said. "To follow it up with another good inning, I thought, was a real positive."
Prior to Friday's game, the Tigers had lost seven straight Big 12 matchups and had not scored more than six runs against any conference opponent.
Missouri shortstop Eric Garcia said the team was more ready to play after having the entire week off.
"The off-day Wednesday helped us out a little bit and kind of let us refuel," Garcia said. "We definitely came out with some energy and some pep in our step."
In addition, the coaching staff met with the offense before the game to prepare for Kansas State's pitcher, Matt Applegate. The Tigers scored 13 runs off Applegate over six and one-third innings, while Zastryzny gave up one run over eight.
Jamieson said he hoped the game would be a momentum builder for the struggling Tigers.
"I hope that we're just as frustrated tomorrow as we are tonight," he said. "We can't be satisfied with coming out Friday night and winning a game. K-State's going to be a much better team tomorrow."
The Tigers and Wildcats will face off again at 1 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest.