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Columbia Missourian

Missouri baseball loses to Texas after rally falls short

By Caitlin Swieca
May 4, 2012 | 10:15 p.m. CDT
The Missouri baseball team fell to Texas 6-4 on Friday night. Rob Zastryzny gave up five runs over 7 2/3 innings and the Tigers couldn't rally from a 5-0 deficit. Missouri managed only five hits and had two runners on in the ninth, but couldn't score.

COLUMBIA — When Missouri outfielder Blake Brown stepped to the plate with a 3-0 count in the seventh inning of Friday night's game, the crowd was ready for him to get on base any way he could. 

Missouri second baseman Dillon Everett was standing on third base thanks to an errant pickoff throw by Texas pitcher Corey Knebel. Everett represented the tying run for a Missouri team that had clawed its way back from a 5-run deficit to make it a 5-4 game.

A hit would have tied up the game, and a walk would have put runners at the corners for Missouri's No. 3 hitter, Ben Turner. 

The 3-0 offering from Knebel came in high, and Brown flailed around as his home-run swing missed the pitch that might have been ball four. 

After fouling off the next two pitches, Brown swung and missed for the third strike, ending the inning. The Tigers would go on to lose their fifth straight game by a score of 6-4. 

"I got the green light from the coach and kind of made up my mind at that point that I was going to swing," Brown said. "It's what we call a rookie mistake, and I ended up paying for it."

Missouri's four runs came as a result of three hits and several Texas mistakes. Coach Tim Jamieson said that, with Brown at the plate, he was hoping for a big hit that might turn the tide of the game.

"He could also give us the lead in that situation," Jamieson said. "He probably overswung a bit at the 3-0 pitch, but he's still got two more strikes. He's a guy that you want to let him swing the bat, and he's capable of doing something good. He's also capable of swinging and missing."

Missouri went down in order in the eighth and then put two runners on in the ninth inning but failed to score another run. After recording just four hits in each of their last four games, the Tigers managed just five on Friday as their losing streak reached five games. 

Despite the offensive frustration, Jamieson said he felt positive after the game.

"I felt like we competed, which, after the win on Friday night at (Texas) Tech, we hadn't done much," he said. "It's something to build on."

Jamieson was also glad that starting pitcher Rob Zastryzny threw 7 2/3 innings against Texas, giving the bullpen an easy night.

"I thought he could've been out in the fourth or fifth inning, but he got to the eighth inning," Jamieson said. "We didn't win, but it helps us tomorrow and it helps us on Sunday."

Missouri and Texas will play again at 1 p.m. Saturday. Jeff Emens will start for the Tigers. 

The Tigers are now 23-22 on the season and 7-12 in conference play. Texas improves to 27-16 overall and 13-6 in Big 12 play.