Missouri baseball team sweeps in-state rival

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | 10:47 p.m. CDT; updated 7:39 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 10, 2012
Missouri pitcher Ryan Yuengel waits for the ball as Missouri State player Brock Chaffin slides into first base Wednesday evening at Taylor Stadium.

COLUMBIA — Missouri baseball coach Tim Jamieson knows that Missouri State sets a goal to beat his team in their home-and-home series each season. 

On Wednesday night, though, the Tigers had more riding on the line than bragging rights.

Game notes

With his home run in the fourth, Dane Opel now leads the team with 10. 

Andreas Plackis went 3-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. 

Five pitchers — Brett Graves, Blake Holovach, Jeff Emens, Ryan Yuengel (who got the win) and Dusty Ross  — threw in Wednesday's game.

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Missouri, in a fight for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, overcame an early four-run deficit to beat Missouri State, 10-5, at Taylor Stadium. The victory brings the Tigers' record to 26-22, one step closer to their season-long goal of reaching 30 wins. 

"Every game's a big game for us from here on out, trying to accumulate wins," Jamieson said. "It's always nice to beat an in-state opponent too, no matter who it is."

The significance of beating the Bears was not lost on the players. 

"Those are guys that a lot of us played against when we were growing up," outfielder Dane Opel said. 

The Tigers' rally Wednesday night was led by two of its veterans: third baseman Conner Mach and Opel. The two went a combined 7-for-8 with five RBIs. The Tigers also scored most of their runs after taking advantage of defensive miscues, an aspect of the game that Jamieson has emphasized all year. 

Defensively, the highlight of the night came when shortstop Eric Garcia sprinted into left center field to make an over-the-shoulder catch when the outfielders lost the ball in the lights. 

"The thing is, it went so deep, a lot of the time, they're trained to just point," Jamieson said. "I'm surprised he went after it. He just kept running, kept running, kept running."

After beating the Bears in extra innings earlier in the season in Springfield, the Tigers swept them for the first time since 2000. Missouri State (34-15) is currently ranked No. 34 in the NCAA RPI ratings

With the win, the Tigers carry over momentum from their series against Texas, in which they won Saturday and Sunday's games. This weekend, they will play their final home series against Memphis, a team on a five-game wining streak, before finishing with a Border Showdown series in Lawrence, Kan.

Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.

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