COLUMBIA — Converting base runners into runs has been a problem for Missouri baseball in recent games.
Tigers coach Tim Jamieson felt better about how the team did in its 4-3 win Wednesday night over Milwaukee. He said Missouri didn't have as many scoring opportunities as usual but had good at-bats for the most part.
There was some luck involved, too, with a bizarre play in the second inning giving the Tigers (11-9) a run and contributing to another.
First, the facts: Dillon Everett singled, and Eric Anderson was batting. On the fifth pitch he saw from pitcher Justin Langley, Anderson singled to right-center. Everett rounded second base, then third.
But when the throw from the outfield came in to Milwaukee's second baseman, Everett didn't get back to the bag. He was still off when the third baseman received the ball.
At that point, he was forced to run home, and although the throw beat him easily, the catcher lost the ball and Everett was safe. In the meantime, Anderson made it to second. Everett scored the Tigers' second run of the game, and Shane Segovia then singled Anderson home to put Missouri up 3-0.
Jamieson and Everett briefly conferred before the senior went back inside to the dugout. Despite what the coach's animated body language suggested, he was more confused than anything.
"I just wanted to know what he did," Jamieson said. "I didn't know what happened."
Jamieson said that a balk was called on the play. Because of that, the umpire threw his arms up, which normally indicates a dead ball.
But Anderson had singled on the pitch, and per the NCAA rule book, a balk is "ignored" if it is "immediately followed by a pitch that permits the batter and each runner to advance a minimum of one base."
Anderson made it to first, and Everett made it past second. Under the aforementioned criteria, the balk and corresponding dead ball would have been nullified.
It clearly was, as the play continued and the run scored. Anderson said he had no more idea than anyone else of what happened; he just watched the ball.
"I saw him (Everett) round third, and I was confused because I kind of lost the ball," Anderson said. "So, I just ran to second."
It appeared that all was forgotten when Everett made it back to the dugout, where he received the customary congratulations. In the end, the run counted the same as any other.
Peter Fairbanks got the start for Missouri and allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings, notching his second win of the season. The Tigers' next series is a three-game set on the road against No. 20 Mississippi. The first game is scheduled for Friday.