MU ends homestand with victory

The Tigers are on a four-game winning streak.
Thursday, March 4, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:13 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

Columbia proved to be as friendly to the Missouri baseball team as the road.

Missouri closed its five-game homestand Wednesday with an 8-2 win against Western Illinois. The Tigers (10-2) finished their first games at Taylor Stadium this season on a four-game winning streak.

After falling behind the Leathernecks 2-1 in the third inning, Missouri’s offense surged and scored three runs in the sixth and the eighth.

In the sixth, Cody Ehlers reached first base on a walk, and, after Cosme Caballero’s single, Brad Flanders doubled to left field to score Ehlers.

“I needed to break out of a little slump that I was in,” Flanders said. “That hit really helped me out.”

Caballero scored the second run of the sixth when Jeremy Hernandez singled and a James Boone sacrifice fly scored Flanders.

After watching Missouri’s offense struggle through five innings, coach Tim Jamieson said he would like to see the team hit consistently.

“We try to talk to them and simplify what they’re doing at the plate,” Jamieson said. “We just have to continue to play and keep getting guys in the lineup.”

Error-filled eighth

In the eighth, Missouri’s runs resulted more from Leatherneck miscues than Tigers offense.

Western Illinois pitcher Tim Navin beaned Flanders to lead off the inning, and Hernandez reached first on Navin’s error in the next at-bat. Boone added to Navin’s problems, tripling to the right-center field gap and driving in Flanders and Hernandez. A Zane Taylor single brought in Boone.

The Leathernecks (4-6) committed four errors and hit two batters, and in the ninth, shortstop Ryan Schmidgall moved to pitcher as the sixth Western Illinois reliever.

“We’ve been playing solid defense up to this point,” Leatherneck coach Stan Hyman said. “It’s kind of disappointing to see those mistakes happen at crucial moments.”

Pitchers stay hot

Missouri pitching was strong again, with Jamieson using three relievers.

Nick Admire started and allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits. The win went to Dustin Braud, who entered the game in the sixth.

“The pitching staff as a whole is tremendously confident,” Jamieson said. “The ability to throw strikes and be ahead in the count is extremely beneficial.”

Missouri allowed no more than three runs in a game during the homestand.

“(Missouri pitchers) are guys who will go right after you,” Hyman said. “They’ll throw inside, they’ll paint the outside corner. You have to be aggressive.”

Ryan Rallo has been the most productive Tiger at the plate, going 2-for-5 on Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to nine. Rallo said experience has helped him be effective.

“Being a fifth-year helps,” Rallo said. “I’ve seen a lot of pitches.”

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.