Ryan Rallo had a chance to be a hero Friday night for the Missouri baseball team. The Tigers trailed by two runs and Rallo faced a full count, with two outs and runners on first and third.
Kansas State Pitcher Matt Petersen filled the hero role for the Wildcats, though, striking out Rallo to seal the 5-3 win in the first Big 12 game of the season.
"That's a great battle right there, pitcher against hitter, full count, for the game," Wildcats Coach Brad Hill said.
In an evenly played game, the difference came in the fifth inning when Kansas State (18-6, 1-0) was able to capitalize on Tiger errors and get two hits off starter Danny Hill.
Hill began the inning in control, retiring the first two batters he faced. Hill then walked Jason Long and Josh Dent got an infield single that moved Long to second.
In the next at bat, catcher Brad Flanders tried to catch Dent cheating off first base and threw the ball over first baseman Cody Ehlers' head, into right field, allowing Long to score. Dent was able to reach third on the error and scored when Steve Murphy singled.
"That's what happens on Friday night in conference," Missouri Coach Tim Jamieson said. "We made a couple more mistakes than they did and that was the difference in the game."
Missouri (19-5-1, 0-1) had a chance to cut into the lead in the seventh when Bo Davis singled and reached second on a wild pitch by Danny Wilson. Murphy ended the inning, though, when he threw out Davis at home from right field as Davis tried to score from second on a Rallo single.
Wildcats starter Brett Bagley held the Tigers to three runs, all in the third, before leaving the game with two outs in the seventh. The win was Bagley's fourth.
"(Bagley) just gives us a chance, that's why we like him out there," Brad Hill said.
Danny Hill allowed six hits, opposed to 10 allowed by Wildcats pitchers, but was unable to get the win.
"(Hill) was good enough to help us win and that's the thing we ask him to do," Jamieson said. "They made him pay for the couple of mistakes that he made."
Missouri's runs came in the third, when Bagley hit Tyler Williams who advanced to third on a Gary Arndt bunt and a passed ball. Williams scored when the next batter, Trevor Helms, hit a sacrifice fly.
Rallo followed Helms with a double and scored when Lee Laskowski tripled. Ehlers then drove Laskowski in for the last run of the inning with a single to give Missouri a 3-1 lead.