Tigers take Wood Bat Classic

Thursday, April 29, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:26 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

O'FALLON-Missouri designated hitter Bo Davis did something Wednesday night that is near impossible any other game of the season. He broke his bat.

Davis led off the Wood Bat Classic, in which the Tigers beat St. Louis 3-0 at T.R. Hughes Ballpark, with a broken bat single to left field. The Billikens won the first meeting of the season 3-1 on April 7 in Columbia. The win snaps a four-game Tiger losing streak.

This is the fifth straight year the Tigers (25-26-1) and Billikens (11-31) have met in O'Fallon without aluminum.

"We practiced all day yesterday with wood," Coach Tim Jamieson said. "A lot of our guys use wood every day anyway."

In a night of groundouts and soft hits to the outfield, Missouri second baseman Trevor Helms displayed some power, hitting his first home run as a Tiger to left field in the fifth inning, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Wednesday was Helms' eighth start this season.

"He threw me an inside fastball and it just felt good today and I just got a good piece of wood on it," Helms said.

The Tigers appeared more comfortable with the wood bats as the game progressed, adding two runs in the sixth.

With two outs, a controversial no call on a John McKee slide into second base allowed the sixth to continue and Missouri to do its damage.

After the no call, a Hunter Mense double into left field scored Cody Ehlers, who had doubled, from third and Tyler Williams, who reached on what was ruled a fielder's choice on the Mckee slide, from first.

Ehlers, who was 2-for-3 with a run, used a bat his father made.

"A lot of guys were using them," Ehlers said. "Hopefully in the future I'll get to use them all the time."

After striking out seven Tigers in through four innings, St. Louis starter Kris Weber slowed down, giving up the 3-0 lead.

Missouri starter Nathan Culp earned his third win of the season, going seven innings, striking out five, walking none and allowing no runs on three hits. Culp allowed no hits after the second.

"After those first few innings I got comfortable and started feeling like I did last month," Culp said.

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