The Texas pitching staff did not look like the best in the nation, or even on the field, Friday night against Missouri.
Missouri starter Danny Hill and closer Mark Alexander led Missouri to a 4-1 win over the No. 1 Longhorns at Taylor Stadium. Friday was the first time the Tigers (26-16-1, 5-10) have beat Texas since 2001, ending a seven game losing streak.
Hill went seven innings, allowed one run on five hits and five strikeouts, and Alexander struck out three of the four batters he faced to earn his first Big 12 Conference save this season.
"Hill made so many big pitches in tough situations," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "He was not his best, but he dialed it up when he had to. Of course Mark Alexander at the end was outstanding."
Texas (41-7, 13-5) had seven runners in scoring position in Hill's seven innings, but drove in only one. In the seventh inning, the Longhorns had runners on second and third with one out, but Hill struck out Curtis Thigpen and after a walk, got Seth Johnston to fly out to second base to end the inning.
"I just wanted to go out there and do what I've done the past three or four weeks," Hill said. "I knew if I could keep them down to one or two runs we were going to have a shot at it."
Hill said he had to limit his throwing time this week in practice, because it was taking his arm longer than usual to recover after last Friday's outing against Texas A&M.
"Once the game got started and I had a couple innings under me I felt just like I had the last couple weeks," Hill said.
After scoring a run in the first and the fifth, the Tigers extended their lead in the seventh on a Cody Ehlers home run.
Ehlers shot to right field scored Lee Laskowski, who had singled, and gave Missouri the 4-1 lead. The home run tied Ehlers for sixth all time in home runs (33) and RBIs (167) at Missouri. Ehlers was 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
"This whole season it's been no secret that we've had a history of not being able to close out games," Ehlers said. "To get a three-run cushion there with a couple innings left, that felt good."
The loss was the first of the season for Texas starter Sam LeCure, a Jefferson City native and former Missouri recruit who drops to 6-1. Lecure pitched 6 1/3 innings and tied his career high with eight strikeouts before leaving after giving up the home run to Ehlers.
Missouri has a chance to hand Texas its first loss in a conference series by winning today or Sunday. Texas ace J.P. Howell (9-1), who was originally scheduled to pitch Friday, may start Sunday.