Priday rescues pitcher again

Mathis has freshman to thank for two of four wins this season.
Monday, April 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:17 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jacob Priday might just be Doug Mathis’ new best friend.

Mathis gave up two runs to Oklahoma in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game at Taylor Stadium, giving the Sooners a 3-2 lead.

But Missouri came right back in the bottom of the inning. Center fielder James Boone walked with one out, and Priday, the next batter, hit a towering home run to center field.

With one swing of the bat, Priday had erased the Tigers’ deficit, given them momentum and led them to a 6-4 win. It also gave Mathis another reason to be a fan.

“I got a little rough around the edges in that sixth inning, but Priday picked it up huge,” Mathis said. “That pretty much won the ballgame right there.”

Priday also helped out Mathis on April 10 against Texas A&M. He hit two two-run home runs in that game as the Tigers won 8-3.

This home run came on a 1-0 fastball. Priday, a freshman, deposited it in the trees beyond the fence, just right of the deepest part of the stadium. It was his team-leading seventh of the year.

“I thought I had it when I hit it,” Priday said. “Then it got out there and started going over center and I didn’t know what was going to happen, but it ended up going over.”

The No. 17 Tigers needed to gain some momentum because they finish the regular season with three of four series on the road. The next two weekends bring trips to No. 1 Texas and No. 11 Nebraska. The Tigers finish the season at No. 8 Baylor.

“Not that losing would have hurt us, but you’ve got Texas and two difficult road trips staring at you, it makes it very difficult,” coach Tim Jamieson said.

Priday’s clutch home run made sure his team wouldn’t have to worry about that.

“He’s just ready for it in a big situation,” Mathis said. “He comes through, time and time again. He’s ready to play every day.”

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