LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Missouri baseball team stumbled late in a 3-2 loss Saturday at Kansas.
The Tigers appeared composed until the fifth inning, when things began to fall apart. Sophomore Brock Bond hit a single with two outs to score sophomore Jacob Priday, tying the game at 1-all. Junior Hunter Mense followed with a single to score Derek Chambers giving the Tigers the lead.
But when Bond attempted to increase the lead on a ball hit by Trevor Helms, he was thrown out at home and then ejected while protesting the call. Bond slammed his helmet to the ground after umpire Mike Morris called him out, and everything went downhill from there.
Missouri (16-10, 6-2) could not score again and the Jayhawks’ Erik Morrison hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth off Missouri freshman reliever David Cales (2-1) to win the game.
“On a day like today, a home run will win the game,” coach Tim Jamieson said.
In the ninth, the Tigers left runners stranded at first and second.
After giving up one run in the first inning, junior pitcher Max Scherzer settled down, giving up five hits, striking out two and walking two, before leaving after the fourth inning.
Scherzer, a right-hander who is a first-round prospect in this year’s major league draft, took the mound for the first time since March 10, after sitting out with tendonitis in the shoulder of his pitching arm. On one pitch in the first inning, he reached 99 mph, but he said he wasn’t at his best.
“Ask any basketball player about taking two weeks off from shooting,” Scherzer said about his first start in three weeks. “Even though I looked pretty good on paper, I was not in sync or in rhythm.”
Scherzer said his shoulder felt good, though.
Although the Jayhawks (19-11, 3-5) beat the Tigers on Saturday, the team remains optimistic about the rest of the season.
“Things are not going our way right now, and we are still 6-2 in the Big 12,” Mense said.
The Tigers wrap up their series against Kansas at 1 p.m. today in Lawrence.
Missouri won the opening game of the three-game series Friday night 3-0 behind junior pitcher Nathan Culp’s first career complete game.