The Missouri baseball team is scheduled to play nine three-game series against Big 12 conference opponents this season.
The Tigers are off to a good start, having won their first three. And two of those sets came on the road.
Missouri has the disadvantage of playing a majority of its conference games away from home, which coach Tim Jamieson said makes winning home series all the more important.
So, after losing the weekend’s first game against Texas A&M, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon, the day’s second game became what starting pitcher Rick Zagone called a “must win.” Missouri won 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
After the team established a 6-1 lead after three innings, Zagone gave up five runs to his final 11 batters. Reliever Ryan Gargano replaced Zagone with the game tied at 6.
Gargano and closer Kyle Gibson managed to get through the No. 13 Aggies’ potent offense (seven batters in A&M’s Saturday lineup had season batting averages over .300) without allowing a run to bring the game tied into the bottom of the ninth inning. One out later, junior Jacob Priday walked to the plate with runners on the corners. The Aggies had walked catcher Trevor Coleman before Priday to set up a double play opportunity. Priday hit a hard ground ball to shortstop Brandon Hicks.
Hicks managed to get the ball to second base to try the double play after briefly bobbling the transition from his glove to his hand. But the bobble gave Priday the extra split-second he needed to beat second baseman Parker Dalton’s throw to first base.
Lollis scored from third on the play thanks to Priday’s hard base running to win the game.