The second-place Missouri baseball team is running out of time to earn its first Big 12 Conference championship. Missouri’s 5-1 loss to conference-leading Texas on Saturday in Austin dropped the
No. 21 Tigers 31/2 games behind the No. 5 Longhorns with seven conference games remaining on Missouri’s schedule.
Texas starting pitcher Adrian Alaniz (12-2) was nearly unhittable in 81/3 innings of work, allowing only three hits and one earned run against a Missouri offense that averaged 9.3 runs in its past six games entering the weekend. First baseman John McKee, whose recent struggles at the plate have dropped his conference batting average to .225, recorded two of Missouri’s three hits in the game.
Missouri starter Rick Zagone (6-1) continued to struggle on Saturday, giving up five earned runs off of 11 Texas hits in 52/3 innings in his first loss of the year. Zagone has allowed an average of six earned runs in his four starts following the one-hit, shutout gem he threw against Kansas State on April 7 that led to co-National Pitcher of the Week honors.
Missouri and Texas (38-13, 18-5) will play the deciding game of the series at 1 p.m. today in Austin. Missouri won Friday night’s game 7-6 in 11 innings. Missouri will play its final home games of the year next weekend with a three-game series against Oklahoma starting Friday evening at Taylor Stadium.
MU TRACK & FIELD: Tiger junior Tyler Dailey was named to the Big 12 Conference Spring “Good Works” Team for his contribution to the community, his academic achievement and his athletic performance. Dailey, an All-American weight thrower, has worked with local groups including Habitat for Humanity and the Central Missouri Food Bank. He also has volunteered at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital. Dailey earned All-American honors this year for finishing ninth place in the weight throw at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
VOLLEYBALL: UC Irvine beat IPFW on Saturday to win its first NCAA men’s volleyball national championship.
The second-seeded Anteaters (29-5) prevailed 30-20, 24-30, 30-23 and 30-28. IPFW, an acronym representing the 12,000-student school’s relationships with Indiana and Purdue universities and its hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind., finished at 23-8.
Two years after a 9-20 season, the Anteaters, led by seniors Matt Webber, Jayson Jablonsky, David Smith and Brian Thornton, are on top.
“People have asked me about how the five-year plan was done,” said John Speraw, 99-59 in five years as head coach. “It was done when we recruited these four guys. I learned more from them than they’ve learned from me.”