The Maneater

Bats, starting pitching power Missouri past Arkansas State, 11-1

The Tigers scored in five separate innings in a dominant performance.

Andy Toelken throws a pitch during a game against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers on March 4, 2018.

In the first few weeks of the season, the Missouri Tigers found a consistent formula for victory: great starting pitching and clutch, two-out hitting.

However, a weekend series to open Southeastern Conference play against the LSU Tigers saw Missouri drop two of three. On Tuesday, the Tigers returned home for a midweek pair of nonconference matchups against the Arkansas State University Red Wolves, seeking to return to their winning ways.

The Tigers did just that, routing the Red Wolves 11-1 on Tuesday night.

Lefty Tyler LaPlante toed the rubber on Tuesday for the Tigers, looking to build on his early-season success. He turned in five efficient innings of work and allowing no runs on three hits and one walk over just 59 pitches.

With the Red Wolves’ offense held in check, the Tiger bats were able to relax at the plate and wasted no time getting going. First baseman Kameron Misner singled home right fielder Trey Harris to get the Tigers on the board and make it 1-0 after the first inning.

The Tigers would go on to score in five of the first six frames, building an impressive 11-0 lead after six innings.

Although the Tigers had contributions up and down the lineup, backup third baseman Alex Samples was the top performer. Coming into the night, Samples tallied just four starts and 23 at-bats over the first 20 games of the season. Getting a spot start at the hot corner on Tuesday, he needed just three plate appearances to get three hits, score two runs and drive in five.

Center fielder Connor Brumfield added three hits of his own, and Misner reached base four times for the Tigers.

Staked to a lopsided lead, the bullpen followed LaPlante’s example, as Jordan Gubelman, Jake Greenwood, Cameron Pferrer and Ryan Rickett each provided an inning of relief.

With the victory, Missouri improved to 16-5 on the year, with a 1-2 mark in SEC play..

Head coach Steve Bieser was happy with the effort.

“Very pleased with the way our team played,” Bieser said. “I liked the way that we were able to execute some small ball early and kind of get things going and get a few runs there.”

The back end of the two-game set with the Arkansas State Red Wolves is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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