Aggressive baserunning leads Missouri to 14-9 win over Arkansas State
The Tigers stole a school-record 10 bases in Wednesday’s victory.
Mar. 22, 2018
Strong teams find ways to win even when they play poorly. In Wednesday’s matinee against the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Missouri was able to do just that.
The Tigers improved to 17-5 on the year and 11-0 at Taylor Stadium, beating the Red Wolves 14-9 on a sunny but chilly afternoon in Columbia. Junior Brian Sharp got the win out of the bullpen for Missouri, throwing three scoreless innings while giving up just one hit and striking out three.
Head coach Steve Bieser said he was not happy with his team’s performance across the board.
“This game tonight, it set baseball back 25 years probably,” Bieser said. “I just really wasn’t impressed with the way that we came out and played today. It wasn’t the brand of baseball that we want to be known for or ever play.”
While the Red Wolves scored one run on six hits on Tuesday night against Tyler LaPlante and the Tigers, they had lots more luck against Missouri’s starting pitcher on Wednesday. Redshirt sophomore left hander Cody Siebenberger made his first start of the season and was ineffective, going just one inning while giving up two earned runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batsman.
Apart from Sharp, Missouri’s pitchers struggled all afternoon, walking six Red Wolves hitters, hitting four and yielding 13 hits.
Bieser said his team’s pitching will simply need to be better going forward.
“I don’t know as we got to to the end of the game if I ever felt we had a comfortable lead because we were loading the bases with walks,” Bieser said. “It was just really sloppy pitching. If you want to go out and pitch for us, then you better throw strikes.”
The game was a back-and-forth affair until the fifth inning, when the Tigers blew a 6-4 game open with a seven spot. Sophomore first baseman Kameron Misner, who reached base three times and drove in four before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, got the scoring started with his second two-run single of the day. He drove a 3-1 pitch up the middle for a base knock, before stealing his second and third bases of the day and coming home on an RBI infield single from junior left fielder Zach Hanna.
Following Hanna’s single, freshman second baseman Mark Vierling lined a two-run single to right field. Junior centerfielder Connor Brumfield followed Vierling with an RBI single of his own to bring in Hanna and push Missouri’s lead to 10-4. Missouri scored three more runs before the inning was over, putting the game out of reach.
Despite scoring 14 runs, Missouri didn’t hit the ball particularly well apart from the team’s big fifth inning. Mostly, the Tigers took advantage of sloppy defense from the Red Wolves and ran wild when they got on base. Missouri scored on each of Arkansas State’s three errors, was walked a whooping 12 times and stole a single-game school record tying 10 bases. Brumfield and Misner each stole three, becoming the first Tigers to do so in a single game since 2011.
Missouri will host its first Southeastern Conference series of the season this weekend when the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to town. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m.
Edited by Bennett Durando | email@example.com