Missouri baseball wins eighth straight, sweeps La Salle

The Tigers outscored the Explorers 22-6 in a three-game weekend series.
Bryce Montes de Oca pitches in a game last season. Photo Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics

Missouri baseball kept the momentum going over the weekend in a three-game series versus the visiting La Salle Explorers, stretching its winning streak to eight games and its overall record to 13-3.

On Friday, redshirt junior Bryce Montes de Oca got the starting nod for the Tigers. He allowed no hits for the first 4.1 innings of the contest, making it 11.1 consecutive innings of no hits and building off of the 7.0 hitless frames he put up in his last start.

On offense, the Tigers put two on the board in the first, scoring on a steal of home by center fielder Connor Brumfield and a run batted in on a single by left fielder Zach Hanna.

In the bottom of the fourth, designated hitter Tony Ortiz had an RBI single, and Brumfield added a sacrifice fly, staking the Tigers to a 4-0 lead.

The Tigers and Explorers fought tit for tat throughout the middle innings, as Mizzou entered the ninth with an 8-5 lead.

Nile Ball entered to get the save for the Tigers and start the series with a win.

Saturday was a double-header against the Explorers, and the Tigers showed no signs of fatigue in the contests, outscoring the Explorers by a combined 14-1 in the two games.

In the first matchup, junior Michael Plassmeyer took the mound for the Tigers. Adding onto his good performance last Saturday, the lefty fanned 10 Explorers while allowing just five hits and one walk over eight innings of work.

With the La Salle offense held in check, the Tiger offense did its part to put the game away early. Missouri enjoyed a four-run bottom of the first, thanks to Kameron Misner, Brian Sharp, Brett Bond and Ortiz, all connecting for a run batted in.

Ortiz added two more RBIs in the third, while shortstop Paul Gomez drove in another Tiger as Plassmeyer continued his dominance on the mound.

The Explorers got on the board in the top of the eighth, but it was too little too late. Konnor Ash finished the 7-1 Tiger victory with a scoreless ninth.

In the back end of a double-header and series finale, Andy Toelken built on his early-season success, scattering just two hits and one walk over six shutout innings.

Like in game one, the Tiger offense was able to take a relaxed approach with the Explorer bats held in check. Sharp and Hanna got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, each with one run batted in. Misner and Alex Samples padded the lead with RBIs in the bottom of the fifth. In the same frame, Bond connected for a two-run single, and second baseman Mark Vierling drew a bases-loaded walk. After five innings, the Tiger lead had ballooned to 7-0.

Cameron Dulle, Givoanni Lopez and Ryan Rickett each contributed a scoreless frame in relief for the Tigers to cap a 7-0 win and a series sweep.

Head coach Steve Bieser was delighted with the effort throughout the series, especially the starting pitching.

“Watching Plassmeyer go out and run through their lineup game one, that was good to see that he's at that point this early in the season,” Bieser said in a press release. “Then, to see Andy come out, I thought Andy threw the ball really well.”

The Tigers resume play with a 6:30 p.m. contest on Tuesday against Wichita State at Taylor Stadium.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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