Missouri freshmen drive in eight runs in 12-2 victory over Hofstra

Reggie McClain threw a complete game in blowout win.
Missouri Tigers infielder Shane Benes (3) swings at a pitch April 21, 2015, at Taylor Stadium in Columbia, Mo. Missouri lost to Missouri State 9-8.

The future of Missouri baseball shone as bright as the Florida sun on Friday as the Tigers kicked off their four game series with a 12-2 win over Hofstra in Fort Myers, Florida. Missouri’s freshmen shredded the Pride, driving in eight of the team’s 12 runs while also collecting eight combined hits.

Despite having redshirt senior Reggie McClain on the mound to start the game, it was Hofstra who took advantage of a sluggish Mizzou start to score the game’s first run.

Following an error by freshman second baseman Ian Nelson, sophomore third baseman Shane Benes was unable to make a barehanded play, allowing Hofstra catcher Chris Hardardt to cross home plate in the top of the third inning.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth inning that Missouri was able to capitalize on a scoring opportunity. With one out, Nelson singled through the right side of the infield, driving senior first baseman Zach Lavy home in the process. Freshman right fielder Connor Brumfield followed up with a double that was laced into left field, bringing in sophomore left fielder Trey Harris in to score.

Hofstra would tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth. However, the run would prove useless as Mizzou opened the floodgates in the following half inning.

The Pride brought sophomore pitcher Adam Heidenfelder into the game to start the bottom of the sixth. It was quickly apparent that Heidenfelder was struggling with his control as he allowed the first three batters to face him reach base on a walk, double and hit by pitch.

He continued his streak against freshman designated hitter Brian Sharp. Sharp worked a 3-2 count before grinding out a walk, scoring sophomore catcher Brett Bond in the process. Heidenfelder’s woes only continued as he allowed three runs while only managing one out.

Missouri went on to score five in the sixth, two in the seventh and three in the eighth. Nelson and Brumfield both finished with three RBIs, with Sharp driving in two more.

McClain continued to work efficiently despite his early struggles, only throwing 92 pitches in what turned into a complete game performance. Despite allowing 10 hits, McClain only allowed one earned run and was awarded the win in Missouri’s 12-2 victory.

Missouri will square off against Hofstra again on Saturday in a doubleheader, with the first game beginning at noon and the second starting at 3 p.m. The games can be heard on KTGR 1580 AM/100.5 FM.

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