Tiger pitchers make strides over weekend

The Tigers got solid performances from juniors Tepesch and Buehler.
Missouri junior pitcher Jeff Scardino throws a pitch against Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon in Taylor Stadium. Missouri got two promising performances from starting pitchers this weekend.

Missouri got solid starts from two pitchers in its weekend series against Oklahoma State. Junior Nick Tepesch pitched well in a 9-2 victory on Friday and junior Brad Buehler pitched well in a 4-3 loss Sunday. Oklahoma State took the series when it won Saturday, 10-7.

On Friday night, Tepesch pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs on four hits. Tepesch also struck out eight Cowboy hitters.

"His slider and his changeup were phenomenal," junior catcher Brett Nicholas said. "It was probably the best I've seen him throw those two pitches all year."

Tepesch has been the Friday night starter for Missouri since conference play began three weeks ago, but this was the first time the Tigers were able to get a win in one of his Big 12 starts.

"All my pitches were working for me tonight," Tepesch said after the game. "I felt real comfortable out there."

Tepesch is 3-3 on the season, and Missouri is optimistic he will continue to pitch well in Big 12 series openers.

"That's what we have to have to be competitive in conference," coach Tim Jamieson said. "We need a legitimate No. 1 and that's what Nick was tonight."

Tepesch's next start will be Friday night against Kansas State.

"He's got dynamite stuff," Nicholas said.

Unfortunately for Missouri, its Saturday starter freshman Eric Anderson did not find the same success against Oklahoma State. Anderson fell to 1-3 on the season after allowing six earned runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.

After junior Jeff Scardino allowed three more runs, junior Zack Hardoin allowed just four hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings to finish the game. The Tigers were not able to muster enough offense to come back and lost.

Missouri had used three different pitchers on Sunday starts in conference play coming into the weekend, but junior Brad Buehler was given the start for the second Sunday in a row. Buehler allowed three runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings against the Cowboys.

"He did a great job for us," senior first baseman Aaron Senne said. "He kept them down, gave us chances to take an early lead, but we didn't jump on those opportunities."

Buehler, a converted relief pitcher, showed signs of fatigue as the game wore on. He left the game after throwing 94 pitches.

"It's just something I'm going to have to get used to," Buehler said.

Jamieson said he plans to stick with Buehler as the Sunday starter as Big 12 play moves forward.

"I like how he's throwing," Jamieson said. "His stuff will get better as his conditioning gets better, and he competes."

Junior Phil McCormick was the losing pitcher for the Tigers on Sunday. McCormick gave up a solo home run to Oklahoma State junior first baseman Dean Green in the ninth inning, which ended up being the difference in the game.

The loss was the first of the season for McCormick, who leads the team with four wins and has a 2.30 ERA.

The Tigers pitching staff will look to put together multiple victories at home against Kansas State next weekend. Missouri has won one game in four Big 12 series this season.

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