Tigers sweep Wisconsin-Milwaukee midweek series

Missouri holds a winning record going into conference play this weekend against No. 14 Ole Miss.

Dillon Everett ran too far.

The senior leftfielder rounded third and then some after senior right fielder Eric Anderson hit a ball to right center in the second inning.

When a relay throw brought the ball to third base, a play that seemed finished continued instead.

If Everett ran back to third he’d be tagged out, so he ran home instead. A throw to Wisconsin-Milwaukee catcher Mitch Ghelfi beat Everett, but Ghelfi couldn’t catch the ball. Everett scored.

It was the second of four Missouri runs, as the Tigers (11-9, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee (3-10), 4-3.

Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said that an umpire called a balk on the play, which would’ve allowed Everett to run to second without getting out. When Everett rounded second from first base and headed toward third, he was eligible to be recorded out.

Jamieson said that as Everett headed down the third baseline, Everett saw an umpire holding his hands up, confusing Everett and stopping him in his tracks.

Others were confused, too.

“I still didn’t know what he was doing,” Jamieson said. “Regardless, we scored a run.”

Anderson didn’t even know a balk was called.

“I kind of lost the ball,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t tell where the ball was, so I just ran to second.”

Mizzou added one more run in the inning to make the score, 3-0. Panther starting pitcher Justin Langley wouldn’t go back out for the third inning.

Langley went two innings, throwing 52 pitches. He gave up six hits and three runs.

“I think it’s huge to just get the game started, and get off to a hot start,” Anderson said of the Tigers’ early offense against Langley.

Mizzou added one more run in the fifth inning. Missouri’s offensive production came almost exclusively from the top half of the order. Seniors Shane Segovia and Kendall Keeton and freshman Ryan Howard each batted in runs. Anderson scored twice.

After struggling with leaving men on base against Tennessee in its conference play-opening series last weekend, Missouri did a better job of scoring when it got the chance.

Anderson and Everett each stole bases in the game. Jamieson said manufacturing runs on the basepaths was necessary Wednesday.

“It just didn’t feel like – the conditions – that it’d be easy to score runs,” Jameson said. “So we thought we’d take advantage of the pitchers not being real great at holding runners.”

Wisconsin-Milwaukee used six pitchers in the game.

Sophomore righty Peter Fairbanks started for Mizzou, and had few struggles until the fourth inning, when it took him 27 pitches to get out of the top of the inning.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee added one run in the inning when Panther second baseman Mike Porcaro scored, though it was unearned. Porcaro hit a hard grounder to freshman third baseman Ryan Howard earlier in the inning, resulting in a Howard error.

Fairbanks was pulled in the fifth. He pitched 4.2 innings, giving up four hits and no earned runs. Sophomore right-hander Ryan Phillips took over in relief.

“I got a little tired there at the end,” Fairbanks said. “I think (pitching coach Matt) Hobbs made the right move to bring Philly in.”

The Panthers would score again in the sixth inning against Phillips, but for most of the night, Milwaukee was unable to string its nine hits on the night together for a rally of runs.

The Tigers pitching staff walked just one batter on the night, which, Jamieson said, prevented Wisconsin-Milwaukee hits from doing a lot of damage.

“Middle of the week, allowing two earned runs, it’s a pretty good day,” Jamieson said.

Sophomore righty Breckin Williams allowed one run in the ninth, but managed to close the game out for the Tigers, recording his second save of the season.

After winning both games of the midweek series against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Mizzou’s ten-game homestand is over. The Tigers go to Oxford, Miss. this weekend to play No. 14 Ole Miss.

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