By Emma Moloney
After wins in a 3-2 pitcher’s duel on Friday and a 16-11 offensive blowout on Saturday, all eyes were waiting to see what the Missouri Tigers would do Sunday as they took on their third and final game against the Northwestern Wildcats.
Senior southpaw Tyler LaPlante took the mound against fellow left-hander Ryan Bader in Sunday’s matchup. LaPlante pitched 6.0 innings for the win, allowing five hits, two earned runs and tallying three strikeouts. Following LaPlante was sophomore right-hander Ian Bedell, who allowed one hit and three strikeouts in his performance for the save. Left-hander Sam Lawrence took the loss for the Wildcats.
Both offenses early on. Northwestern scored two runs in the top of the first off a single, sacrifice fly and a bold steal home by center-fielder David Dunn. Missouri answered with a four-run bottom of the first, including a bases loaded sacrifice fly and a three-run home run into right-center by first-baseman Tony Ortiz.
A scoreless second and third inning allowed the Tigers to maintain their lead, before a two RBI single up the middle by shortstop Jack Dunn tied the game, making the score 4-4.
After the top of the fourth, LaPlante and Bedell combined to hold the Wildcats to five scoreless innings, stopping any offensive comeback in its tracks.
Despite a stalled Northwestern offense, Missouri batters continued to perform. The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, with pinch-hitter Austin James crushing a two-run homer into left, his first career home run with Mizzou. Three more runs were acquired in the bottom of the sixth with Luke Mann stealing home, Kameron Misner scoring on a fielding error by the pitcher and Chad McDaniel crossing the plate following a sacrifice bunt by Mark Vierling.
Missouri has now won seven out of eight after the 9-4 win, and finished off the home sweep against Northwestern, making the Tigers a perfect 4-0 at Taylor Stadium and extending their all-time series lead over the Wildcats to 6-2.
Edited by Garrett Jones | @firstname.lastname@example.org