By: Grant Pomatto
The Missouri Tigers won in walk-off fashion Friday as they defeated the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames 7-4.
As the night progressed everybody at the game became colder, and supposedly so did the bats for both teams. But that soon changed after the top of the ninth when a balk scored a run and tied the game up for the Flames. The Missouri Tigers wasted no time in the bottom of the ninth as Zach Lavy got things started with a hard ground ball single up the middle. After a passed ball led to pinch runner Johnny Balsamo taking second, Connor Brumfield hit a rope into left field advancing Balsamo to third. With runners on the corner, Ryan Howard was the next man up. On a clean count, Flames pitcher Reid Birlingmair threw a fastball right in the wheelhouse of Howard. Howard turned on it and smacked it deep into the left field bullpen. Howard was 2-for-3 on the night with a double a home run and three RBI and now has two home runs on the year.
Starting pitcher Reggie McClain also kept the Flames in check. McClain struck out 11 Flames batters and gave up seven hits and three earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings. Everything was working for McClain as he used all of his pitches to his advantage, leaving the opponents off balanced and usually second-guessing themselves as to what pitch would come next.
The Tigers are now 9-2 and have started the weekend series off right. The Tigers and Flames are back at it Saturday afternoon as they play a double-header. The first game starts at 1pm.