By Aidan Johnson
Phoenix, Arizona — In an extremely disappointing season-opener for the Mizzou baseball team, the Grand Canyon University Antelopes rolled to an 11-3 win over the Tigers.
The game, which was the first of a four-game series, was one that got out of hand in the first six innings for Mizzou. They were stifled in those innings by the outstanding pitching of GCU’s Zach Barnes, while not receiving any help from their own pitching staff. Barnes, as mentioned earlier, had a phenomenal six innings before earning the rest of the night off. He finished his outing with 10 strikeouts, while only giving up two hits to the lackluster Tiger offense.
Mizzou managed to muster out four more hits over the course of the last three innings, but they were only able to come up with three runs after Barnes was pulled. The first came from an RBI off the bat of Joshua Day, who pinch-hit for the first at-bat of his career in the 8th inning. The other two runs for the Tigers came in the top of the ninth inning, as they tried to start a much-too-late rally down 11-1. Andrew Keefer and Cameron Swanger each picked up an RBI in that final inning, scoring Vierling and Montgomery respectively.
The GCU offense had an otherworldly performance over the course of this game, but particularly in the bottom of the 6th inning. In that inning, they sent fourteen batters to the plate, piling eight runs onto their lead. The main contributors to their offensive outburst were Tayler Aguilar and Ryland Zaborowski, who each went 3-4, and totaled 6 RBIs. Aguilar also had a home run in the fourth inning which opened the floodgates for the GCU offense.
Luckily for the Missouri baseball team, they have plenty of opportunities to make up for this opening game of the series. They will face the Antelopes in a double-header tomorrow afternoon, and then finish the series with one more game on Sunday.
Tune in to 88.1 FM or kcou.fm online for Zach Berman’s call on Saturday at 3 p.m., as well as 7 p.m. He will also be on the call Sunday at 1 p.m. for the final game of the series.
Edited by Tyler Kading