By Nick Swanson
It was an exciting day at the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children College Classic in Houston, Texas as Missouri baseball took on the Texas Longhorns following an Oklahoma no-hitter, pitched by Dane Acker, against LSU.
The Tigers took an early lead in the first inning after second baseman Mark Vierling was walked and advanced to second on an out against Chad McDaniel. Vierling advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by Texas catcher Silas Ardoin. Missouri led 1-0 at the end of the first inning.
The Longhorns continued to struggle defensively in the third inning after committing yet another fielding error. Tigers left fielder Josh Holt Jr. reached base on a dropped ball by Texas second baseman Lance Ford. Holt narrowly stole second during Mark Vierling’s second at bat putting the Longhorns in a pinch. Chad McDaniel advanced Holt to third on a sacrifice hit followed by a Peter Zimmermann base hit to centerfield scoring another run.
Texas took advantage of a poorly pitched inning for Mizzou’s Spencer Miles. Texas third baseman Cam Williams was walked in his at bat and ended up going all the way home after a huge hit from Trey Faltine and a sacrifice fly from Eric Kennedy. The Longhorns designated hitter DJ Petrinsky hammered a ball to left field to advance Faltine. Tigers center fielder Jackson Lancaster ended the inning by running up and making a great play on Silas Ardoin’s hit. Missouri led 2-1 at the end of the fourth.
Tigers designated hitter Peter Zimmermann hammered one out of the park at the top of the fifth to extend the Missouri lead 3-1. Immediately following Zimmermann’s homer, Brandt Belk hit a double but was thrown out when he tried to advance to third.
Art Joven entered the game on the mound for the Tigers after Spencer Miles allowed two runners to get on base for the Longhorns. Joven hit Texas first baseman Zach Zubia with the bases loaded to bring Lance Ford home to score the run. Joven was replaced by Shane Wilhelm after throwing six straight balls. The pitching continued to struggle as Wilhelm walked another run home for the Longhorns. In a crazy play, Belk did not touch first base for the force out and threw home but McDaniel missed the tag. The Texas runner, Eric Kennedy left the field of play, ruling him out. Duke Ellis scored for Texas on the play.
After a crazy fifth inning, Kolby Kubichek checked in on the mound for the Texas Longhorns and immediately threw wildly to first, allowing Jackson Lancaster to advance to second. Lancaster stole third and scored on an RBI single by Luke Mann. Three consecutive hits for the Tigers bring in Luke Mann, Mizzou retakes the lead 5-4. Chad McDaniel slammed one to right field and brought two runs in for the Tigers. It didn’t end there for the Tigers as Zimmermann brings another run in. The Longhorns pulled Kubichek in favor of Tristan Stevens and then proceeded to pull Stevens and put in Sam Walbridge.
The Longhorns put yet another new pitcher, Kamron Fields, on the mound at the top of the seventh. Missouri was unable to get any offense going in the seventh. Cam Williams hit an RBI double for the Longhorns in the bottom of the seventh to bring in the fifth run of the evening for Texas.
The Longhorns pitching and fielding was incredible in the eighth inning. It was three up and three down for Kamron Fields with the inning ending on an impressive diving catch by the second baseman Brenden Dixon. Duke Ellis beamed a ball straight down the middle into centerfield to put Texas runners at first and third which caused a pitching change for the Tigers, bringing in Trey Dillard. Zach Zubia recorded his first hit of the game in the form of an RBI single which brought the game to 8-6, Mizzou led. A wild pitch from Trey Dillard allowed another run to score for the Longhorns.
Donny Diaz checked in for Texas to close out the game in the ninth inning. Brandt Belk hammered one to centerfield and reached third after a picture-perfect bunt from Lancaster who made it to third. Lancaster stole second and reached third on a double error by Texas in the top of the ninth which also scored Belk. Mason Bryant checked in for the Longhorns with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Dillard allowed a single to Ardoin and walked Hodo III in the bottom of the ninth. Andre Duplantier II checked in as the pinch runner for Ardoin and stole second as well as scored on an Austin Todd single. Trey Dillard delivered a strike right down the middle to end the game for Missouri. Tigers win 9-8.
Edited by Emma Moloney | email@example.com