COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Baseball edged Chicago State, 7-6, in extra innings after a walk-off dropped fly ball off the bat of sophomore OF Connor Brumfield (Columbia, Mo.) in the 13th inning Wednesday night at Taylor Stadium. Mizzou moves to 16-1 on the year, the longest win streak by a Mizzou team since 1981 and ties the longest active win streak in the nation this season. At 16-1, Mizzou is also off to the best start in program history through 17 games.
Mizzou led much of the game before Chicago State tied the game in the top of the eighth inning. Mizzou left 18 men on base as it failed to get the clutch hit many times. It looked like that would haunt them as Chicago State hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the 11th. But Brumfield hit a two-out, two-run double to tie the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the 11th. Mizzou loaded the bases in the 13th and Brumfield lifted a fly ball to left field which was dropped, allowing the winning run to score. The play was reviewed, but the call was upheld to seal the win.
Lost in the long, 4:40 game was the start by junior RHP Bryce Montes De Oca (Lawrence, Kan.) who went 5.0 innings with just one unearned run and a career-high six strikeouts. He was part of a Mizzou pitching staff that allowed just three earned runs over the 13-inning affair.
Montes De Oca cruised through the first two innings, picking up a pair of strikeouts and a slick 1-3 pickoff for out No. 3 in the second inning. Mizzou then got on the board in the bottom half of the inning, picking up an RBI single from Matt Berler (Hoover, Ala.) and an RBI groundout from Chris Cornelius (St. Louis, Mo.), giving Mizzou a 2-0 lead. Chicago State's CF Matt Paciello robbed Brumfield of a hit and an RBI to end the frame with a diving catch.
After the offense gave him a lead, Montes De Oca issued a pair of walks in the third, but got a huge 4-6-3 double play and his third strikeout of the game to escape the inning. Mizzou got another run on an RBI single from Trey Harris (Powder Springs, Ga.) in the bottom of the third.
Chicago State got an unearned run in the fourth after a passed ball and an error put two men on. Jacob Northrup doubled to plate a run, but Mizzou got out of the jam with just one run allowed and took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning.
CSU cut into the lead in the seventh on a two-out, RBI single off Mizzou reliever Ty Shoaff (Akron, Ohio). That cut the lead to 3-2.
Mizzou loaded the bases in the seventh inning with one out after a Kameron Misner (Poplar Bluff, Mo.) bunt single. Berler hit an RBI groundout to second to extend the lead to 4-2. The Cougars then took advantage of a pair of Mizzou errors in the eighth inning, getting a big two-out single to tie the game at 4-4.
Mizzou stranded three runners in the eighth, one in the ninth and two in the 10th inning, including the winning run on third base in the 10th. RHP Cole Bartlett (Williamsburg, Ind.) then got hit with a two-run homer by 3B Rick Salazar to take a two-run lead in the top of the 11th inning.
Misner drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 11th inning and Brian Sharp (Liberty, Mo.) singled to put two men on. Brumfield then hit a double to center field to bring both runners home as the ball scooted under the glove of the diving CSU center fielder. That tied the game at 6-6 after 11.
Sharp took over on the mound in the top of the 13th inning, pitching lights out and retiring three consecutive batters, two on strikes. Moving into the bottom of the frame, Berler led off the inning with a single blasted through the left side. Sharp helped his team out with a single of his own while Alex Samples (Bridgeport, Texas) loaded the bags with a free pass to first, giving Brumfield the opportunity at the walk-off hit.
Head Coach Steve Bieser Opening statement ... "This is the first time that I've said to the team that it was a very dissatisfying win. You hope to be hitting on all cylinders and playing great baseball heading into conference play. I don't know if I've been part of a more poorly-played game than what we did today. We did it from all fronts. It wasn't like just one thing hit us. Execution on the offensive side, on the defensive side. Late in the game we start going out of the zone swinging and getting ourselves out. There's just a lot of things that we did wrong today. You never want to look past the game that we are playing - not making an excuses for anybody - but sometimes that happens. You're looking at the weekend and what you are getting ready to do on the weekend. We came out flat and once we gave them some confidence, they gave us everything we want to and more. It took a toll on us. Having to use (Cole) Bartlett for four innings tonight was not something that we were planning on doing."