No. 20 Missouri wins 20th straight game
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Baseball pushed its national-best winning streak to 20 games after defeating Little Rock, 11-8, Tuesday night at Taylor Stadium. Mizzou's 20-game winning streak is the second-longest in school history and Mizzou is now in sole possession of the nation's longest active winning streak after Louisville lost to Cincinnati Tuesday.
Mizzou exploded for six runs in the first, two in the second and three more in the fifth with its six-spot in the first being the most by Mizzou in the opening frame all season. Mizzou's offense was the beneficiary of 11 walks in the game. Little Rock used nine pitchers and the first seven issued at least one walk. Starter Carter Brown walked the first three batters of the game to set up Mizzou's six-run first. He took the loss, falling to 1-1. Mizzou's Bryce Montes De Oca (Lawrence, Kan.) earned his second win of the season. Brian Sharp (Liberty, Mo.) earned his first save of the year.
For the fourth consecutive game, Mizzou got on the board in the first inning. After Little Rock starter Carter Brown walked the bases loaded, Brett Bond (St. Louis, Mo.) roped a single into left field to plate a pair. Little Rock again loaded the bases and Nelson Mompierre (Miami, Fla.) followed Bond's lead with a bases-loaded single into left. Connor Brumfield (Columbia, Mo.) added a two-run single of his own to wrap up a 47-minute first inning that saw Mizzou send 11 batters to the plate while seeing three Little Rock pitchers. Mizzou led 6-0 after one.
Montes De Oca turned in a couple 1-2-3 innings in the second and third, getting through three innings on 41 pitches. He then ran into trouble in the fourth inning as Little Rock hung four runs on the board, two coming on a two-out error by SS Chris Cornelius (St. Louis, Mo.).
Mizzou's bats stayed quiet until the bottom of the fifth when Brumfield earned his second walk of the game. He was then tripled in by Robbie Glendinning (Scarborough, Australia) to extend Mizzou's lead to 9-4. Bond then tallied an RBI infield single to extend the lead to 10-4. A sacrifice fly made the score 11-5 after five.
The sixth inning was quiet before Little Rock plated a run off Mizzou reliever Ryan Lee (Grandview, Mo.). Mizzou went to the bullpen to bring in RHP Nolan Gromacki (Smithville, Mo.) with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. He walked the first batter he faced to cut the lead to 11-6 but got a strikeout to escape the jam and preserve the lead.
Little Rock plated a pair in the eighth inning before Sharp settled things down for Mizzou, getting the final five outs for his first save of the season.
Head Coach Steve Bieser Opening Statement... "I thought the bright spot was the first inning, how we executed the game plan that we talked about. We had an opportunity with a young guy on the mound - we'd seen a lot of video on him and he had difficulty settling in and throwing strikes. I thought we did a really good job and we were able to get some big clutch hits there - a couple of two-out RBIs couple different times. Just pleased with that first inning. There's other parts I wasn't too pleased with, but overall a win is a win. Tough conditions to hit the ball tonight. We didn't hit the ball well but it was tough conditions. ."