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Repeat upset denied
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Against an offense as potent as Missouri's, a team just can't give up any extra chances. The 13th-ranked Tigers have proved they will take every advantage given to them.
The Southeast Missouri State baseball team gave up too many bases and gave away too many at-bats during a 10-2 loss to Missouri on Wednesday night at Taylor Stadium.
Walks in the second inning, a wild pitch in the sixth and a botched double play in the seventh all led to runs as the Tigers (27-6) did what they do best: drive runners around.
The Tigers split the season series with the Redhawks, who won the first game 8-5 in 10 innings on April 6.
Missouri tagged Southeast starter Casey Johnson (1-3) for six runs in the second inning. Catcher Dan Pietroburgo came through with a well-executed hit-and-run to advance Derek Chambers, who had walked, to third base. After a walk to Gary Arndt, Trevor Helms drove a sinking line drive into center field to score Chambers. Zane Taylor walked and John McKee singled to put Missouri ahead 3-0. James Boone then found the gap in left-center field that reached the wall for a three-run triple.
"We shot ourselves in the foot in the second with the six runs," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "We just didn't play well enough to win tonight."
Ryan Forsyth relieved after Boone's hit, and he combined with Brent Lawson to hold the Tigers hitless through the next five innings.
But Pietroburgo got a one-out hit in the seventh and made it to second when second baseman Jenkins couldn't get a handle on Arndt's grounder. The error proved costly after Helms poked a single into left to drive in Pietroburgo and put Missouri up 8-1. Taylor drove a ball over center fielder Frankie Montiel for a two-run triple.
"Last Wednesday, we hit some balls right at people," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "Tonight, we hit some gaps. ... Fortunately, we got some hits with people on base."
Missouri pitchers Nick Admire and Michael Cole (1-0) held Southeast Missouri hitless over the first five innings.
But Missouri made some mistakes of its own to help the Redhawks (12-19) get on the board in the fourth inning.
Montiel led off with a walk before James Clayton bounced a grounder that second baseman Helms booted. After another walk from Missouri's Michael Cole, Chris Gibson grounded into a fielder's choice that pushed Montiel home. Jordan Payne walked to load the bases again, but Cole induced a pop out and a ground out to end the threat.
Southeast Missouri didn't record a hit until the top of the sixth, when Brady Noll and Payne singled off Tigers reliever Travis Wendte. But Wendte got ground balls from Bo Jenkins and Eric Horstman and got out of the inning unscathed.
"We had opportunities tonight, too, with guys on base," Hogan said. "And we just didn't get it done. We didn't get a key hit all night."
The Redhawks hit the ball hard in the seventh but only collected one hit for their efforts. Bracamonte drilled a ball that hopped up on Missouri third baseman John McKee and rolled to the grass. But attempts from Montiel and Clayton got held up in the wind, and Missouri's outfielders were able to run them down.
Bracamonte drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth for the Redhawks' second run.