Junior Nick Tepesch threw his second complete game in his last three starts, leading Mizzou to a 7-3 win over No. 1 Texas on the opening day of the Big 12 Championship at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Tepesch struck out five and allowed three runs, just two of which were earned, to win his sixth game of the season. It was his second career complete game, with his first coming just two weeks ago in the form of a shutout of Nebraska.
The loss snapped Texas’ seven-game winning streak and was just the second loss by the Longhorns in their last 30 games. The Tigers were 0-4 against UT this season before Wednesday’s victory.
Trailing 1-0 after a Texas run in the bottom of the first inning, the Tigers scored the game’s next five runs starting with a three-run top of the third. Senior Aaron Senne put Missouri on the board with a two-run double and then scored on a single from junior Brett Nicholas. Senne’s double was his 22nd of the season and the 69th of his career. Nicholas picked up his team-leading 63rd RBI of the year with his hit which put Mizzou up 3-1.
The lead went to three as senior Michael Liberto had an RBI single in the fourth and the Tigers plated an unearned run in the fifth to make it a 5-1 advantage. Liberto added a pair of sacrifice bunts in his first game back after missing last weekend’s series against Texas with a broken jaw.
The Longhorns scored an unearned run of their own in the bottom half of the fifth inning before Mizzou pushed the lead to five by scoring two runs in the eighth, including a two-out, RBI double from sophomore Conner Mach.
Texas (46-9) scored once in the ninth, before Tepesch stuck out Cohl Walla for the game’s final out.
Eight of the nine batters in the MU lineup had hits on Wednesday with Mach and freshman Eric Garcia having two-hit performances. Texas starter Hoby Milner, who had given up just three earned runs in 28.0 innings pitched this season, gave up four earned runs in four innings pitched against the Tigers.
Missouri (28-25) has won its opening game of the Big 12 Championship in six of the last seven years. It will continue play in Oklahoma City on Thursday, as it will face Texas A&M at 7:30 p.m. The Aggies are also 1-0 in the tournament after defeating Texas Tech, 9-2, earlier on Wednesday.