In what turned into a wild two-day affair, the Mizzou baseball team clinched a spot at the Big 12 Tournament by topping Nebraska, 10-5, on Friday afternoon at Haymarket Park in Lincoln. The game spanned a course of two days and was delayed by weather on two separate occasions, but the Tigers scored eight runs over the last two innings to earn their 10th straight win over Nebraska.
The game started on Thursday before being suspended in the fifth inning due to severe weather with Nebraska leading, 3-1 and it was resumed Friday at noon.
The win guarantees Mizzou a spot at the Big 12 Tournament for the ninth straight season and the Tigers could still finish as high as fifth in the league with a pair of wins tomorrow.
After the game was resumed, Mizzou immediately cut into the Nebraska lead, scoring on a wild pitch to cut into the score at 3-2. The wild pitch came on an at-bat to CJ Jarvis. Ben Turner singled to center field and Jonah Schmidt moved to third on an error by Tanner Krietmeyer, over throwing third.
He then came in to score on the wild pitch. But Nebraska answered in its half of the fifth, plating a run on an RBI groundout, putting Nebraska back up by two at 4-2.
After two scoreless innings, Mizzou put its rally together in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs and a runner on second, Andrew Thigpen roped a double to left field, scoring a run to cut into the lead at 4-3.
That brought up Conner Mach who singled through the left side to score Thigpen from second, tying the game at 4-4. Mach then advanced to second on the throw home, bringing in Brannon Champagne with another RBI opportunity.
He knocked a seeing-eye single through the right side to score Mach from second, putting Mizzou on top, 5-4. In all, Mizzou scored three runs in the frame, all with two outs.
The Huskers answered in the bottom of the eighth as Tiger lefty Phil McCormick struggled with command, allowing a single and hitting two batters to load the bases. Nebraska second baseman Bryan Peters then singled off of Jarvis’ glove at third to plate the tying run.
But McCormick got three big strikeouts to get out of the inning with minimal damage as the two teams went to the ninth tied at five.
But the Tigers had another rally in them in the ninth. Schmidt and Blake Brown hit back-to-back singles and Santo bunted into a fielder’s choice as the Huskers attempted to get Schmidt at third, but the throw was late, giving Mizzou bases loaded with no outs. That is when the rain set in again, forcing another delay.
Following the delay, which lasted 37 minutes, Ryan Ampleman came on and was hit by the very first pitch following the delay, plating the go-ahead run. It marked the second-straight at-bat for Ampleman in which he was hit by a pitch after he was hit against Texas Tech last Sunday, leading to the game-winning run.
Pinch hitter Scott Sommerfeld then singled in another run to put Mizzou on top, 7-5 and then Mizzou tacked on three more runs to go on top 10-5. McCormick then retired the side in the ninth to earn his seventh win of the season.
Mizzou is now 24-28 and 11-13 in Big 12 play.
Mizzou and Nebraska will play their last two games in the Big 12 in a doubleheader that starts at noon today.