Mizzou Evens Up Series With Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. Missouri pitcher Rick Zagone took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and fired a complete-game shutout as the No. 29 Tigers evened up the series with Kansas State after a 3-0 win Saturday afternoon at Tointon Stadium.


The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Wildcats against Big 12 opponents and dropped Kansas State to 22-9 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play, while Missouri improved to 23-9 overall and 5-3 in league play.


Zagone and K-State starter Chase Bayuk went head-to-head for six-plus innings as Bayuk turned in his best performance so far in 2007 on Saturday. Bayuk scattered two hits over the first 6.0 shutout innings before surrendering a solo homer to John McKee in the seventh. Ryan Lollis followed with a double to center on a ball that Wildcat outfielder Byron Wiley lost in the sun, chasing Bayuk from the game.


A.J. Morris entered the game and gave up a single and walk to load the bases. Trevor Hurley then came in and got a strikeout and a force out at the plate before a two-strike, two-out single up the middle plated two more runs for a 3-0 Tiger lead.


That would be all Zagone needed on Saturday as he entered the ninth inning with a no-hit bid until Justin Bloxom’s sharp single into center with one out broke up the bid. A Tyler Link fly out and an Adam Muenster strikeout followed and ended the game for the Cats.


Zagone (6-0) finished the day with 11 strikeouts and four walks in 9.0 innings, while Bayuk (2-3) struck out six and walked two in 6.0 innings of work for K-State. Hurley struck out two in 2.2 innings of shutout relief, while freshman Scott Bachman struck out the one batter he faced in the ninth inning.


The Cats’ best scoring chance came in the eighth inning as Eli Rumler reached on a throwing error and advanced to second on the throw. Brett Scott then walked to put runners at first and second with one out. After a Rob Vaughn strikeout, Derek Bunker walked to load the bases, but pinch hitter J.J. Muse grounded out to end the threat.


Three Cats saw their season-best hitting streaks snapped on Saturday as Wiley (8 games), Drew Biery (10) and Nate Tenbrink (6) combined for an 0-for-7 day.


K-State and Missouri will play the rubber game of the three-game series on Easter Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Tointon Stadium.