Missouri Edges K-State in 4-3 Loss

MANHATTAN, Kan. Missouri hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the ninth to turn a two-run deficit into a two-run lead as the Tigers defeated No. 21 Kansas State, 4-3, Friday evening at Tointon Family Stadium. With the loss, K-State fell to 28-10 overall and 7-6 in Big 12 play, while the Tigers improved to 20-19 overall and 7-9 in conference action.


Missouri starter Kyle Gipson (6-3) went the distance for the fifth time this season, allowing three runs on 11 hits, but was able to force K-State to strand seven runners, including four in scoring position.


Kansas State starting pitcher A.J. Morris was fabulous through eight innings, shutting out the Tigers while allowing just four hits and striking out five. But Missouri got to the right-hander in the ninth inning as Aaron Senne hit a leadoff double into right-center field followed by an infield single by Greg Folgia to put Tigers at first and third with no outs, which would be the end for Morris.


Thomas Rooke (4-1) came out of the bullpen to face Mizzou catcher Trevor Coleman, who belted a 2-2 pitch over the left center-field wall to put the Tigers up 3-2 and stun the season-high crowd of 3,008. Kyle Mach was next and, on the second pitch of the at-bat, hit the Tigers’ second homer of the inning to go up 4-2.


The Wildcats made things interesting in the bottom of the inning, stringing together four-straight one-out hits against Gipson. With runners on first and third, Rob Vaughn hit a single into the hole between shortstop and third base to score Drew Biery, who started the rally with a single into left field.


Following another infield single, this time by pinch-hitter Mike Kindel to load the bases, Adam Muenster missed on an attempted suicide squeeze bunt and Jordan Cruz was tagged out in a rundown between third and home. Gipson finished off his complete game by forcing Muenster to ground out to preserve the victory.


Mach led Missouri with a 2-for-4 night with one RBI, while Coleman’s three RBI was a team high.


Carter Jurica led all players with three hits in four at-bats, while he tallied one of the three Wildcat RBI. Biery also recorded his 17th multi-hit game, going 2-for-4.


The Wildcats scored the game’s first run in the third inning when Dane Yelovich hit a one-out double before moving to third on a groundout. Jurica then hit a ball back up the middle which was stopped by Tiger second baseman Austin Holt, but he was unable to get off a throw allowing Yelovich to score.


K-State plated another run in the sixth as Jurica led off with a single and moved to second on a groundout. Following a strikeout for the second out of the frame, Jason King hammered the first pitch he saw down the right-field line, tallying his 16th two-out RBI of the season and extending the lead to 2-0.


Kansas State and Missouri continue their weekend conference series at 2 p.m., Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium.