Missouri strikes early, takes series opener from K-State

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Two Kansas State errors opened the door for Missouri in the first inning and the Tigers used the momentum for the rest of the night en route to a 13-4 victory over the Wildcats in the series opener Friday evening at Taylor Stadium.

With the win, Missouri improved to 19-17 on the year and 4-9 in Big 12 action, while K-State fell to 19-19 overall and 3-10 in conference play.

K-State starter Matt Applegate (2-5) began the game with a pair of strikeouts before allowing a double to Ben Turner. Dane Opel was next and hit a ground ball right at Wildcat first baseman Matt Giller, but he let the ball go by him, which brought home a run and gave Missouri life.

Following a failed pickoff attempt that sent Opel to second, Blake Brown and Eric Garcia collected a RBI single a two-run homer, respectively, to make the score 4-0. The Tigers came back with two more in the second and, after allowing a Wildcat run in the third, scored once in the fourth, two in the sixth and plated another four-spot in the seventh en route to the series-opening win.

In the meantime, Missouri’s Rob Zastryzny (3-2) pitched with confidence as he allowed just one run on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in eight innings of work. The left-hander picked up his first victory since March 10.

First baseman Andreas Plackis led the Tigers at the plate by going 3-for-3 with two RBI on a seventh-inning double. The top three hitters in Missouri’s lineup – Connor Mach, Brannon Champagne and Turner – each went 2-for-4, while Mach and Turner drove in a pair of runs. Garcia also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Applegate threw a career-high 130 pitches, allowing 13 runs (eight earned) on 13 hits in 6.1 innings. Freshman Robert Youngdahl finished off the game for the Wildcats by tossing 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

The Wildcats scored their run in the third when Jared King beat out a two-out infield single to score Dan Klein. In the ninth against freshman pitcher John Miles, K-State saw three-straight pinch-hitters reach base before a RJ Santigate RBI single, a Jake Brown sacrifice fly and a Tanner Witt RBI fielder’s choice.

(Story courtesy of KStateSports.com)

NEXT GAME: Saturday, April 21 at Missouri (19-19, 4-9)

Kansas State and Missouri hook up in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday for the second game of the current three-game series. The game can be heard live in the Manhattan area on Sports Radio 1350 and online at 1350kman.com. KMAN’s own Matt Walters will have the call alongside Ryan Lackey. Coverage on KMAN begins at 12:30 p.m. with the BD4 Distributing Pregame Show. First pitch at Taylor Stadium is set for 1 p.m.