♦ High Point Baseball Beats Missouri, 13-7, in Weekend Finale (greensborosports.com)
The High Point University baseball team beat Missouri 13-7 on Sunday in the final game of the weekend series. Senior Sal Pezzino was 4-5 with a home run and junior Jacob Newberry won his third consecutive start.
“After a frustrating day at the plate yesterday the team came out focused today,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “The team was relentless offensively. Our ability to answer every time they scored prevented them from ever getting back in the game. Newberry gave us an outstanding season. We learned a lot about ourselves as a team this weekend and applied it in today’s game.”
♦ Missouri baseball extends win streak to 10 with shutout (Columbia Missourian)
The competition between the Missouri and High Point baseball teams started way before the first pitch of the game on Saturday.
During the one hour, 40 minute rain delay, the relief pitchers from the two teams set up pyramids made of cups outside their respective dugouts and took turns rolling baseballs across home plate, attempting to topple the other team's tower.
When Missouri pitcher Michael McGraw struck High Point's pyramid after several players missed, the celebration rivaled the team's excitement after its walk-off win the night before.
♦ PHOTO GALLERY: Missouri improves winning streak to 10 in second win over High Point (Columbia Missourian)
♦ Holovach shines as Tigers claim 10th straight win (The Maneater)
“I’ll tell you what, (having relief experience) did help in that rain delay today, waiting around,” he said.
Given how he threw Saturday, Missouri would probably be completely fine with having every one of Holovach’s starts come after delays. The lefty carved up High Point hitters with great efficiency, making it through eight innings with fewer than 100 pitches and ending up with 115 for the day. A significant reason for his efficiency was how he pitched to contact, striking out just four batters.
“Whenever I threw the fastball in or down the middle, really, they would put a good swing on it,” he said. “I can’t give enough credit to my defense today.”
♦ Holovach beats the count to shut out High Point (Columbia Tribune)
With a 115-pitch gem, Holovach became the first MU pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout since Kyle Gibson in April 2009. Holovach allowed four hits and one walk while striking out four.
"He was on his last hitter," MU Coach Tim Jamieson said. "It was more the fact that his pitch count was starting to get up a little bit and didn't want him to wear down and create an inning because he was tired. But we wanted to give him the opportunity to get the shutout, too."
♦ Missouri walks off vs. High Point for ninth straight victory (The Maneater)
“Both Scott and Blake had good at-bats,” Turner said. “Going in there I felt I had a good idea of what he was throwing and what he had working and didn’t have working.”
After scoring the winning run, the Tiger bench rushed the field. It was clear that, after several blowout victories, a hard-earned win was a challenge for which many on the team were excited.
“It was the first time we’ve been tied with an opportunity to win it in the bottom of the ninth like that,” Turner said. “A lot of the guys were excited. They’ve had really good energy throughout this winning streak. That’s something that really helps us out when we’re out there battling.”
♦ Ben Turner's walk-off single leads Mizzou (komu.com)
Going into the ninth inning down 7-6, High point started off the ninth inning with a home run to tie the game at seven, meaning Walsh's first blown save in seven attempts. After a single followed the home run, Walsh made a spectacular play diving to catch a sacrifice bunt attempt that was popped up down the first base line, and the Panthers were held off the board the rest of the inning. Brown and Sommerfeld walked with one out in the ninth, then Turner laced a single to left, scoring Brown for the winning run, a final score of 8-7.
♦ OCU's Gaden earns SAC player of the week (OCUSports.com)
Oklahoma City University's Kale Gaden has been named Sooner Athletic Conference baseball player of the week for March 5-11.
Gaden, a junior from Stillwater, Okla., hit .615 and slugged 1.154 with two triples, a home run and seven RBIs in OCU's 4-0 week with wins over Southern Nazarene and Mid-America Christian.
Gaden provided the game-winning RBI against Southern Nazarene on March 6 and went a combined 6-for-8 with six RBIs, two triples and a home run in a three-game sweep of Mid-America March 7-9.
The left fielder is hitting .391 on the year with seven extra-base hits, four home runs and 19 RBIs in 23 games for the top-ranked Stars.
MU IN THE MAJORS
♦ Bracketology (Detroit Free Press)
The chances of Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer winning mlb.com's bracket contest took a major hit when Missouri lost to 15th-seeded Norfolk State. The website had one player from each team fill in a bracket.
Scherzer still has Kentucky, Kansas and Florida State alive in his Final Four. But he had Mizzou, after beating MSU in the regional final and Kentucky in the national semifinal, defeating Kansas for the championship.
At least he had Duke and Michigan losing in the third round.
♦ Mathis unscored on for Red Sox (wmicentral.com)
Show Low’s Doug Mathis is off to a good start in his bid to return to Major League Baseball.
The 28-year-old 6-foot-3 former Texas Rangers right-hander signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox in the offseason and has thrown three scoreless innings in his two spring training appearances.
Mathis made his spring debut by pitching two scoreless innings of relief in a 3-3 tie with Toronto on March 7. He limited the Blue Jays to one hit and had one strikeout in pitching the eighth and ninth innings. He threw just nine pitches — all for strikes.
He followed that up by allowing one hit and striking out one in a scoreless inning of relief in Boston’s 6-1 win over Baltimore on Sunday, March 11.
Mathis is 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA in 87 1⁄3 career innings in parts of three seasons (2008-10) with the Rangers. He pitched in Triple-A for San Franciso and Oakland last year before going 5-2 with a 2.52 ERA in the regular season for the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization and helping the Lions win the league title and the Korean Series Championship.