Chilly day can't
By Patrick Hyde
COLUMBIA, Mo. - After opening the season with games in Florida
and San Diego, a 31-degree afternoon greeted Missouri for its
home opener with Indiana State.
The frigid conditions, coupled with six days off between games,
appeared to cause the Tigers physical and mental tightness. But
14th-ranked Missouri rode the arm of ace Aaron Crow (pictured
left) in handing
Indiana State a 5-1 loss at Taylor Stadium
Crow (3-0, 1.50 ERA) struggled with his command early, even
though he struck out four in the first two innings. His
struggles came to a head in the third when he hit two batters
and threw a wild pitch on a strikeout to load the bases with one
out and Indiana State's third and fourth hitters coming up.
"[The cold] wasn't that bad when you're out there," Crow said.
"A couple pitches just got away from me."
Crow got left fielder Brady Shoemaker to fly out to shallow
right then got right fielder Nick Ciolli to ground out to third.
"After I got out of that, I was a lot more confident," Crow
The Tigers' offense also struggled early against Sycamores lefty
Michael Manus. Manus struck out three of the first six hitters
he faced and did not allow a runner until he walked third
baseman Kyle Mach to lead off the third. Mach came around to
score on a single to right by Ryan Lollis.
"He is the first pitcher we've seen that is straight over the
top," left fielder Aaron Senne said. "So we adjusted and laid
off some of his pitches."
With Crow shackling the Sycamores (1-6), the Tigers blew the
game open with a four-run fourth.
Lee Fischer (2 runs) walked to start the inning and stole second
before Lollis (2 for 4, 2 RBI) brought him in on a double to
right. Catcher Trevor Coleman was walked intentionally, and
cleanup hitter Dan Pietroburgo singled to right, driving in
Lollis. Senne doubled to left-center to plate two more.
From there, Crow took over, finishing with nine strikeouts, two
hits and no runs in seven innings.
The Sycamores were able to grab a consolation run in the eighth
when pinch-hitter Brian Oliver singled in Chris Schmidt.
"We pitched well and played really good defense," Missouri coach
Tim Jamieson said. "We haven't been a good first- or
second-inning team this year, but we did it when we had to."