PowerMizzou - Lollis hit leads to victory
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Lollis hit leads to victory

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A steady flow of rain and SIUE lefty Mitchell Fairley had the Tiger' bats mired for the first two innings. In the third, the rain stopped, and the Missouri bats were revitalized. The Tigers scored one in the third, and they followed it with three more in the fourth. It would be the only runs they needed.
"Good enough pitching," coach Tim Jamieson said. "We didn't have that many chances. We had a lot of strikeouts offensively. We have to do better than that, but we did take advantage of a couple of times when we had people on base early. But we pitched it well and played good defense. It was kind of a typical mid-week game. Fortunately, we were good enough to win tonight."
Missouri starter Ian Berger struggled in the first, allowing two hits, which led to the Cougars only run of the night. Their lead would not last for long. The Tigers evened the score in the third when Greg Folgia beat out a throw to first base that would have ended the inning.
In the fourth, Missouri's R.B.I. leader Ryan Lollis added two more to his stats when he sliced a triple down the leftfield line. Cougar leftfielder Chilos Norris III was caught playing too shallow and was left fighting a losing battle against a ball that was being pushed away by the wind. Lucky for the Tigers, Lollis only was swinging because he could not get a bunt down.
"It was the hit and run," Lollis said. "They were just trying to get me on base again I think. I haven't been on in like a long time, but it was the hit and run, so I was just trying to get the ball on the ground, but I guess I just hit it over his head which is pretty cool."
Did they take the bunt sign off?
"Yeah, they did. I could not get it down," he continued laughing.
If the Cougars had any chance of a comeback, Missouri senior Aaron Senne made sure it was short lived. In the eighth, with men on first and second and two outs, SIUE first baseman Michael Hopkins singled to right. Senne delivered a one-hopper home, and catcher Ryan Ampleman delivered a timely tag for the punch out. So how did Jamieson feel about the play?
"Thank you very much," he said laughing. "Because obviously that changes the whole complexion. Maybe not just the inning but the game. That is another strength that we have. We have outfielders that can throw and throw accurately. It was a big momentum boost for us."
As the temperature continued to dip lower and lower throughout the night, both teams struggled offensively. Even though the Tigers won, they were actually outhit by the Cougars 7-4. Shortstop Michael Liberto seemed to be the only bright spot. Liberto finished the game with one hit and two walks. When he was on base, the shortstop continued to wreak havoc on the Cougar pitches, stealing two bases on the night.
"I was trying to put us in motion against a team like this," Liberto said. "I was just trying to score runs. As many runs as we can. We still only got four hits, so I was just trying to get as many runs as possible."
Once again, coach Jamieson used multiple bullpen pitchers in his victory in order to set up his rotation for the weekend series against Texas A&M. Missouri closer Scooter Hicks picked up his first win of the year for the Tigers after entering the game for an inning in the fourth. Kelly Fick also pitched well for the Tigers and had two strikeouts. Jamieson has not ruled out the possibility of using the pitching by committee strategy in the Big 12.
"We'll give it a thought," Jamieson said. "We haven't pulled the trigger yet on it, but we're probably closer to doing it than we have been. I am not sure were ready to do it the second series of the year, but we may also talk about it and do it this weekend. It has certainly been effective."
The Aggies come hobbling into Taylor Stadium on Friday after losing two-straight games at home to the New Mexico Lobos. Even with the losses, the Tigers still have to prepare for an A&M team that is No. 3 in the country and 2-1 in conference play. Tiger ace Kyle Gibson will look to pick up his fourth while leading Missouri back to .500 on the year in the series opener on Friday.
No one covers Tiger athletics like PowerMizzou.com. This year, we've added baseball coverage to our top-notch football and basketball beats. To follow the Tigers year-round, sign up today to start your Free Seven-Day Trial.