ARLINGTON, Texas – Dylan Leach’s one-out double in the bottom of the ninth inning drove home the decisive run in Missouri’s first victory of 2023, a gritty 6-5 walk-off decision over Texas Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Field on day two of the College Baseball Showdown.
After the Longhorns battled back from an early 4-1 deficit, Leach lined a 2-0 offering from UT’s Sam Walbridge into the left field corner, bringing a hard-charging Hank Zeisler all the way around from first to set off a raucous on-field celebration by the Tigers.
The victory marked the fifth straight for Mizzou in its series with Texas, dating back to the 2012 season.
Mizzou out-hit the Longhorns by a 14-5 margin, paced by three-hit performances from Luke Mann and Cam Chick. Mann, who recorded 17 homers last spring, belted his first long ball of the new season—a two-run shot off the right-field foul pole—to help stake the Tigers to an early three-run cushion.
The Tiger pitching staff chipped in with another strong effort, as lefty Ian Lohse fanned four UT hitters in the first two innings, before handing the ball off to his bullpen. Three relievers—Daniel Wissler, Austin Troesser and Rorik Maltrud—joined forces to limit the Horns to three hits while striking out six over the final 5 1/3 innings.
Maltrud (1-0) earned the victory with 2.2 innings, over which he allowed just one hit while registering four of Mizzou’s 10 strikeouts on the day. That effort marked the second consecutive double-digit strikeout performance by the Tiger pitching staff, which has permitted just 11 hits in its first two games.
Mizzou (1-1) wasted little time in taking control of the contest, using back-to-back singles by Mann and Chick to set the table for a first-inning rally. With one out, Trevor Austin beat out an infield hit to load the bases, and Zeisler lofted a long fly ball to left to allow Chick time to trot home easily from third with the game’s first run.
The Longhorns (0-2) responded in the top half of the second against Lohse, who fanned the side in the first inning in his first collegiate start. After allowing a one-out single to Mitchell Daly, Lohse uncorked an errant throw on a pickoff attempt, and Zeisler’s throw to third was off the mark as well, bringing Daly all the way home from first with the equalizing run.
Ty Wilmsmeyer sparked the Tigers’ key rally in the second, delivering a leadoff bunt single. A Justin Colon sacrifice moved the runner into scoring position, before Mann unloaded on the first pitch he saw from UT’s Zane Morehouse, drilling a line drive to right that left the bat at a reported 110.3 MPH.
That blast—the 29th home run of Mann’s Mizzou career—moved the St. Louis product into a tie with Tom Ciombor for the No. 10 spot on the Tigers’ all-time homer list.
Mizzou kept the pressure on Morehouse, as Chick singled and advanced into scoring position on an error. Next, Lovich’s bouncer to second resulted in another Longhorn miscue, bringing home Chick to stretch the MU lead to 4-1.
But Texas fought back in the fourth, using a hit batsman and two of the eight bases-on-balls handed out by Tiger pitching on the day to mount a two-run rally. After Rylan Galvan coaxed a free pass to keep the inning alive, Jayden Duplantier drove a 3-1 pitch into the left-center field gap to drive in two and slice the Mizzou lead to just one run.
Lovich provided some momentary breathing room with a solo shot to right in the bottom of the sixth, briefly giving Mizzou a two-run lead.
UT answered once more, scratching out a pair of runs on a Jack O’Dowd RBI single and a two-out wild pitch to level the score at 5-5.
That’s where the game would stand through eight, with Maltrud holding UT in check by retiring the final four batters he faced in succession, before Zeisler sparked the deciding rally with a leadoff single in the ninth.
Mizzou concludes its stay at the College Baseball Showdown Sunday when it takes on No. 16 TCU at 6:30 p.m.
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