Mizzou utilizes frustration in rout of Kansas State

Story by Gary Cotton

Photos by Kevin Donnellan

After being swept by Oklahoma and losing first baseman Mike McGraw to injury, Missouri coach Tim Jamieson was a little worried about his offense.

“McGraw had been one of our best hitters for the past three weeks,” Jamieson said. “We thought it would be more like a 3-2 game, so we were prepared to do the little things tonight.”

They scored 10 more runs than planned, routing Kansas State 13-4.

First baseman Andreas Plackis helped the team in a big way Friday night. Plackis went 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs and two RBIs.

Andreas Plackis

Andreas Plackis slides into second in the seventh inning. His double scored Sal Belfonte and Eric Garcia to extend the Tigers lead to 12-1.

The junior said getting short notice about starting did not make much of a difference.

“Coach just came up to me and told me to be ready,” Plackis said. “That’s what we do when we’re not on the field. We have to stay on the bench, and work hard to get our shot and produce for the team.”

Shortstop Eric Garcia said the team was frustrated, but focused as they entered the game. The Tigers entered the game tied for last place in the conference with a 3-9 conference record. Garcia said the team wanted to get an early jump on the Wildcats.

“We came out with some energy, and it really put a pep in our step,” he said. “We were able to stay positive with ourselves, and we knew we would be able to bounce back.”

The Tigers wanted to regain some momentum on Friday night, and the Wildcats helped them do it.

Missouri took advantage of costly errors by Kansas State, including one by Wildcat third baseman Austin Fisher. The error led to the first run of the game by Missouri catcher Ben Turner. Garcia then extended the lead to 4-0 after his second home run of the season.

Jamieson said the fast start set the tone for the Tigers.

“If they get the out there, we walk out of the inning tied at zero,” Jamieson said. “It ended up being a four-run inning, so it was a huge advantage for us to be able to take advantage of that mistake.”

The Tigers also came through with their pitching. Rob Zastryzny allowed just one run in eight innings. Just like the Tiger offense, Zastryzny took advantage of some questionable Wildcat plays.

“They took some bad swings off some bad pitches and it really helped me out early,” Zastryzny said. “I fell behind early to a few people. I’ve got to get that fixed and attack the zone better.”

Jamieson agreed saying his team needs to show the same fire they had against Oklahoma to stay on top of Kansas State during the series.

“We can’t be satisfied with a Friday night win,” Jamieson said. “K-State’s going to be a much better team tomorrow. I hope we come out tomorrow and have that same frustration.”

Missouri will play the second game of the series with Kansas State tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m at Taylor Stadium.

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