Texas slams Mizzou for 4th Big 12 title - KMOV.com

Texas slams Mizzou for 4th Big 12 title

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Cameron Rupp hit a grand slam during an 11-run outburst in the fourth inning as top-seeded Texas blasted Missouri 12-7 Sunday to win its fourth Big 12 championship.

The defending champion Longhorns (41-13-1) became the first team to win back-to-back titles since they pulled off the feat in 2002 and 2003. They also matched Nebraska with a league-high four conference crowns.

It took four relievers to get out of the fourth after Missouri starter Scooter Hicks (5-3) let the first two hitters reach base. Texas' big inning was fueled by four walks and two batters who were hit by pitches.

Rupp delivered the exclamation point with a line drive that cleared the 400-foot mark in center field at the Bricktown Ballpark to make it 11-1.

During the inning, Texas learned that it would host an NCAA tournament regional at Disch-Falk Field for the first time since 2006. The Longhorns also hosted a regional in 2007, but at a minor-league ballpark in Round Rock, Texas.

Texas has been eliminated in regional play each of the past three years after wining the College World Series in 2005.

Missouri (34-25) ran out of pitching depth in only its second appearance in the Big 12 championship game, following a 13-inning loss to Oklahoma State in 2004. Led by strong starts from pro prospect Kyle Gibson and Adam Tepesch, the third-seeded Tigers had advanced to the title game despite having the fewest hits in the eight-team field during pool play.

Mizzou still became the first team in conference history to play in the football, men's basketball and baseball championship games in the same academic year. And it seemed like the Tigers had karma in their favor after the men's basketball and softball teams had both won Big 12 titles in Oklahoma City this year.

School administrators even gave coach Tim Jamieson a fresh reminder as the team left campus.

That all fell apart when Hicks, who had never thrown more than 4 2-3 innings in a college game, ran out of steam in the fourth. He issued a leadoff walk to Brandon Belt and then gave up a single to Michael Torres, who had been trying to sacrifice before swinging away with a full count.

Ian Berger replaced Hicks and didn't retire any of the three batters he faced, sandwiching walks around a two-run single by Brandon Loy. It snowballed from there as left-fielder Aaron Senne misplayed Preston Clark's fly ball into a single

Jamieson pulled Ryan Clubb after he beaned No. 9 hitter Connor Rowe, and then watched as Phil McCormick hit the next batter, too, to force in a run. McCormick walked in another run before giving up Rupp's eighth home run of the season.

Kevin Keyes then followed Loy's triple with an RBI double to cap Texas' first double-digit scoring inning since 2007.

The Tigers came back with three runs off of reliever Austin Dicharry (7-2) in the top of the fifth, but the rally fizzled after Rowe made a diving catch in center field on a sacrifice fly by Greg Folgia that made it 12-4.

Missouri added another three runs in the ninth without getting a hit before closer Austin Wood got Kyle Mach to ground into a game-ending double play.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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