Michael Massey hit two homers and drove in four runs Tuesday as the Illinois baseball team beat Missouri 5-3 at GCS Ballpark. Illinois won the annual Braggin' Rights game in Sauget for the third straight year.
Illinois (10-16) and Missouri (21-8) scored seven of their combined eight runs off long balls with the wind blowing out. Jack Yalowitz also homered for the Illini, his fifth of the season, and Mizzou's Kameron Misner, Kirby McGuire and Trey Harris all hit solo shots. There were 13 hits in the game and six left the yard.
Massey hit a two-run homer in the first inning, a solo blast down the right field line in the seventh and added an insurance run with an RBI single in the ninth. The ninth-inning single made the score 5-3 and gave closer Joey Gerber some breathing room. Gerber struck out two of three batters in the ninth to finish the game.
Ryan Thompson (1-1) picked up the win by throwing 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed only one hit, as the Illini's bullpen went 4 2/3 innings while allowing only one run on two hits and striking out seven.
Illinois' first four pitchers - Cyrillo Watson (4.1 IP, 2 ER), Zack Jones (1.0 IP, 0 R), Thompson and Ryan Schmitt (1.0 IP, 0 R) - were all freshmen. Gerber, a sophomore, earned his third save in the last four games.
Missouri went 0 for 10 with runners on, 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and 0 for 8 with two outs. The Tigers lost for the sixth straight game. The Illini win tied the season series 1-1.
Illinois returns to the diamond this weekend at No. 18 Michigan. The Wolverines host the Illini for three games Friday-Sunday.