Mizzou's Greatest, #33: Priday's Friday

Jacob Priday attempts to break up a double play in the eighth inning of the NCAA college baseball regional game held on June 2, 2006, between Pepperdine and Missouri. - Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport

Perhaps the best single-game performance by any Mizzou player, in any sport.

On April 11, 2008, a windy and cool Friday night, a crowd of over 1,200 fans showed up at Simmons Field, drawn by media coverage and speculation about a possible historic record-breaking game. The energy and expectation in the crowd was apparent even before the first pitch. No one was really very sure how many innings it would take for Aaron Crow to set a new all-time D-1 record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched (since no one really knows what the record is for sure), but they all wanted to be there to witness the event when it happened.

Just a few short minutes into the 1st inning, the anticipation crashed to earth as Aaron Crow showed that even Superman has his kryptonite, giving up a walk, a double and an RBI single. The excitement shifted from the crowd to the Longhorn dugout as the Texas players, obviously fully aware of the scoreless streak, celebrated at a level not usual for merely scoring the first run of a ballgame.

By the time the longjohned Longhorns had finished their second inning at bat, the Tiger 9 were down 8-0. I saw a small number of faithless fans head for the exits at that point. Boy, were they going to be sorry.

MU answered back with three runs in the bottom of the 2nd, Texas added a 9th run in the 3rd, and then the slumping Mizzou offense woke up like an angry man whose home has been invaded. Missouri scored 10 runs in the bottom of the 3rd, followed by multiple runs in nearly every inning as the game went along, piling up to a final tally of 31 runs, against the Longhorns' total of 12.

The crowd was absolutely rocking Taylor Stadium as the runs piled up. There's a great photo gallery from that game at the mutigers.com write-up. You might even see me in one of those photos.

RF Jacob Priday led the attack with his own record-breaking performance. Priday was 5-for-5 on the night. He set single-game school records with 4 home runs, 9 RBI and 6 runs scored. The four home runs is the most ever in the Big 12 Conference and is tied for third most in NCAA history. With the four homers, Priday moved within one of the Missouri school record with 44 for his career. The nine RBI give him 218, which was four shy of the Mizzou career mark.

Every Tiger in the starting lineup had at least one hit and five had at least three. The 26 hits for Missouri tied a school record, which was set in 2005 against Navy. The 31 runs were the most scored by the Tigers since they defeated Truman State 30-0 in 2003. It was the most runs scored by MU against a conference opponent since a 27-4 win over Nebraska in 1956. The all-time MU record for runs scored in a single game is 35, set in 1904.

The loss was the worst for Texas since a 25-6 defeat against Texas A&M in 1995. It was the first game in which Texas allowed at least 20 runs since 1998. The 31 runs is the most ever allowed by any Texas baseball team in their illustrious history. But hey, they got to celebrate that first run they scored.

Jake Priday went on to put his name in several top 10 lists in the Mizzou Baseball record books during his four year career: 1st in caeer HR (49), 1st in career RBI (240), 1st in career at-bats (886), 2nd in career extra base hits (112), 2nd in career total bases (487), 3rd in career Hits (269), 3rd in career doubles (55), 7th in career runs (187), 7th in HR in a season (16, '08), 10th in career slugging % (.550). He was drafted after his senior year and left professional ball after one season in the minor leagues.

But Priday will always be remembered for one of the greatest single game performances by a Mizzou hitter.

Oh, and the winning pitcher in the game?

Aaron Crow.

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