Wade Gaynor hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Matt Ridings struck out eight as Western Kentucky beat Missouri 11-5 Friday in the NCAA tournament.
The Hilltoppers (40-18) scored six runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by Gaynor's 23rd homer. The Sunbelt Conference co-champions advanced to the winners' bracket of the Oxford regional.
Missouri coach Tim Jamieson's gamble to hold ace Kyle Gibson out of the game backfired as starting pitcher Nick Tepesch lasted only one inning. The Tigers (34-26) used seven pitchers.
Ridings struck out eight and gave up four runs in six innings, including a three-run homer by Aaron Senne.
Terrance Dayleg was 4 for 4 and Matt Rice added a solo homer for the Hilltoppers.