James Penn, 23 Sports

Wednesday, April 26 –

In a battle of Missouri baseball, the Tigers took on the Bears of Missouri State for the second time of the season. Although the last meeting ended in an embarrassing 16-1 loss in Springfield, Taylor Stadium was treated to a 17-9 rout of MSU.

Cole Bartlett took the mound for the Tigers in his second start of the season and earned his third win. Bartlett jumped off to a strong start, retiring the first seven batters and holding Missouri State to just two hits, one run and one walk through five innings pitched. Bartlett ended the game with a personal best four strikeouts.

While the Bears struggled to score early, the Mizzou bats got hot quick with a three-run second inning, and did not slow down there with 10 runs going into the fifth inning. Zach Lavy and Shane Benes both had huge nights at the plate, knocking three hits including a pair of two-run homers. Benes would end the game with five RBIs and Lavy batted in six on the night—the highest of any Missouri player since Eric Garcia in 2010.

Missouri State threatened to make a comeback, scoring four runs in the sixth inning, pulling the game to within five. It did not make difference ultimately, as the Tiger bats remained hot scoring three more in the bottom of the inning on a single from Benes and some errors from the Bears. Lavy’s home run in the seventh pushed the Tigers lead to 10 runs going into the eighth inning.

The Bears would score four more runs in the eighth and ninth, but another two RBI hit from Lavy would seal the win for the Tigers and cap off their highest scoring output of the season.

Mizzou will try to carry this offensive explosion into a three game series against Tennessee, starting at Taylor Stadium Friday, April 29, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

Photo courtesy of www.columbiatribune.com.