Graves Makes First Start for the Tigers

Tuesday, March 6 –

The Missouri baseball team (4-5) was looking for their third straight win on Tuesday, March 6 as they hosted the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.

After taking the final two games in the weekend series against Ball State, the Tigers kept the momentum going into the series against the Mavericks as they thrashed them, 14-4 in game one.

While the game was full of story lines – one of which was Dane Opel hitting his team-leading third homerun of the year, which is monstrous compared to his one in all of last season – the real story was freshman pitcher Brett Graves making his first start for the Tigers.

Graves, a St. Charles native who was recently drafted in the 26th round of the MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, certainly impressed in his first start for Missouri. The righty threw four scoreless frames while allowing four hits and two walks, but also tallying four strikeouts on the day.

Most of Graves’ trouble on the day came in the first inning. To start off the game, he gave up two back-to-back singles before a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over to second and third with just one out.

Graves drew a fly-out and then gave up a walk to load the bases but got out of the jam by forcing a lineout. It was all smooth sailing for Graves after that.

It was certainly in Graves’ favor that the Missouri offense broke out for 14 runs, however. The 14 runs that the Tigers got across is equal to the number of runs that they scored in the first six games of the season – when they started 2-4.

Along with Opel’s big day at the plate, Connor Mach went 3-4 and drove four runs across.

The Tigers open up a four-game series against Charlotte on Friday, March 9. Game one will start at 6 p.m. CT at Taylor Stadium.

– Ben Yarrington
23 Sports
Staff Writer