Missouri Baseball Gets Swept by No. 14 Mississippi

Monday, March 24-

By Jacob Kornhauser, 23 Sports

After dropping all three games of their weekend set with the No. 14 Ole Miss Rebels, the Missouri baseball team is reeling with sub-.500 records overall and in conference. For the most part, the Tigers were competitive in the series, but couldn’t come up big when it mattered most.

Missouri came up short in game one of the series on Friday after mounting a comeback against the Rebels of Ole Miss. Falling behind 4-0 early, the Tigers cut the lead to 4-3, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

The Rebels got the scoring going early when they tallied three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Austin Anderson and Sikes Orvis went deep in the first, which accounted for all three runs in the inning.

While Missouri starter John Miles got roughed up early, he settled down and put together a decent outing. He yielded four earned runs in the first three innings, but didn’t allow any runs after that, going 7.1 innings and striking out five batters.

After being put in a 4-0 hole, the Tigers began to mount a comeback in the fifth and continued it into the eighth. Keeton Steele scored in the fifth on a passed ball to cut the Rebel lead to three runs and Mizzou struck again in the eighth for two runs following a Kendall Keeton double and Shane Segovia single.

However, the Tigers couldn’t complete the rally in the ninth. Ryan Howard fouled out to start the inning and Steele followed that up by striking out swinging. After Logan Pearson gave the Tigers life with a single, Jake Ivory, pinch hitting for Jake Ring, struck out looking to end the hard fought game.

In game two, the Rebels got to work right away. In the first three innings, they plated six runs. Will Allen homered in the first inning and Orvis added his second home run of the series in the third inning. Missouri pitcher Peter Fairbanks got roughed up and didn’t get out of the third inning as he yielded four runs over two innings.

Once again, the Tigers bullpen pitched well, giving up only three runs over the final seven innings. As has been the case all season, the Tigers offense struggled all day long. They mustered up just four hits en route to the 7-1 defeat. The lopsided loss dropped Missouri to 11-11 on the season and set up a third and final game of the series where it looked to avoid the sweep.

Game three of the series seemed destined to be a pitcher’s duel as the Tigers ace Brett Graves took the mound. Eric Anderson led off the game with a double in the top of the first and was knocked in by a Keeton groundout to second. The 1-0 lead was the Tigers’ first lead of the series.

However, the Rebels got even in the bottom of the fourth inning when Allen singled home Braxton Lee. It was Allen’s only hit of the game, but he would later score an important run for the Rebels.

In a wild fifth inning, the Tigers re-took the lead quickly. After Pearson singled, Steele doubled down the line and scored him after a throwing error. It was Steele’s lone highlight of the day as he would strand three Mizzou runners in key situations.

Extending the lead in the seventh inning, Pearson scored following a sac fly off the bat of Howard. After Mizzou’s third run crossed the plate, the game went downhill for the Tigers.

Chipping away in the seventh inning, the Rebels scored in odd fashion. Allen reached on a walk and was consequently balked over to second and then to third. Holt Perdzock drove Allen in on a sacrifice fly to left field and cut Missouri’s lead to one run.

In the eighth inning, the Rebels scored in all types of ways. Steele replaced Graves to start the inning and that turned out to be the wrong decision. In all, Ole Miss would plate six runs on six hits to go along with a Mizzou error. Ole Miss batted around the order in the inning and left the Tigers reeling. The Tigers came into the inning with a 3-2 lead and came limping out with an 8-3 deficit.

After a leadoff single for Dylan Kelly, the Tigers went quietly en route to getting swept in the weekend series. Howard and Ring struck out and Anderson lined out to center to end it. It looked like the Tigers would at least salvage the final game of the series, but after a furious rally by the Rebels, which pushed their season record to 21-4, the Tigers were stunned.

Following the series sweep, the Tigers fall to 11-12 and 1-5 in the SEC. They will try to rebound from the tough series sweep when they take on Arkansas-Little Rock in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 25 at Taylor Stadium.

First pitch is set for 1 p.m.