Marcus Thomas, 23 Sports

Mizzou baseball traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas for a weekend series with the SEC opponent Razorbacks. Missouri gave Arkansas good challenges in all three games but ended up losing all three, getting outscored 9-5 over the course of the series.

In the opener, the Tigers lost 2-0, with Jacob Cantleberry picking up the loss to drop his season record to 2-1. Cantleberry went 6.0 innings, giving up five hits and two runs while also striking out six Razorbacks on 90 pitches. The Razorbacks offense came in the first and fourth innings. The first run came off of a bases loaded walk by designated hitter Matt Goodheart.
The second Razorbacks’ run was from a sacrifice fly by third baseman Jacob Nesbit that scored Matt Goodheart. The Tigers struggled to provide any offense, having only two hits and striking out 15 times. Kameron Misner went 0-4 with three strikeouts in the series opener. Arkansas’ pitching was led by Isaiah Campbell, who went 7.0 innings and struck out 11 Tigers while picking up the win, improving his season record to 4-0 on 100 pitches.

In game two the Tigers faced an early deficit before trying to mount a comeback in the eigth inning, a comeback that fell just short in a 4-3 loss. TJ Sikkema threw a complete game, giving up all four runs and striking out 10 Razorbacks on 122 pitches. Sikkema’s season record dips to 2-1. The win for the Razorbacks was picked up by Kole Rampage, who went 3.0 innings in relief of the starter Connor Noland, who went 4.2 innings. Rampage improved his season record to 4-0, giving up two runs on two hits with one strikeout in his appearance against the Tigers. Starter Connor Noland went the first 4.2 innings giving up only one run and striking out four Tigers.

The Tigers’ offense came through situational hitting with the first Tiger run scored in the fifth by an RBI single from left fielder Josh Holt, which brought Peter Zimmerman home. Going into the eighth inning the Tigers found themselves down 4-1, needing three runs to at least tie the game up. Third baseman Luke Mann doubled down the right field line, which scored Clayton Peterson. Mann’s RBI was followed up by a single from Chris Cornelius, which scored pitch runner Connor Brumfield, cutting the Razorback lead to 4-3. The Tigers were not able to complete the comeback and dropped the game by that score.

In the series finale the Tigers would try to avoid the sweep, but Arkansas remained too strong and completed the sweep on a walk off for the final score of 3-2. The Tigers turned to Tyler LaPlante, who went 6.0 innings, giving up two runs, only one earned, and striking out three. The Tigers had held the Razorback scoreless up until the sixth inning until Arkansas scored with a Jack Kenley home run. Arkansas wasn’t done in the sixth inning either, scoring their second run of the day on a single and error by Missouri first baseman Tony Ortiz. The Tigers would respond in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run home run of their own off the bat of Peter Zimmerman that also scored Mark Vierling. The home run tied the game at two. The Razorbacks would eventually push across the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a single by Casey Opitz.

The Missouri Tigers look to shake off the sweep on Tuesday, March 19th in a home game at Columbia as they take on Murray State at 6:30 pm.