Mizzou baseball drops first SEC game

bseball 1

By Matt Weller, 23 Sports

Sunday, March 22-

Missouri baseball suffered an SEC loss for the first time this season, Sunday, dropping a 7-5 series finale to the Georgia Bulldogs.

The loss denied Mizzou their second consecutive SEC sweep to begin conference play.

The afternoon got off to a promising start for the Tigers, as they struck for three runs in the first inning, headlined by Zach Lavy’s 2-RBI double. Missouri loaded the bases in the second inning, but couldn’t cash in to extend their lead.

South Carolina chipped into the lead against Missouri starter Peter Fairbanks, as a centerfielder Gene Cone tripled in a run and later scored, trimming the deficit to one.

Fairbanks would last five innings on the day, allowing eight hits and the two runs, leaving the ballgame with a 3-2 lead.

The Tigers’ bullpen would be unable to hold the lead, however, as Austin Tribby continued his early season struggles. Cone was again a thorn in the Tigers’ side, blooping a single to center to tie the game in the sixth inning.

The Gamecocks got to Tribby again in the seventh when right fielder Elliot Caldwell hit a slow rolling groundball through the right side of the infield, giving the Gamecocks a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

Both teams added two runs in their half of the eighth inning when the Gamecocks took a 6-5 lead to the ninth. Despite not recording a hit in the inning, South Carolina added an insurance run, via two walks, two wild pitches, an error, and a hit batsman.

Even with a leadoff walk to Pearson to start the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers went down quietly, dropping the contest 7-5.

The loss is the first in conference for Missouri, as they currently sit atop the conference, tied with Vanderbilt and Texas A&M at 5-1. The Tigers face a challenge next week when they visit the Aggies of Texas A&M, who enter the weekend 24-1.

Missouri is expected to continue with a rotation of Reggie McClain, Tanner Houck, and Fairbanks for the third consecutive weekend.