Zac Aron, 23 Sports Reporter

The No. 21 Missouri Tigers baseball team had a rough start to their SEC season, dropping the opening series two games to one at the hands of the No. 16 LSU Tigers over the weekend.

Coming into the SEC opener with a record of 3-0, Mizzou’s starter Bryce Montes De Oca wasn’t going to be easy to get to. He allowed only two hits over 6.0 innings of work, but surrendered seven walks. LSU made the most of their free passes, and pushed runs across. The Mizzou offense had a strong opportunity to turn things around in the top of the seventh inning, loading the bases via three straight walks with no outs. The Tigers were able to bring two runs home in the inning thanks to a sac fly from Chris Cornelius and a groundout from Trey Harris, but unfortunately for the Tigers it was not enough, and LSU took the series opener 4-2. This game also snapped Missouri’s nine-game win streak.

The second game of the season started out as a classic battle of pitching and defense. Through 7.0 innings the score was 2-1 Missouri, thanks to a two-out home run by senior catcher Brett Bond in the top of the fifth. Mizzou batters then broke out of their shell in the top of the eighth inning, sending a total of fourteen batters to the plate and scoring eight runs against LSU, who were forced to use six pitchers in that inning alone. LSU tried to fight back in the bottom of the inning, hitting two solo homers, but Mizzou kept their rally going in the top of the ninth scoring two more runs. Mizzou gets their first SEC victory of the season along with their first ever victory over LSU with a final score of 12-6.

Mizzou came into the rubber game of the series hot, snapping LSU starter Ma’Khail Hillard’s 17.2 inning shutout streak with two runs in the top of the first on a sac fly by Brett Bond and a hard-hit single by the designated hitter Chad McDaniel. LSU responded by scoring one run in each of the first three innings off of senior Andy Toelken. Freshman Konnor Ash replaced Toelken and threw two strong innings but was removed after allowing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth. Southpaw T.J. Sikkema, who allowed the inherited runner as well as two more to cross the plate, giving LSU a four-run lead. Mizzou scored three more in the top of the ninth on a three-run homer by sophomore Kameron Misner, but it was not enough as the Tigers fell to LSU 7-5 in the final game of the series.

The Missouri Tigers are heading back home to Columbia for their next series against Arkansas, beginning Tuesday at 6:30.