Wendell Shepherd – 23 Sports

This weekend, Mizzou Baseball took on the Bulldogs of Georgia in a three-game series at home. The Tigers are coming into this weekend on a six-game losing streak, getting swept last weekend at Florida. Pitcher Seth Halvorsen would look to snap the Tigers losing streak in the first game on Friday.

Halvorsen hit the Georgia lead-off man with the first pitch of the game, but thankfully, that was not a sign of things to come. Halvorsen got out of the inning quickly with a flyout, a K and a back pick from catcher Mike Coletta that threw out the hit batter. The Tiger offense started out hot in the bottom of the first. Senior Clayton Peterson batting in the leadoff spot doubled to left-center to start the inning. He advanced to third on an errant Georgia pickoff attempt and was later driven in by an Andrew Keefer single to left to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The Tigers struck again in the fourth. Torin Montgomery got on base to start with one of three walks on the day. The next batter, Cameron Swanger drove him in with a two-run shot over the left-field fence to extend the lead to 3-0. Georgia plated one run in the fifth but that was the extent of their success off of Halvorsen. The redshirt sophomore finished the night afternoon with seven innings pitched, allowing the one run only one hit. Halvorsen struck out six Bulldogs as well. Tre Morris continued the long ball trend in the sixth, blasting a two-run homer to left following a Montgomery walk. Josh Day extended the Tiger lead to six in the following inning on a single up the middle. The Bulldogs scored three runs in their half of the ninth but it was too little too late. The Tigers won the game and snapped the losing streak by a score of 6-4.

Saturday afternoon’s game turned out to be a thrilling back and forth affair but it did not start that way. Spencer Miles started on the bump for the Tigers, after giving up a one-out triple in the first, he was stellar over the next few innings. Junior Josh Holt, making only his second SEC start, was responsible for both of the Tiger runs in the third. Following a Luke Mann single, Holt banged a double of the top of the RF wall to drive in Mann. During the following at bat, Holt stole third base and scored on an errant throw by the Bulldog catcher. The Bulldogs got to Miles in the top of the fourth. They plated two runs on four hits, including two doubles. In the top of the sixth, UGA took a one-run lead on a solo home run. Junior Jacob Kush relieved Miles later in the inning. Miles’ start wasn’t perfect but it was definitely a strong performance. Miles threw 5.2 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out eight. Andrew Keefer recaptured the lead for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth on a two-RBI single. Georgia responded in the seventh with a run on a fielder’s choice. The score would remain unchanged until a wild bottom of the 9th. With two outs, DH Tre Morris worked the count full and got on with a walk. Mann was replaced by Wilmsmeyer on first. In the following at-bat, Luke Mann skied a ball to RF. The Bulldog second basemen dropped the fly ball and Wilmsmeyer hustled around to score and tie the game. Mann later advanced to third but was unable to score. In the top of the 10th, Georgia threatened early, getting two runners on base by a walk and an infield single. Cole Tate, who tripled back in the first, tripled again to RF to score two and give the Bulldogs a 7-5 lead. In the bottom of the same frame, Keefer had a clutch two-out double down the left field line but the Tigers were unable to drive him in. Georgia won the extra-inning thriller 7-5.

Mizzou was out of game three before they even had a chance to respond. Starter Zach Hise loaded the bases with no outs in the 1st. One run scored on a wild pitch but Hise was able to get two quick out without letting another runner cross. With two outs Georgia’s Rogers hit a bases-clearing double to put the Bulldogs up 4-0 after one frame. The Tigers got one run back in the second on a Cepicky fielder’s choice. A solo homer added a fifth run for the Bulldogs in the third. The Tigers plated two runs of their own on a Montgomery sac fly and a passed ball to close the game to 5-3. The Tigers threatened with two runners on in the fifth but a costly baserunning error and two strikeouts ended the inning. Things got out of reach in Georgia’s half of the sixth. The Bulldogs started the inning with back-to-back doubles. Hise exited during the inning and was replaced by two-way player Jackson Lancaster. Hise allowed eight earned on six hits and three walks during his outing. Two walks and a single brought the Georgia run total to nine. Relievers Veinbergs and Pferrer held the Bulldogs in check for the remainder of the game but the offense was only able to grab one more run on a Trevor Austin home run. The Tigers lost by a final of 9-4.

The Tigers were able to snap their losing streak coming into this series but were unable to secure a second SEC series win. Saturday and Sunday’s losses brings the Tigers SEC record to 5-13. The Tigers will be back in action on Tuesday in the Little Apple against the Kansas State Wildcats.

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