Seth Pollock, 23 Sports

Missouri Baseball has struggled against their main in state rival, Missouri State, in recent years. Going in to Tuesday’s match-up, they had lost six out of their last seven against the Bears, and they hadn’t won at Missouri State since 2013. By the fourth inning, with a 5-1 lead, it looked like the Tigers were well on their way to a rare victory down south. But a furious Missouri State comeback gave the Bears a 6-5 lead at the end of six. The next inning, however, Missouri came right back to take a 8-6 lead, the game’s eventual final.

Mizzou got the offense going early in the game. In the first a Brian Sharp walk and a Brett Bond double set Zach Hanna up for a two RBI single to put the Tigers up 2-0. An Alex Samples double in the next at bat brought Hanna home, and Missouri led 3-0 after one. Hanna struck again with a solo shot in the third to give Mizzou a 4-0 lead. A walk followed by a double in the latter half of the inning got the Bears on the board, but Missouri still had a solid 4-1 advantage. They added to it in the fourth when Chris Cornelius singled, advanced to second on a passed ball, to third on an error, and eventually home on a groundout.

It was in the bottom half of the fourth the Missouri State comeback began. The Bears played some small ball with a single, a stolen base, and another single to cut the Mizzou lead to 5-2. More small ball followed in the next inning. Giovanni Lopez then walked John Privitera, allowed a single to Hunter Steinmetz and walked Drew Millas. All that allowed a Matt Brown single to plate two runs for the Bears, trimming the Mizzou advantage to 5-4. In the sixth, four singles allowed the Bears to take a 6-5 lead, culminating with Millas’ single down the right field line to bring home Jeremy Eierman.

Mizzou wasn’t down for long. Hanna started the seventh getting hit by a pitch, Alex Samples followed that up with a single, and Chad McDaniel brought them both home with a double to left field. Cade Bormet then gave the Tigers another run of cushion with a double of his own.

After seven wild innings, the two teams combined for only two baserunners the rest of the contest. The win improved Missouri to 24-9, while Missouri State fell to 22-8. The Tigers get back to SEC play Friday April 13 when they start a three game series with No. 1 Florida in Gainesville.