Wendell Shepherd – 23 Sports

On Friday, Feb. 26, Mizzou baseball began their first home series against the Omaha Mavericks. The four-game series would prove to be a series full of strong hitting performances. The Tigers grabbed two wins against the Mavericks, bringing their season record to 3-5.

In game one on Friday, Mizzou won a 12-10 slugfest. Mizzou got out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a single by Andrew Keefer and an Omaha error. In the third, Mark Vierling belted a solo homerun. Later on in the fifth, Luke Mann would knock in three with a bases-clearing triple, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead. Starting pitcher Spencer Miles was dominant in his second start on the season. The sophomore threw six scoreless innings, giving up no runs and only three hits to go along with seven K’s. After Miles’ sixth inning exit, the Mavericks jumped on the Tiger bullpen, putting up five runs in the seventh inning. The Tigers responded in the bottom half of the seventh, putting up five runs of their own. Cameron Swanger blasted a two-run HR and Jackson Lancaster had a two-RBI double. The Mavericks would add another five runs in the eighth but the Tigers ultimately hung on for the win.

In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, the bats were hot again for both teams. The Mavericks would grab the win 17-11, thanks in large part to a seven-run seventh inning. Heading into the ninth, the Tigers were down 17-5. The Tigers responded with a six-run ninth inning but it would be too little too late. Chad McDaniel and Ross Lovich each tripled,  McDaniels’ bringing in three runs. Sophomore transfer Torin Montgomery also added a two-run HR. Four Tiger pitchers saw action, allowing 14 ER on 17 hits and nine walks.

In the second game Saturday, the Tigers held Omaha to only a run, winning 10-1 in dominant fashion. Starting pitcher Seth Halvorsen went five innings, giving up no runs and only allowing two hits, striking out seven. Freshman Ian Lohse had a strong outing in relief, going four innings and only giving up one hit, a solo HR in the ninth inning. The Tiger offense tallied 10 hits. Andrew Keefer continued his hot start to the season, going 2-4 with four RBI’s including a two-run HR in the third. Vierling and Lovich each had two hits and an RBI as well.

In the series finale on Sunday, the game remained close for much of the afternoon but the Mavericks would score six runs in the ninth to help them to a 9-3 win. After the Mavericks plated three in the second, the Tigers would respond in the third with one run along with two in the sixth. The score would remain 3-3 until the top of the ninth. The Mavericks had six hits in the ninth, including three for extra bases. Senior Spencer Juergens was a bright spot for the Tiger bullpen. Juergens went four innings scoreless in relief, allowing only two hits. Mark Vierling continued his eight-game hit streak with an RBI single in the third.

The Tigers will look to tally up some more wins as they travel to Frisco, Texas this week to play in the Frisco College Baseball Classic. The Tigers will play four games beginning on Thursday against Dallas Baptist. The Tigers will face off against Dallas Baptist again on Friday and play Oklahoma and Arizona on the weekend.

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