Erik Kase, 23 Sports

Monday, February 27—

After a dominating 9-0 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Mizzou baseball ended their time in Texas by facing off against Illinois in a baseball Braggin’ Rights game on Sunday. The bats were hot and, thanks to late errors by Illinois pitchers, the Tigers won the game 7-6 and are now 7-1 on the season.

Missouri got on the board early and took a 4-0 lead thanks to an RBI double by Brett Bond and a two-RBI single by Nelson Mompierre. Illinois stormed right back though, scoring six runs in the first two innings off a three-run home run in both the first and second.

Liam Carter, the starting pitcher for the Tigers, only lasted these two innings, as he was pulled from the game after giving up those six runs and walking three batters. He was replaced by Cameron Dulle, who struck out four of the eight batters he faced.

Missouri was able to take advantage of some costly Illinois pitching mistakes in the fifth inning. A double by Bond started off the inning, followed by a wild pitch that allowed him to advance to third base. He would later be called out in a play at the plate. Alex Samples was walked, and later in the inning, a balk by the Illinois pitcher allowed him to advance and score a run for the Tigers, cutting the deficit to one run.

More errors arose for Illinois in the sixth as Connor Brumfield scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at six. Bond was able to drive in another Tiger as he reached base on a fielding error by the third baseman of Illinois. Mizzou retook the lead 7-6 and never looked back.

After taking the lead, Missouri relied on relief pitcher TJ Sikkema to hold Illinois off. He did just that. In 4 1/3 innings, Sikkema faced 15 batters and struck out eight of them, all while throwing only 57 pitches. Missouri finished the game strong as Sikkema was able to throw two strikeouts in the bottom half of the ninth to secure Braggin’ Rights and a Tigers win.

The Tigers return to Columbia on a seven-game winning streak and will look to extend that to eight as they take on University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday March 3. First pitch from Taylor Stadum is set for 6:30 p.m.