Robbins’ Blast Dooms Tiger Baseball

Saturday, Feb. 16-

The Missouri Tigers baseball team (0-2) is still looking for their first victory on the season as they lost 5-3 to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Saturday.

Mizzou got on the board early as Case Munson reached on a USM error to lead off the game. The Golden Eagles looked like they would get out of the inning with no damage when USM starter Jake Drehoff retired the next two batters. But his next pitch hit Dane Opel and then Keaton Steel put a 1-0 pitch through the left side to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead as Munson scored.

The Tigers almost increased their lead in the fourth when Gavin Stark manufactured a hit on the tenth pitch of his at bat. Unfortunately, Josh Lester was thrown out at home trying to score.

The fifth inning saw both teams scoring as an RBI single from Opel scored Munson for his second run of the game. The Tigers then stranded runners on first and third as Steele popped out and Dylan Kelly flew out to end the inning.

The Golden Eagles got that run back in the bottom of the inning as a pair of Mizzou errors put two runners on for USM catcher Chase Fowler. Fowler hit a single back up the middle to secure a 2-1 advantage. Tiger starter Brett Graves got out of a bases loaded jam by getting USM’s Travis Creel to ground out to third.

The Tigers increased their lead to 3-1 in the sixth on a Munson hit that went through USM third basemen’s legs, which allowed Lester to score.

In the bottom of the inning Graves put two runners on with a walk and a hit. That ended his terrific day in which he went 5.0 innings, allowing just four hits and only one earned run with five strikeouts and one walk. Ryan Yuengel came in relief of Graves and only gave up one run on a sacrifice fly to get out of the jam and leave Mizzou up 3-2.

The seventh was the inning that killed the Tigers. Yuengel retired the first batter of the inning but then hit the nine-hole batter to put a runner on first. The leadoff man almost grounded into a 4-6-3 double play but barely beat the throw to first. Yuengel then walked the next batter to bring up Mason Robbins. Robbins spanked a three run homer into right field giving USM the 5-3 lead and eventually the victory.

The final game of the series will be played at 1 p.m. Sunday.

-Ryan Peraino
23 Sports
Staff Writer