Tiger Baseball Earns First SEC Victory over Perennial Power South Carolina

Sunday, March 17-

The Missouri baseball team (5-8, 0-1) opened its SEC campaign this weekend at Taylor Stadium against the No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks (16-2, 1-0). The weekend series began Friday afternoon and ended with a double header Saturday. The Tigers went 1-2 on the series, winning the second game of the double header. This win was the Tigers first over a top-five team since 2010.

Starting pitcher Rob Zastryzny took to the mound for the Tigers on Friday afternoon. Although he got pegged with the loss, he pitched an impressive seven innings, striking out 10 for the second game in a row, only allowing two earned runs. In addition to the SEC debut, Taylor Stadium held a regular-season record 3,145 fans.

Kendall Keeton led the Tiger offense, tallying three hits and scoring the only run for the black and gold. Logan Pearson had the only RBI of the game. The Tigers did not struggle in making contact as they hit a total of nine hits compared to the Gamecock’s seven, but where the boys struggled was driving those runs in. Mizzou stranded a total of 10 base runners and lost the game 4-1.

On Saturday, the Tigers came out ready for an afternoon full of baseball. Mizzou lost the first game 2-0 before earning its first SEC victory in the second round of competition, 4-0. Behind tight defense, the Tigers only allowed two runs over 18 innings of play.
Tiger starter Brett Graves tossed his first complete game as a colligate player, striking out four and allowing two earned.

In the second game of the day pitcher Alec Rash began the show but in the bottom of the third Keaton Steele took over on the mound throwing six innings, striking out seven and allowing only three hits to gain his second win of the season. The Tigers got shutout in game one. Knowing his team needed a spark, Dylan Kelly stepped up to the plate and went 3-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

The Tiger pitchers put up an impressive showing over the course of the weekend allowing only three earned runs. They held South Carolina to just a .183 batting average. On the offensive side, Everett put on a 4-for-6 performance while Kelly went 3-for-8.

Next, Mizzou takes on Arkansas State this week before heading south to Tennessee to face the Volunteers next weekend.

-Jenna Baker
23 Sports
Staff Writer