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Mizzou Baseball Splits 4-game Series with Omaha

The Tigers went 2-2 against the Mavericks over the weekend as a result of inconsistent pitching

Twitter: @MizzouBaseball

After having a severely underwhelming first weekend in which they dropped 3 out of 4 on a road trip against Grand Canyon, the Tigers showed some improvement, splitting another four-game series— this time with Omaha.

Game Recaps

The Tigers started off the weekend strong with 6-shutout innings from Columbia native Spencer Miles, although the bullpen did their best to spoil his dominant outing. In the 8th and 9th innings, the Mavericks scored 5 runs in each inning and forced the Tigers to sweat out a game they once led by 7. In the end, it finished 12-10 in favor of Mizzou.

On Saturday, the Tigers and Mavericks squared off in a doubleheader as both teams took turns blowing the other out. In the first game, the Tigers were handed a 17-11 defeat that, if not for SIX 9th inning runs, would have been even uglier. However, they used that 9th inning rally to fuel a 10-1 victory in the nightcap, as two stellar pitching performances, this time from Seth Halvorsen and Ian Lohse, who allowed the Tigers to cruise to victory.

The Tigers looked to polish off a series victory on Sunday, and it looked like they’d have a great chance when they went into the 9th inning tied 3-3. However, much like Friday night, the Mavericks dominated the final frame putting up 6 runs and forced the Tigers to settle for a split series.

Hot and Cold Pitching

While the Tigers won multiple games because of the quality of their pitching, the streakiness of the Mizzou pitching staff looks like it will be an ongoing story this season.

In all but one of their eight games this year, the Tigers have surrendered a minimum of 7 runs. That’s a trend a winning ball club can’t maintain. In fact, they are surrendering an average of 9.1 runs per game, and the pitching staff has a combined ERA of 8.35. It’s really difficult to win baseball games with numbers like that, especially in the packed SEC.

The good news for the Tigers is Spencer Miles and Seth Halvorsen both looked dominant on the mound. Although neither looked great against GCU last weekend, both bounced back well with shutouts, and 7 strikeouts each. Spencer Juergens and Ian Lohse have both also shown promise out of the bullpen, but as a collective staff, there is clear room for improvement when the team ERA is pushing 9.

Standout Performers of the Weekend

Joshua Day — The JUCO transfer has slotted in nicely atop the lineup for Steve Bieser and went 5-11 with 1 HR and 4 RBI on the weekend.

Mark Vierling - The four-year starter for the Tigers continued to show why he’s so valuable to this team by going 5-15 with 1 HR, 2B, and 6 RBI in the series and continued his stellar defensive play at 2B.

Looking Forward

The Tigers will head down to Texas next weekend to face some tough competition in the Frisco Classic. Mizzou will square off with Dallas Baptist, a perennial NCAA tournament team, on Thursday and Friday before turning their attention to Oklahoma on Saturday and Arizona on Sunday. These teams will be the toughest competition the Tigers have faced so far this season and will be a good barometer for the club as they try to navigate a difficult non-conference schedule before taking on the gauntlet that is SEC baseball.