Missouri needed to win two of three against Auburn over the weekend to have a shot of making it to the postseason. Unfortunately, the Tigers were only able to get one victory, effectively ending their season.
Thursday night was nothing short of a bloodbath in Auburn’s 15-6 victory, as they led 9-0 before Missouri even got on the board. A combination of bad Mizzou pitching and great Auburn pitching really summed this game up. There wasn’t much the Tigers could do because this game was practically over after Auburn put up a 4-spot in the top of the 6th to stretch their lead to 8-0.
On Friday, the Tigers gave Auburn a real run for their money, but again, it just wasn’t quite enough. Seth Halvorsen left it all out on the mound as he tossed 8 strong innings while surrendering just 2 ER and 4 hits, but Richard Fitts one-upped him with 8 innings of 1-hit, shutout baseball. Apart from Halvorsen’s lone mistake - a HR in the 5th - he gave the Tigers every chance to win this game and extend their season, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Saturday was Senior Night for Missouri, and while the Tigers looked like they were going to let the third and final game of the series slip away, they pulled themselves together. A 3-run 6th and a 4-run 7th gave the Tigers just enough to squeak out a 7-6 victory and end the season on a winning note. Like last week’s series, the Peterson brothers once again played a pivotal role, but even with the victory, the Tigers said goodbye to Taylor Stadium until next year.
Highlights | The Peterson brothers balled out, every senior in the lineup tallied a hit and senior Jackson Lancaster took the win in the Senior Day victory against Auburn⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Y8X9xjy3e0— Mizzou Baseball (@MizzouBaseball) May 22, 2021
The Season and the Future
Everything about this season was hard for Mizzou baseball. They struggled in non-conference, they struggled in SEC play, they got swept by that school in Lawrence, and there really weren’t many positives outside of the Mississippi State series.
However, this isn’t the norm for Mizzou Baseball. They’ve been a solid program the last few years, and you have to think that next year will be better than this. Honestly, it can’t be much worse. Because we tend to look at the bright side of things at Rock M Nation, I’ll offer some perspective that can make this season seem a little less painful.
The Tigers were very young on the mound. Two sophomores and a freshman were the weekend starters for this team, and they should all be back next year with a whole lot more experience. That means the Tigers will be much better equipped to attack SEC play where pitching was key. Likewise, COVID has given anyone who wants it an extra year of eligibility, so might we see the likes of Mark Vierling, Andrew Keefer, and Brandt Belk back at Taylor Stadium next year? Who knows? Additionally, the Tigers lost a plethora of close games and blew leads, and with those experiences, they’ve likely learned how to better finish things out for next season.
No one’s going to sit here and try and justify anything about this season apart from what went down in Starkville, but what Tigers fans need to remember is that Mizzou Baseball is better than this. They had many young pitchers, and plenty of veterans can return to college next year. There’s a lot to look forward to next year, and maybe, the Tigers will be back and better than ever to reward all the fans who stayed true after such a trying year.
For now, that’s all the baseball Rock M will have for you this year. Until next season! Here’s to hoping 2022 is a little more enjoyable than 2021.