After their 4-game weekend series was adjusted to a singular midweek game against Gonzaga, the Tigers went out west for an impromptu series. Gonzaga may have been a heartbreaking loss, but the Tigers bounced back to beat San Francisco and Arizona State on the weekend.
With the Zags fresh off a sweep of formerly No. 4 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, the Tigers were well aware they’d have their hands full on Wednesday at Taylor Stadium, and for 7 innings they handled the challenge about as well as you could’ve hoped.
Nathan Landry provided the midweek spot-start and was dialed in. In 5 innings, he gave up 3 unearned runs and limited Gonzaga’s bats to just 4 hits. Meanwhile, the Missouri bats were rolling. By the third inning, the Tigers led 5-1, and were just executing better than the Zags.
However, things really got dicey for the Tigers in the 8th inning. Coming out for his third inning of work in relief of Landry, freshman Tony Neubeck allowed the Zags to get runners on 1st and 2nd, and Bieser turned to Ian Lohse to get out of the sticky situation. He walked his first batter, but then the STL native got his groove back. A strikeout followed by a popout meant the Tigers just needed one more out to get to the 9th with the lead, but it wasn’t meant to be. In a two strike count, Lohse threw one too many fastballs to Shea Kramer, who delivered a single up the middle to tie the game. From there the Tigers lost all control.
Lohse was pulled for Austin Cheeley, who came in and hit a batter with the bases loaded with his first pitch before the Zags drove in 4 more runs. When the bleeding finally stopped, Gonzaga led 10-5 heading into the 9th. A defeated Tigers team couldn’t manage a comeback, and the Tigers dropped their first game since the opening series of the year.
Here’s a look at the stuff Landry had on the mound in this one:
Against San Francisco, the Tigers got into the quintessential pitcher’s duel. Neither team scored until the 5th inning, and offense was very hard to come by.
San Francisco actually got on the board first when Lane Oliphant delivered an RBI single in the 5th inning that caused starter Austin Troesser to exit the game. That run was the only blemish on an otherwise solid outing from Troesser. Despite getting on the scoreboard first, San Francisco’s offense went dormant once the Tigers turned to their bullpen. Christian Wall, Tony Neubecuk, and Austin Cheeley combined for 4.2 innings of shutout relief and allowed the Tiger bats to complete the comeback.
It took until the 7th inning for the Tigers to crack the scoreboard, but when they did, they put up a crooked number. RBIs from Torin Montgomery, Ross Lovich, and Ty Wilmsmeyer put the Tigers up 3-1, and Lovich added another RBI in the 9th for insurance. On the day, he finished 4-4 with 2 RBI.
Here’s what Coach Bieser had to say about the win and the crazy circumstances that allowed the Tigers to play the game:
To get finished with another winning week, Mizzou needed to get through one of college baseball’s most storied programs, and they didn’t back down. The Tigers got on the board early with a Torin Montgomery RBI double in the first, something that’s become quite common, and from there they kept their foot on the gas for the rest of the game.
Arizona State got a run back in the 2nd, but home runs by Josh Day in the 3rd and Carlos Peña in the 4th rebuilt the Tigers’ lead. Arizona State once against tied it up at 3-3, but Nander De Sedas untied it with a sac fly. Lovich and Montgomery delivered again to make it 6-3. Arizona State got a consolation home run but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Here’s a look at Day’s home run:
Standout Performer of the Weekend
Ross Lovich: There is hot at the plate, and then there’s what Ross Lovich did this week. He went 8-13 at the plate with 4 RBI and 2 XBH. In every game he had two or more hits and had four against San Francisco alone. If you hit the ball hard and put it in play, good things happen, and Lovich’s week was proof of that. He was even rewarded by moving up to the second spot in the lineup for the ASU game instead of his normal spot in ninth. Only time will tell if he can keep this up against SEC competition, but boy has he looked good so far this year.
Here’s his RBI double against ASU: