Trying to prove they belong in the SEC, the Missouri Tigers put up a valiant effort against the No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks, and they almost made a statement that would’ve been heard around the SEC. Nevertheless, taking 1-2 was a step in the right direction for this team as they go through the toughest stretch of their season.
Arkansas jumped out to an early lead on Friday plating two runs in the top of the 1st and another in the 2nd, but the Tigers weren’t didn’t down without a fight. Torin Montgomery drove in Ross Lovich to get one back in the 1st, and some small ball tied it up in the 3rd. Bunt singles from Nander De Sedas and Ty Wilmsmeyer loaded the bases, and Josh Day delivered to score two and tie the game at 3-3. In the fourth, a Michael Turner 2-RBI double regained the lead for Arkansas, and the Tigers were going to need to battle back again.
As the game headed into the later innings, a De Sedas in the 6th and a Carlos Peña RBI in a 7th retied it, and the Tigers had the momentum. However, when Nathan Landry came out for his second inning of work in the 8th, that momentum was zapped. A Jalen Battles single followed by a Braydon Webb HR put Arkansas back on top for good, and the Tigers fell 7-5.
Here’s just another Torin Montgomery’s many 1st inning steaks he’s had this year:
Needing a spark after the the Tigers suffered their 4th straight loss, Steve Bieser shook up the lineup. He brought in freshman Justin Colon to start in place of a slumping veteran Luke Mann, and it certainly gave the Tigers a boost.
In the 1st, Peña stayed hot and drove in a couple of runs that gave the Tigers an early lead, but in the 2nd, Arkansas plated 4. However, the newly inserted Justin Colon got one back for the Tigers in the 5th. Arkansas added another in the 7th, but the Tigers were the ones doing the real damage in that inning.
First, Tre Morris scored on a wild pitch, and then Colon delivered again on an infield hit that tied the game. To put the finishing touches on the game, Josh Day delivered a double down the line that scored Mike Coletta and Colon to take a 7-5 lead. Now it was just about shutting the door, and Ian Lohse did just that.
2.1 innings and 4 Ks while allowing only 2 base runners was more than enough to finish the job as the Tigers knocked off the No. 6 Hogs on Saturday.
Here’s Day’s game-winning single in the 7th:
After two close games on Friday and Saturday, it was only fitting that Sunday came down to the wire as well.
Early on, it looked like the Tigers’ momentum from Saturday was going to carry over to Sunday when Luke Mann’s big fly in the 2nd to put the Tigers up 2-0, but Arkansas quickly rebounded. A couple runs in the 4th, including a bases loaded walk, tied the game for the Hogs, and then in the 7th they took control in the form of 4 runs. Trailing 6-2, Missouri needed a late inning rally, and in the 8th they crawled halfway back to cut it to 6-4. However, in the 9th, Mizzou went down 1-2-3, and the Hogs took the series.
Here’s Luke Mann’s bomb from the 2nd:
Standout Performer of the Weekend
Josh Day - The Tigers’ SS had cooled down as of late, but in this series he played a crucial role. He had 5 hits, including 2 on Friday 3 on Saturday with the game-winning double. If there was one flaw in his weekend, it was that he struggled on Sunday. Tre Morris also had 5 hits in this series, including 1 in each game, but Day got the nod for his game-winner on Saturday.