With their backs against the wall, the Tigers delivered an incredible come-from-behind victory in Game 1 on Thursday. After a Jacob Gonzalez homer and a balked-in run, Ole Miss held a 9-2 lead in the sixth, and it looked like Missouri was heading towards another Game 1 defeat in the series. But the Tigers had different plans.
Luke Mann and Dalton Bargo launched homers in the bottom of the sixth and Lovich and Tre Morris also had run-scoring hits. When Ole Miss finally retired the Tigers, Mizzou trailed just 9-8. Rorik Maltrud tossed a scoreless 7th, and Luke Mann launched his second homer of the night to tie the game in the 7th.
In the 8th, the Tigers gave the final blow in the form of a Matt Garcia 2-run HR that gave Missouri a 11-9 lead. A 1-2-3 ninth from Austin Troesser sealed the door on a Missouri win that felt like it was much bigger than just one win.
Missouri having its ace get knocked around in a crucial game and mounting a 7-run comeback was the most fight this team has shown since the Tennessee series. They played good baseball against Vandy, but in this game, the Tigers got knocked down on the mat and got right back up to throw a bigger punch. It was very refreshing for a team that has felt lifeless in recent weeks.
While not near as exciting as Game 1, Friday night’s game was something that every Mizzou baseball fan has wanted to see – a stress-free SEC win.
Once again, Luke Mann got the scoring started for the Tigers with a 2-run homer in the first inning. But it was a fourth-inning, seven-run outburst that really broke things open for the Tigers. The Tigers scored their runs on a pair of singles, a bases-loaded walk, and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.
That offensive explosion combined with a strong start from Javyn Pimental, who threw 4 innings of 1-run ball, put the Tigers in the perfect spot to seal the series in Game 2. They did just that. Homers from Ty Wilmsmeyer, Trevor Austin, and Hank Zeisler and a RBI double from Matt Garcia, stretched the Missouri lead out to 13-1 heading into the seventh.
With a run-rule victory in-play, the Tigers got the job done early with a 13-3 win. Ole Miss plated a pair in the inning, but it wasn’t enough to extend the matchup.
Saturday was one of the wilder college baseball games I can remember in a long time. It was definitely up there with the craziness of 2022’s Stillwater Regional. Mizzou scored runs in 8 of 9 innings, and they still somehow lost 20-14. The two teams combined to hit a dozen home runs in this game
If we were to go through this game with every momentum swing, we’d be here a while so let’s hit the highlights. Atop the list is Ole Miss C Calvin Harri’s 4 HR game. The dude hit a grand slam and three 2-run homers to finish with 10 RBI. It was downright stupid how good he was. Harris became just the third SEC player to accomplish the feat.
Luke Mann delivered the big blow for the Tigers once again, launching a grand slam in the fourth. But the Tigers just couldn’t keep pace with a locked in Ole Miss offense. 2B Peyton Chatangier also finished with 2 HR on the day for the Rebels.
For the Tigers, Hank Zeisler, Tre Morris, Matt Garcia, and Ty Wilmsmeyer, who hit two, joined Mann in launching homers over the Taylor Stadium fence.
Despite a somewhat disappointing loss in Saturday when the Tigers scored 14 runs, this series victory was huge for Mizzou. They’re back in the final spot for Hoover, and maybe even more importantly, they reminded themselves they are capable of winning an SEC series. Their final two are against Auburn and Georgia, two teams who are solid, but beatable.
Player of the Week
I mean, it’s getting a bit repetitive at this points, Luke Mann has put this team on his back to try and get the Tigers back to the postseason. He hit four home runs this weekend against Ole Miss and another in the midweek against kansas, putting him in a tie for second place in Mizzou’s all-time home runs leaders. Oh yea, and he was 9-15 this week with 12 RBI, too. This man is other-worldly hot right now, and he’s single-handedly trying to save Mizzou’s season. The craziest part about that is he might just do it.