By: Emil Lippe, KCOU Sports
After a 5-1 defeat on Friday, the Missouri Tigers took it to the Gators on Saturday afternoon as Zach Lavy slammed two home runs to help to Tigers defeat No. 4 Florida by a final of 10-1.
Tanner Houck had one of his best outings of the season, as he retired 21 of the first 22 Florida batters. He threw 101 pitches in 8 innings of work, and 73 of those pitches were strikes. Houck also struck out six on the afternoon.
The scoring for the Tigers began in the second when Brett Bond smacked a long homer to left center to put Missouri up 1-0.
It wouldn’t get any easier for Florida’s A.J. Puk as Trey Harris would knock a single to left, followed by a right field bomb by Lavy to give Missouri the 3-0 advantage.
The offense for Missouri continued to produce. In the third inning the Tigers got three more runs off of Puk. Josh Lester would empty the bases on a two-run double, and Bond would single Lester home to give the Tigers a huge 6-0 lead early on.
Florida finally got their first hit of the game, a double to right center, but Houck would not allow the Gators to bring a run home as he would get the next batter to pop up, followed by a ground out to third.
The Tigers continued to poor on the runs in the sixth. After a single to center field, Harris would steal second base and Lavy would send him home as he would knock his second homer of the day against Puk, who gave up nine earned runs on the day.
After Lavy’s 2-run homer, Missouri would get two more runs home in the inning as Ryan Howard would get his only hit of the day and two RBIs to help give the Tigers the 10-0 lead.
Houck would finish the day allowing four hits to the Gator offense and only one run in the eighth inning off of an RBI double by Florida’s Josh Tobias.
With the win, Houck’s record is now 5-1. With the loss, Puk drops to 5-3 on the season.
Going into Saturday’s contest, Missouri was tied with Florida for second place in the SEC East, with each team holding a conference record of 6-4. Missouri is now 7-4 in SEC play, only a game and a half behind the first place Vanderbilt Commodores.
The Tigers will conclude their series against the Gators on Sunday at 1pm. If Missouri wins the series and continues to play well, they would be in a position to potentially host a regional.