By: Danny Shin
Mizzou Baseball’s matchup against No. 9 LSU on Saturday showcased two of the best pitchers in the country. Missouri sent sophomore Tanner Houck, a top 2017 MLB Draft prospect, to the mound to take on 2015 All-American and Lee’s Summit West alum Alex Lange.
However, the game was anything but a pitcher’s duel. The two starters combined to walk eight and allow 12 earned runs. Unfortunately, Houck was tagged for eight of those runs and five walks as Missouri fell to LSU 9-5, lowering their record to 20-17 overall and 4-10 in SEC play.
“I know a lot of people in the park … thought it was going to be the Tanner Houck and Alex Lange show,” sophomore leftfielder Trey Harris said. “And that’s fine, because they definitely deserve it, but honestly both offenses doing what they did today just shows you how good the SEC is.”
Two-out runs would be a common theme early on this game. LSU struck first on a two-out RBI single by Beau Jordan in the top of the second inning. That run would snap a streak of 20 scoreless innings for Houck.
Missouri would respond right back in the bottom of the third and plated a pair of two-out runs to take a 2-1 lead. The first came on an RBI single by Harris and the second on a bases-loaded walk by Kirby McGuire.
The two-out runs continued in the fourth as LSU scored three more two-out runs to take a 4-2 lead. Sophomore catcher Brett Bond got one right back for Missouri with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
“I didn’t try to hit it out, just tried to be short and quick to it and got it,” Bond said.
Harris would tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth with his first homer of the season, one that he called “a no-doubter.”
The game remained tied until the seventh inning as Houck loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. He then walked Bryce Jordan to give LSU a 5-4 lead and was replaced by redshirt freshman Liam Carter.
Two pitches later, Carter surrendered a grand slam to Beau Jordan to make it 9-4 in favor of LSU. Senior Zach Lavy doubled home a run in the bottom of the ninth to make it 9-5, but time ran out for Mizzou on this day.
“There’s no question, if you get a big hit like [Jordan’s grand slam], that stage in the game, it’s hard to overcome,” coach Tim Jamieson said.
Mizzou and LSU will close out their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.