By: Emil Lippe, KCOU Sports
Reggie McClain captured his fifth win of the season on Friday night as the No. 18 Missouri Tigers prevailed over the Alabama Crimson Tide 4-3. The game may have ended well in the Tigers favor, but it was definitely not their prettiest win of the season as Missouri had three errors in the game.
Alabama took advantage of an early error by the Tigers in the top of the first inning, jumping on top 1-0 after Alabama’s Georgie Salem reached on an infield hit to score Chandler Avant from second as Missouri’s third baseman Josh Lester threw a ball that sailed out of the reach of first baseman Zach Lavy.
The Tigers did not take too long to respond, rallying in the second inning to even the score at 1-1 after Lavy grounded out to bring home Lester. McClain held down the Tide very well throughout the game, striking out five batters and only giving up one earned run.
Missouri would tack on in the fourth inning to take the lead as Ryan Howard got on with a single, moved his way over to third, eventually coming home on a Trey Harris double-play that put the Tigers up 2-1.
In the fifth, Missouri added a couple of insurance runs on a sacrifice fly by Brett Peel and an RBI single by Jake Ring, putting the Tigers up 4-1.
McClain continued to hold down the Tide until the eighth inning when Alabama broke through to score an unearned run off of a wild pitch to narrow the score to 4-2.
In the ninth, McClain went for the complete game. The righty manufactured two quick outs but was then taken out by head coach Tim Jamieson after allowing back-to-back doubles that cut the Tiger lead down to 4-3.
Breckin Williams was called upon in the ninth for the save and got the job done after Alabama’s Avant grounded out to second to end the game.
With the win, Mizzou improves to 25-13 and now hold a conference record of 11-5, only one game back of No. 1 Vanderbilt for the top spot in the SEC East. Missouri has also won their last three SEC games, dating back to last weekend in Tennessee. With the loss, Alabama drops to 19-17 on the season and 6-10 in SEC play.
The Tigers will finish off the series against Alabama in a double-header on Saturday, beginning at noon.