By Ben Schmidt
Missouri baseball returned home on Friday for the start of a three game weekend series vs Georgia. They got back into the winning column with a 6-4 win, ending their losing skid at six games.
There would be no winning streak however for the Tigers as on Saturday they took a 7-5 loss in extra innings to tie the series at one.
The Tigers sent Spencer Miles and his 1-6 record to the mound, while the Bulldogs started Jonathan Cannon, who came in with two wins and two losses. Both pitchers began the game throwing well, as neither gave up a run through the first two and a half innings.
The Mizzou offense then came to life in the bottom of the third inning. Josh Holt Jr. got the Tigers on the board first with an RBI double, and later in the inning Holt Jr. scored the second run to give the home squad a 2-0 lead after three.
Georgia didn’t stay scoreless for much longer though, as Riley King sent an RBI bloop single to right field for the Bulldogs first run of the game. Chaney Rogers tied the game with a run scoring hit of his own, but Miles settled down and kept the game tied at two at the end of the fourth inning.
Following a scoreless fifth, Georgia grabbed their first lead of the game after King took Miles deep for a solo homerun to deep centerfield to make the score 3-2. Miles would exit the game before the inning came to an end, as his final line for the day was 5.2 innings, nine hits, three earned runs, and eight strikeouts.
Small ball was then used to perfection by the Tigers in their next at bat as Brandt Belk hit a single on a designed hit-and-run then promptly stole second to put runners on second and third with no outs. Andrew Keefer knocked both runners in with an RBI single to give Mizzou a 4-3 lead and knock Cannon out of the game with a line of five innings, four hits, three earned runs, and four strikeouts.
The game continued in a bullpen battle from both sides. The home team was the first one to falter after giving up an RBI single to Garrett Blaylock and then a fielder’s choice to give Georgia a 5-4 lead as the back-and-forth contest continued.
Thanks to the Bulldogs reliever Ben Harris, the visiting bullpen really settled in. In three innings, Harris had no hits, no runs, and six strikeouts. Consequently, Mizzou headed into their last at bat still down 5-4.
Down to their last strike with a runner on first, Mann sent a fly ball out to right field which was then dropped allowing the tying run in Ty Wilmsmeyer to score all the way from first and knot the score at 5-5 on an unearned run. The game would then go to extra innings.
After a crucial error to keep the inning alive, Georgia took advantage as Cole Tate lined a two-run triple into the gap to put the visitors up 7-5. They managed to not give up their lead for a second straight inning and ended the game with a two-run victory.
Although the runs were unearned, Lukas Veinbergs took the loss for Missouri, while Harris got the win for Georgia. Darryn Pasqua earned the save after pitching in the bottom of the 10th.
The series will be on the line in the Sunday afternoon finale. Mizzou will hit the road again to Kansas State and Alabama after the conclusion of Sunday’s contest.
Edited by Emma Moloney