By Joey Miller
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 24 Mizzou Tigers (32-16-1) took the second game of the conference series at No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers (32-15) on Saturday with a final score of 6-2 to tie the series at one game apiece.
Southpaw and SEC Pitcher of the Week (April 29) TJ Sikkema started on the mound for the Tigers, throwing only 2.2 innings before the weather abruptly ceased the game in the bottom of the third inning, leaving two outs and a runner on first for the Vols. A subsequent two-hour rain delay followed amid the lengthy torrential downpour.
Once the game finally resumed, RHP Ian Bedell came in to take over for Sikkema. Bedell, who struggled on Friday in the 11-5 loss, gave up one run and one hit in 3.0 innings pitched and was credited with his third win of the season. Senior Cameron Dulle relieved for Bedell, allowing one run and two hits through 3.1 innings pitched and securing his fourth save of the year.
Sophomore Garrett Crochet, Saturday’s starter for the Vols, allowed four runs and seven hits through 5.1 innings and was credited with his third loss of the season.
Offense for the Tigers improved dramatically from the first game of the series, with the largest effort given from sophomore Chad McDaniel. The catcher out of Coral Springs, Florida went a perfect 3-3 with four RBIs, an intentional walk and a momentum-shifting three-run home run into right field in the top of the sixth inning.
The Vols were first able to get on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Mizzou reliever Dulle walked pinch hitter Nico Mascia on a bases-loaded two-out jam. The Tigers would immediately get out of the situation on the following batter, giving up only one run. The final offensive effort by the Vols to chip away at the Tiger lead came in the bottom of the eighth when an RBI-double by freshman Jake Rucker scored sophomore Alerick Soularie.
Around five hours after the first pitch of the game Dulle finished the outing with an efficient three up, three down bottom of the ninth to even the series. Mizzou and Tennessee will face off in a rubber match game on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org