By Emma Moloney
After victories in Friday and Saturday’s matchups, Missouri baseball looked to record its first Southeastern Conference opponent series sweep of the season Sunday afternoon against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Tigers did just that with a rain-shortened 9-7 win.
In a lengthy first inning, Missouri gave up four runs, and starting pitcher Art Joven was replaced by Konnor Ash before he could recod three outs. The Gamecocks did not fare much better in the first either- the Tigers two runs of their own, and chased South Carolina TJ Shook after he recorded just two outs.
South Carolina scored another run in the top of the second to put them up 5-2, but the Tigers’ bats remained hot, slowly chipping away at the deficit with 14 hits on the day. With two more runs each in the third and fifth innings, Missouri took a 6-5 lead. The Gamecocks immediately answered with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth to take back the advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff triple by Tony Ortiz followed by a single from Mark Vierling off of Sawyer Bridges tied the game once again. Missouri pitcher Cameron Dulle was able to hold the South Carolina in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the frame, following a leadoff single by Kameron Misner, designated hitter Peter Zimmerman stepped up and crushed a two-run home run homer over the Tiger bullpen to give Missouri the lead for good.
Before the eighth inning could begin, inclement weather caused a delay lasting 30 minutes, and the game was eventually called short, resulting in a 9-7 victory for Mizzou over South Carolina.
Missouri’s offense exploded for 38 hits total during this series, the most in a series this season. Catcher Chad McDaniel went 4-4 on the day with three RBI, while shortstop Chris Cornelius batted 3-4 with two RBI. Both McDaniel and Cornelius, as well as Misner, batted over .500 in the three-game series.
Missouri head coach Steve Bieser picked up his 100th win with Mizzou Sunday. He saw most of his success as head coach at SEMO- the Tigers’ next opponent- from 2013-16. Wednesday’s game is scheduled to start at 3 PM at Taylor Stadium.