By: Nate Gatter, KCOU Sports
Logan Shore knows how to beat Missouri.
Florida’s sophomore ace shut down the Tigers last season, 7-1, on April 25. This time, the righty earned a similar result, winning 5-1. His final lines are eerily similar. He yielded only five hits and one run while striking out five in both outings—although he finished the eighth inning on Friday night, as opposed to exiting during the eighth in his freshman campaign.
The 2015 edition carried substantially more weight, as Missouri (20-11, 6-4 SEC) hosted Florida (24-7, 6-4 SEC) in a battle for second place in the SEC East.
The game did not start well for Shore (5-2, 1.76). Missouri 2B Brett Peel singled to lead off the game and CF Jake Ring followed with a double. After Shore hit LF Trey Harris with a pitch, Mizzou had the bases loaded with no outs and 3B Josh Lester, the team’s RBI leader, coming to the plate. Shore was unfazed, forcing Lester to pop out behind home plate and inducing an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play ball off SS Ryan Howard’s bat.
The Tigers did knock Shore for one run in the second inning when Peel lined a single to right field, scoring C Brett Bond.
Missouri did not score again.
Trailing 1-0 after three innings, Florida’s bats came alive in the fourth. 3B Josh Tobias’s two-run triple and DH JJ Schwarz’s RBI groundout gave UF a 3-1 lead.
The Gators added to their lead at the next opportunity, pushing two more runs across in the fifth when 1B Peter Alonso doubled to right-center field. Florida’s 5-1 lead held for the remainder of the night.
Meanwhile, Shore settled down and began to dominate Missouri hitters. After Ryan Howard singled in the third inning, Shore did not give up another Tiger hit over his remaining five innings of work. And aside from DH Alex Del Rio’s walk in the fourth inning, Shore did not allow another baserunner, retiring the last 13 batters he faced.
Reggie McClain (4-3, 2.83) took the loss for Missouri after giving up all five Gator runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings. Relievers Andrew Schwaab and Lake Dabney combined to hold Florida without another run over the remainder of the contest, but the Mizzou offense was unable to mount any semblance of a comeback.
After the loss, Missouri falls into a tie with Florida for second place in the SEC East. Both teams trail Vanderbilt (25-6, 8-2 SEC) by two games.
Game two of the three-game weekend series takes place Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. CT at Taylor Stadium.
Thankfully for Missouri, Logan Shore will be resting in the dugout.