Mizzou's Houck loses ace dual to Florida's Faedo
COLUMBIA - No. 23 Mizzou baseball dropped the series opener to the No. 9 Florida Gators Friday night, 4-3.
Mizzou (21-5, 4-3 SEC) have now lost four of five games after winning 20 straight in what was the best start to a season in program history.
Dozens of scouts were in attendance to watch teammates on the USA collegiate team square off, junior starting pitchers Tanner Houck and Alex Faedo, both likely first round picks in the summer's upcoming MLB draft.
Houck (3-3) allowed four runs, three earned, in seven innings. He surrendered a season-high eight hits and took the loss.
Mizzou got runners on base against Faido, but struggled to drive runners in. The Tigers stranded lead off hitter, sophomore Connor Brumfield, at third in the first inning. MU couldn't score sophomore Brian Sharp after his lead off walk in the second. Two more were stranded on base in the third.
Sharp has now reached base safely in 15 straight games.
In the sixth, freshman Kameron Misner’s bunt single and steal gave Mizzou a runner in scoring position with one out, but Faedo retired two consecutive Tigers to prevent any runs from scoring.
Florida (17-9, 3-4 SEC) was able to push across four runs before Mizzou could get on the scoreboard.
Mizzou broke through with two outs in the seventh on freshman Chris Cornelius’ RBI single, scoring junior Alex Samples.
With Houck out of the game, the Tigers plated two more runs in the eighth. Sharp singled home junior Trey Harris to cut the Gators' lead in half. Faedo hit Samples to extend the inning with two outs, his final pitch of the night.
Faedo (5-1) finished after 7.2 innings, allowing three runs, one earned. He struck out seven.
Out of the bullpen, freshman lefty Andrew Baker gave up an opposite-field single to junior pinch hitter Brett Bond, scoring Misner and cutting the Florida lead to 4-3.
Florida went to the bullpen once more, bringing sophomore Michael Byrne into the game. He struck out Mizzou sophomore pinch-hitter Ian Nelson on three pitches and worked a perfect ninth to earn his third save.
The Tigers and Gators will go again Saturday at 2:00 p.m.