Posted: Apr 9, 2013 10:07 PM
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Sophomore Logan Pearson (Bentonville, Ark.) hit a triple to deep center field to spark a three-run eighth inning and Mizzou baseball held off a furious rally to defeat in-state rival Missouri State, 5-4, on Tuesday night (April 9) at Hammons Field. The win for Mizzou is its third in four games and its third straight over Missouri State. The Tigers are now 12-17 on the season.
Pearson had the big hit in the game to break it open in the eighth, but the story at the dish was reigning SEC Player of the Week Keaton Steele (St. Joseph, Mo.) as he tallied his second consecutive three-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Sophomore Jace James (Oklahoma City, Okla.) earned the win for Mizzou after going 3.0 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out two with no walks. He is now 3-1 on the season. John Miles (Columbia, Mo.) may have gotten the biggest two out of the game though, getting Luke Voight to ground into a game-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth. MSU scored three times in the bottom of the eighth and got the first two men aboard in the ninth before Miles cleaned up the mess.
Steele continued to swing a hot bat in the top of the first as he laced an RBI single off of the third baseman after a leadoff double by Case Munson (St. Charles, Mo.) to put Mizzou on top, 1-0. After James retired the first six batters he faced, Mizzou got another run in the top of the third after a two-out RBI single by Dane Opel (Edwardsville, Ill.) to give Mizzou 2-0 lead. The hit extended his one-base safely streak to 22 straight games.
James went back to the hill in the third and allowed a run on an RBI fielder's choice before pitching out of the inning and then from there, Eric Anderson (Highland Ranch, Colo.) took over on the mound. The appearance on the mound was his first since Feb. 24 as he continued to recover from Tommy John surgery. The first three batters that he faced reached, one on an error and another two on singles into right field. But just as Tiger fans have grown accustomed to seeing, Anderson pitched out of the jam. He struck out Conner Smith before getting Travis McComack to line into a double play at third. Shane Segovia (Sinton, Texas) snared the line drive and tagged third with his glove while falling down for the double play to get the Tigers out of the inning.
Brett Graves (St. Charles, Mo.) then took over on the mound and he got a diving catch from Opel in right field in the sixth inning to save a run as Mizzou took its 2-1 lead into the seventh. Mizzou threatened to score again in the seventh with two men aboard and two outs as Cheray's day ended in that frame. With two on, two out for Opel, MSU Matt Hall came in and sat Opel down swinging to end the threat.
After Steele led off the eighth with his third hit of the day (his second straight three-hit game), Dylan Kelly (Roswell, Ga.) walked to put two men on and then Pearson delivered his two-run triple over the head of Tate Matheny in center, extending the Tiger lead to 4-1. Pearson was then driven in on a single by Kendall Keeton (Columbia, Tenn.) to put Mizzou up 5-1.
Missouri State answered with a three-spot of its own in the eighth, making Keeton's RBI in the eighth inning a big one. Jake Walsh (Dallas, Texas) tried to close it out in the ninth, but allowed the first two men to reach before getting Eric Cheray to foul out. Miles then came on and got Luke Voight to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.