Posted: May 4, 2013 6:06 PM
Updated: May 5, 2013 10:05 AM
COLLEGE STATION, TX-- Mizzou junior infielder Shane Segovia delivered a huge two-out, two-run single in the top of the seventh inning and freshman Josh Lester hit a game-tying three-run homer in the top of the sixth, but Mizzou committed four errors in the ninth and Texas A&M scored three runs in the frame to drop Mizzou, 6-5, Saturday afternoon at Blue Bell Park. All six runs allowed by Mizzou on Saturday were unearned.
Sophomore starter Brett Graves was in line for his second consecutive win after allowing just three unearned runs over 6.2 innings, striking out four and walking none while scattering seven hits as Mizzou carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth. Keaton Steele pitched well enough to earn his first career save, but the Tiger defense committed four errors in the ninth that led to a Mikey Reynolds walk-off single as the Aggies scored three unearned runs in the frame.
The loss drops Mizzou to 15-27 on the season and 7-16 in SEC play as Texas A&M clinched the series. Segovia was nearly the hero on the day as he laced a 1-1 pitch through the left side with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh to score the go-ahead runs. The Sinton, Texas, native did so in front of plenty of family and friends in attendance. Lester had the other three Tiger RBI on the day as he tallied his second career homer in the sixth, just getting over the wall in right field.
After Mizzou was retired in order in the first inning, Texas A&M struck in its half of the first. Reynolds reached to open the game on a throwing error by Dillon Everett and it turned out to be a costly error. Reynolds came all the way around to score on back-to-back singles with the RBI knock going to Cole Lankford out of the three-hole. After a double play off the bat for Troy Stein, Hunter Melton homered to right center to give the Aggies a 3-0 lead headed to the second.
Case Munson tallied two-out single in the second and Lester nearly doubled him in, but a leaping catch by Lankford robbed him of extra-bases, sending the game to the bottom of the second. Mizzou nearly scored again in the second as Kendall Keeton reached second base on an error. It appeared that he was going to be singled home by Everett, but Reynolds kept the ball on the infield at short, turned and threw home to gun down Keeton for the third out.
In the bottom of the third inning, Dane Opel may have made the catch of the year for Mizzou, robbing Stein of a homer over the wall in right field for the third out of the inning. That was a big play in the game as Mizzou came back to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth on Lester's three-run bomb to right field. The shot was his second career big fly and came after back-to-back hits from Dylan Kelly and Munson. Segovia, in front of plenty of family in the stands, roped a double to left center with one out, but A&M brought in reliever AJ Minter and he pitched out of the jam, sending the game to the bottom of the sixth with the score knotted at 3-3.
Mizzou continued to get to A&M pitching in the seventh as Opel, four innings following the homer-saving catch, led off the frame with a single up the middle in front of a Steele single to put two men aboard. Kelly then bunted the runners to second and third and Munson was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out for the sixth-inning hero Lester. But A&M's Matt Kent struck him out swinging bringing in Segovia in a huge spot and he picked up Lester with a single through the left side, soring Opel and Steele to put Mizzou on top, 5-3, for its first lead of the day.
Graves came back out in the bottom of the seventh and got the first two batters before allowing a two-out single and giving way to Steele, who retired the final batter of the inning. Steele came back on in the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order and then came back on in the ninth to try for the seven-out save. But the Tiger defense committed four errors in the ninth which led to three unearned runs, including the game winner with two outs off the bat of Reynolds.
Mizzou and Texas A&M will meet Sunday in the series finale at 1:05 p.m.