Mizzou baseball off to first 2-0 start in seven years
CARY, NC - For the first time since 2008, the Missouri baseball team is 2-0 to start the season. The Tigers swept a doubleheader with Iona Friday afternoon at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
Mizzou won game one, 4-3, on a walk-off walk. That capped a late-inning rally for the Tigers, who scored four runs in the final three innings.
The Tigers got on the board in the seventh, on an RBI groundout by sophomore catcher Jack Klages and an RBI single by sophomore center fielder Jake Ring. Mid-Missouri native Zach Lavy, a North Callaway High School graduate, tied the game with an RBI single in the eighth, in his first game with Mizzou. Lavy transferred to MU from Jefferson College.
After Klages drew a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the ninth, he was pulled for pinch runner freshman Brett Bond. Senior infielder Brett Peel then picked up his third hit of the game and Ring drew another walk, which loaded the bases. That set up junior third baseman Josh Lester to win the game and he did, by drawing the third walk of the inning, sending Bond home and giving the Tigers a walk-off walk to start the season.
On the mound, junior pitcher Peter Fairbanks went six innings, allowing five hits and one earned run and picking up a career-high nine strikeouts. Three Mizzou relievers finished out the game, with Breckin Williams getting the win after pitching a scoreless top of the ninth with two strikeouts.
Game two also was a one-run game, with the Tigers picking up a 1-0 shutout.
Junior pitcher Reggie McClain pitched a gem, throwing eight innings of scoreless ball, allowing just three hits and recording a career-high 10 strikeouts.
The freshman Bond picked up his first career hit and RBI in the sixth inning, on a single that scored fellow freshman Trey Harris and it proved to be the game-winner.
Williams came to the mound in relief of McClain in the ninth and produced a carbon copy of his game one performance. A scoreless inning with two strikeouts en route to a save.
The Tigers and Gaels will play another doubleheader Saturday to complete this season-opening series, with the first game starting at 10 a.m.