Mizzou Drops Series Finale at No. 18 Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, AR -- The Mizzou baseball team struggled at the plate on Wednesday as it dropped its series finale at No. 18 Arkansas, 2-0, as it has now lost its last four games. Freshman righty John Miles turned in a career-best outing in his first career start as he struck out five over four shutout innings, but the Tigers tallied just four hits in the loss. Despite just four hits, Mizzou did have its chances in the game, stranding nine runners in the game. Mizzou is now 23-21 on the season.
The Tigers opened the game and got a two men aboard as Case Munson drew a walk as he earned his first career start as the team's designated hitter, and then Andreas Plackis singled to center to put runners on the corners for five-hole hitter Conner Mach. He gave a pitch a ride deep to left center, but it was caught on the warning track for the third out.
Miles, making his first career start, allowed two hits in the first inning, but pitched around those hits, getting the third out on a pop up to second, stranding a pair of runners in scoring position. Both teams stranded a pair of runners on base in the first inning. The Tigers again threatened in the top of the third as two men reached base before Plackis nearly singled up the middle on a hard-hit ball, but it hit Arkansas starter Trent Daniel and stayed on the infield and he was thrown out at first as the bad luck likely cost Mizzou a run.
The Tigers ran into more bad luck in the top of the fourth as freshman Jake Ivory, making his first career start, tallied a two-out single through the right side and Mach raced around and nearly scored, but he was gunned at the plate for the third out. Miles continued to deal as he got the Tigers through the fourth inning with a career-best outing. He threw a career-best 4.0 innings with just three hits, a walk and no runs while striking out a career-best five batters. It was his third straight scoreless outing and his 10th of the season.
He gave way to Jake Walsh who pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning and then he got an out in the sixth before allowing two men to reach base on an infield single and a hit batter. That gave way to Jeff Emens to get the Tigers out of the jam but he gave up a double that plated both runs off the bat of Matt Reynolds.
Mizzou attempted to answer in the top of the seventh as both Eric Garcia and Brannon Champagne walked and both moved into scoring position on a two-out, double steal. But Munson struck out, stranding the runners in scoring position and sending the game to the bottom of the seventh inning as reliever Dusty Ross took to the mound. He pitched two shutout innings but Mizzou could not plate any runs as it fell, 2-0.
The Tigers will open a three-game series against Texas this Friday night at 6 p.m. Students are encouraged to come out for a Stop Day tailgate prior to the game and Mizzou hoops star Steve Moore is scheduled to throw out the first pitch. It will also be Mizzou fans' last chance to see the Tigers play Texas in Columbia as member of the Big 12 Conference.