Mizzou Drops Series Opener at Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, TN - The Mizzou baseball team fell to 7-11 on the season and 1-3 in SEC play after dropping game one of a three-game series at Tennessee, 4-0, on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Mizzou starter Rob Zastryzny gave up three runs in the first inning before settling in as he was tagged with his fourth loss of the season.
Zastryzny (1-4) went 6.2 innings, allowing five hits, three earned runs and four walks while striking out four. Tennessee, which moved to 12-9 on the year and 2-2 in SEC play, got a complete game from starter Zack Godley, who went 9.0 innings, allowing five hits while walking five and striking out eight.
The Tiger offense was stagnant despite drawing five walks on the night and struggled to get a key hit as it left eight runners on base in the game. Dane Opel tallied two hits in the game as he continued to swing a hot stick for the Tigers. No other Tiger had more than one hit in the game. The complete game shutout by Godley was the Vols' first since 2006. Tennessee jumped all over Zastryzny in the first inning, plating three runs, two of which came on a big two-out hit by six-hole hitter Pierce Bily on a liner back through center field.
Zastryzny was close to minimizing the damage to just one run in the first inning after striking out Taylor Smart for the second out, but he couldn't retire Bily who delivered the two-out RBI. But after the first inning, Zastryzny settled down and needed just 21 pitches to retire Tennessee in order over the next two innings; 17 of those 21 pitches for strikes in that span as he sat down seven in a row.
Mizzou then threatened in the top of the fourth after a two-out hit from Dylan Kelly and a walk from Dillon Everett, but Shane Segovia popped up to right field. Zastryzny continued to breeze through the Vol lineup in the bottom of the fourth and then got into some trouble in the fifth. After going 0-2 on Will Maddox, Zastryzny walked him and then allowed him to steal second and then move to third on a passed ball by Kelly.
He then walked Jeff Moberg on four straight balls and Morberg wound up on second after stealing a base, putting runners on second and third with one out for Scott Price. Price hit into a 5-2 fielder's choice, but advanced to second on the play during the rundown between third and home. That put runners on second and third for Christin Stewart, who Zastryzny turned into his third strikeout victim as he pitched around trouble in the fifth.
Mizzou put its leadoff man aboard for the second consecutive inning in the sixth, but Logan Pearson was robbed of extra bases and likely an RBI by UT left fielder Parker Wormsley. Opel then singled, but Kelly lined out to center and Everett grounded out to short to end the threat.
After Zastryzny pitched the Tigers through the sixth, Segovia led off the seventh with a double, but a pair of pop ups and a strikeout by Brannon Champagne ended the threat. Tennessee then added a run on a squeeze play in the eighth and took a 4-0 lead to the top of the ninth inning. Josh Lester picked up a hit in the ninth but he was erased on a double play to end the game.
The Tigers and Vols will play a doubleheader at noon on Saturday to complete the series.