Tigers Snap Skid with 7-3 Win at Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, AL. - After scoring seven runs in the final two innings on Friday, the Mizzou baseball team scored in each of the first four innings as it defeated Alabama, 7-3, on Saturday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win for Mizzou snapped a five-game losing streak and improves the Tigers to 16-29 on the season and 8-18 on the season.
The Tigers scored in six of the nine innings on Saturday while pounding 11 hits. Keaton Steele drove in three runs while going 3-for-4 at the dish while pitching the final 4.1 innings, allowing just four hits and one earned run while striking out three to earn his fifth win of the season as he is now 5-3 on the year. Dane Opel had a big day too, reaching base in all five plate appearances while going 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI. Dillon Everett also went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored three runs while batting from the leadoff position. In fact, the top four batters in the order each had multi-hit games. Also worth noting is senior Scott Sommerfeld hitting his first homer of the season, a solo shot in the second inning.
Mizzou got on the board in the first as Everett continued to swing his hot bat in the series, tallying his fourth hit of the series on a single back up the middle. He was then bunted to second base in front of Opel poked a double down the left field line to score Everett, putting Mizzou on top with his 25th RBI of the season.
But the lead didn't last too long as Alabama tied the game in the bottom of the first on a solo homer by two-hole hitter Georgie Salem, his first career homer, coming off of Missouri starter Brett Graves. Graves then allowed two more hits, but got a huge double play to get out of the inning. The tie was broken quickly in the top of the second as Sommerfeld launched his first homer of the season on the first pitch he saw, giving Mizzou a 2-1 lead. It was the fourth homer of his career.
Graves allowed a hit to leadoff the second inning, but Alabama hit into its second double play of the day to send the game to the third inning. The Tigers got another run in the third inning despite Tide starter Spencer Turnbull striking out both Everett and Josh Lester to open the inning. Opel was hit by a pitch with two outs and took second on a wild pitch before Steele singled him in with an RBI knock to left field. The Tigers added another run in the fourth on an RBI double by Brannon Champagne.
Alabama got to Graves in the fifth as Mikey White launched a solo homer just over the wall in left and then Graves surrendered back-to-back one-out hits as Mizzou brought in Jake Walsh to get one out before bringing in Steele to get a huge strikeout to get Mizzou through the fifth.
White again came through for the Tide in the sixth, roping a two-out double into the left field corner to score another run, his second RBI of the day, cutting the Tiger lead to 4-3. Steele got a huge pickoff at second base earlier in the inning to minimize the damage as just one run scored on the White double.
Mizzou bounced right back in the seventh as Everett and Lester tallied back-to-back, one-out hits forcing Alabama to make a pitching change as it brought in Taylor Guilbeau to face Opel. He hit Opel to load the bases and then he hit Steele with a pitch to drive in a run, giving Mizzou a 5-3 lead. Kelly then hit into his second double play of the day, this time with the bases loaded as Mizzou took a 5-3 lead into the stretch. Mizzou added two more in the top of the ninth, one on an RBI single but Steele. Steele then pitched out of a runners-on-the-corners spot in the eighth and then retired the side 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Mizzou and Alabama will play in the rubber match tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.