Feb. 15, 2014
LAKE CHARLES, La. - In its first game of the 2014 season, the Mizzou baseball team rallied from down 2-0 to defeat defending Conference USA Champion Southern Miss, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 15) at Cowboy Diamond. Senior Shane Segovia tallied a go-ahead double in the seventh inning and sophomore righty Ryan Phillips earned the win, the first of his career, as he went a career-best 2.0 innings while striking out two, also a career-best. His outing came in relief of fellow Rock Bridge High School alum John Miles, who went 4.2 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking just one in his first start since May 26, 2012, at Kansas.
After a scoreless top of the first, Miles induced a couple of ground balls in the bottom of the second, but bad hops plagued starting shortstop Josh Lester on those two hits, allowing a run to score. Southern Miss clean-up hitter Matt Durst then ripped a double off the left field wall to put USM up 2-0. After Mizzou went 1-2-3 in the top of the second, Miles allowed the first two runners to reach in the bottom of the second inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, Miles tallied his first strikeout of the season for the second out and then induced a pop-up to get out of the inning.
Miles settled in and retired eight batters in a row before a two-out error in the fourth, but he got a grounder to short to send the game to the fifth with USM still leading, 2-0. Mizzou finally got to Southern Miss starter Cameron Giannini in the top of the sixth as Segovia singled to right and eventually came around to score on a bases-loaded wild pitch. The Tigers failed to add more as senior catcher Dylan Kelly struck out looking to strand the bases loaded.
The Tigers then took their first lead of the day in the top of the seventh. Kendall Keeton
tallied a leadoff single to center and Zach Lavy
then reached on catcher's interference as the first two men reached. Head coach Tim Jamieson
opted to let Segovia hit rather than lay down a bunt and he delivered with his second hit of the game, an RBI double to left to score Keeton. Lavy then scored on a throwing error trying to cut down Segovia at second as the Tigers took a 3-2 lead.
Phillips cruised through the sixth and the seventh in relief of Miles and Austin Tribby, sitting down six in a row - including two strikeouts - to send the game to the eighth inning eighth with Mizzou on top, 3-2. The Tigers scored an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI groundout to score Lester, who singled to lead off the inning as he has now hit safely in 10 straight games dating back to last season. Sophomore Breckin Williams and Keaton Steele threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings with Steele picking up the save, the third in his career.
The Tigers will play again at 3 p.m. against host McNeese State. Tex Little and Hunter Mense will have the call from Cowboy Diamond. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MUTigerBaseball.
- The 2014 season marked the second consecutive season that Mizzou has opened against Southern Miss. The last time Mizzou opened two consecutive seasons against the same opponent was 1969 and 1970 against Texas A&M.
- Mizzou improves to 4-8 all-time against Southern Miss and snaps a four-game losing streak after being swept at Southern Miss last season. Mizzou will play Southern Miss at Taylor Stadium March 7-9 as well.
- Freshman Jake Ring and juniors Zach Lavy and Brett Peel all earned their first Division I starts on Saturday. Lavy tallied his first career RBI in the win.
- Senior Dillon Everett started his first career game in the outfield after serving as an infielder the last three seasons. He also hit in the three-hole to start the game for the first time in his career.
- Junior righty John Miles earned his first start since May 26, 2012, and was the Tigers' opening day starter for the first time in his career. He went 4.2 innings and allowed 2 ER, 4 H with 4 Ks and 1 BB.
- Sophomore righty Ryan Phillips matched a career-high with 2.0 innings pitched and tallied a career-best two strikeouts as well. He also tallied his first career win. He and Miles, both Rock Bridge High School alums combined to go 6.2 innings, allowing just two runs while striking out six and walking just one.
- Josh Lester made his seventh career start at shortstop. He singled in the top of the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games dating back to last season.
- Shane Segovia singled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to five games, dating back to the 2013 season. He reached base three times in the win.
- Keaton Steele picked up his third career save with a shutout ninth inning.