Brett Graves was brilliant in a no-decision on Saturday.
Feb. 22, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Junior righty Brett Graves went 7.0 innings and allowed three hits with six strikeouts and no walks, but the Mizzou baseball team fell, 1-0, in walk-off fashion to Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 22). Graves was brilliant, but an unearned run was scored off of Tiger reliever Keaton Steele on a walk-off single by Wake Forest's Nate Mondou in the bottom of the ninth. The Tigers fall to 3-2 on the season while Wake Forest improves to 4-3.
The Tigers tallied just five hits, two by starting catcher Dylan Kelly, but failed to come up with a clutch hit. Wake Forest did not have a runner advance to second base until the eighth inning. Will Craig led Wake Forest with a pair of hits on Saturday.
Runs and hits were hard to come by on Saturday and the Tigers didn't chase Wake Forest starter John McLeod until the seventh inning after an error and a walk. The two men were left stranded after Dillon Everett grounded into a fielder's choice at third base. Wake Forest starter John McLeod left the game with a no-decision after going 6.2 innings, allowing just three hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
As good as McLeod was, Graves was better. He went 7.0 innings, facing one batter in the eighth, allowing just three hits with six strikeouts against no walks. It was his longest outing since March 16, 2012, when he tossed a complete game against South Carolina. The six strikeouts were also the most he has had since a start at Busch Stadium against Illinois on April 11, 2012, when he had seven. He allowed Craig to lead off the eighth inning with a single and that gave way to Steele.
Steele induced a ground ball to the first batter he faced, but Craig moved to second base on the play as shortstop Josh Lester couldn't tag second and had to settle for the sure out at first. Steele then gave up a single to Jonathan Pryor, but a strikeout and groundout to short left the go-ahead run 90 feet away. Kendall Keeton made a great pick at first base on a low throw from short on the third out to keep the run from scoring.
Mizzou put a pair of runners on in the top of the ninth, but a hard-hit grounder back to Wake Forest pitcher Aaron Fossas off the bat of Jake Ring was snared and Ring was thrown out at first base for out No. 3. Steele retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth, but a two-out single by Matt Conway and an error by Ring in center put the winning run in scoring position. Nate Mondou then came up and hit a ball into left field. Sean Ullrich broke in on the ball and it drifted over his head for a hit and Wake Forest escaped with the 1-0 win.
The Tigers will conclude the weekend tournament with an 11 a.m. tilt against Cincinnati. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MUTigerBaseball.
- Junior right Brett Graves, in his second start of the season, went 7.0 innings, his longest outing since March 16, 2013, when he tossed a complete game against South Carolina.
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