Feb. 23, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - After rallying from down 5-0 to tie the game at 5-5 in the sixth inning, the Mizzou baseball team fell to Cincinnati, 11-5, on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23) at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest. Mizzou tied the game at 5-5 on three consecutive RBI doubles from the heart of the order in the sixth inning and senior Dylan Kelly launched his first homer of the season and the second of his career, but it wasn't enough as Cincinnati tallied six runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach. The loss drops the Tigers to 3-3 on the season while Cincinnati moves to 2-3.
Shane Segovia led Mizzou with a pair of RBIs and another run scored while going 1-for-4 at the plate. Kelly hit a homer in the fourth inning and Josh Lester and Kendall Keeton each tallied RBI doubles in the loss. The Tiger pitching staff, which had been so good this season, struggled on Sunday allowing 18 hits, 11 runs and seven walks, all season-highs. Cincinnati's five-run ninth all came with two outs as an infield single with the bases loaded sparked the rally.
Mizzou starter Jace James walked a pair of batters in the first inning, halting a streak of 32 consecutive innings without a walk by the Tiger pitching staff, but the righty got out of a jam after getting a pop-up to left field. After Mizzou was retired in order in its half of the first, James got into some trouble in the second, allowing a single and a double to lead off the inning. He was able to minimize the damage, getting a sacrifice fly to centerfield before picking off the runner at second. He again got a pop-up to left to get out of the inning, but Cincinnati took a 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats then posted a four-spot in the fourth inning, tallying runs off of two Tiger relievers. The four runs that Cincinnati scored in the fourth are more than Mizzou had allowed in a single game this season. The big hit was a two-out, two-run double off of the wall in left field to plate the fourth and fifth runs for the Bearcats.
Mizzou finally got to Cincinnati starter Andrew Zellner as he broke up the freshman's perfect game as Kelly lifted a solo shot to the opposite field over the wall in left. That cut the lead to 5-1. That came after senior Eric Anderson made his first pitching appearance of the season, going 1.0 inning with a walk and a hit.
The Tigers seemed to figure out Zellner in the sixth, tallying three consecutive RBI doubles to tie the game at 5-5. Lester got things started with an RBI double into left field to score one and Segovia knocked a two-run double in the next at-bat. Keeton followed suit with a double and scored Segovia to tie the game at 5-5. That ended Zellner's day, but Mizzou failed to get another run in the inning as Keeton was caught stealing third and Jake Ivory flew out to right with two men on to end the inning.
Things stayed that way thanks to some great pitching from reliever Breckin Williams. But Cincinnati got a six runs in the ninth, one on a bases-loaded infield hit and the next on a bases-loaded walk to make it 7-5. Both came off of sophomore righty Peter Fairbanks, who then allowed a two-out single into right field to give Cincinnati a 9-5 lead. The Bearcats added two more runs after Fairbanks was lifted for freshman Brandon Baker, who made his collegiate debut.
The Tigers will stay in North Carolina for a pair of midweek games with Liberty and Campbell this week in Cary, N.C. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MUTigerBaseball.
- Junior Case Munson earned his first start of the season in left field for the Tigers on Sunday. Also, freshman Ryan Howard made his second career start, getting the nod at third base.
- Jace James, making his second start of the season, walked a pair of batters in the first inning. It snapped a streak of 32 innings without a walk for the Tiger pitching staff.
- Eric Anderson made his first pitching appearance of the season, pitching a shutout fifth inning, allowing a hit and a walk but getting a double play. He was up to 91 on the in-house radar gun.
- Dylan Kelly hit his second career Division I homer, a solo dinger in the fifth inning that went over the wall in left for an opposite field shot. It was the first homer of the season for Mizzou.