March 6, 2013
Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score
COLUMBIA, Mo. - A brilliant performance by the pitching staff led Mizzou (2-6) to a sweep of a double-header against Eastern Michigan Wednesday (March 6) at Taylor Stadium. Starters Jace James and Keaton Steele combined for 11 innings of three-hit, eight-strikeout baseball. Overall, the pitching staff allowed just six hits and one run to the Eagles. The shutout in game one was the first Tiger shutout since blanking Texas in last season's Big 12 Tournament.
Scott Sommerfeld and Josh Lester turned in impressive games offensively, combining for four hits and three RBI over the two games. Kendall Keeton and Dylan Kelly both also were productive offensively, combining for six RBI in game two. The Tigers won 1-0 and 7-1 in their sweep of their MAC foes. James earned the win in the first game, his first of the season, while freshman Breckin Williams earned his first career save. Steele earned the win in game two, his first of the season.
The Eagles threatened in the second inning of game one after a one-out walk to Adam Sonabend, who then stole second. James responded with two strikeouts sandwiched around a walk to end the frame scoreless. Mizzou went down 1-2-3 inning the bottom of the frame, failing to put a runner on base for the second consecutive inning. James settled back in the third, sitting down Eastern Michigan in order. Keeton notched the first Tiger hit with a two-out hot shot that ricocheted off the pitcher, but he was left stranded.
Eastern Michigan got its first hit of the game in the fourth inning, a blooper that fell in shallow right-center. Kelly laced a one-out single to center with one out in the fourth, the only hit of the inning. James forced a 1-2-3 fifth, highlighted by a stellar grab by Steele's leaping grab on the final out. Sommerfeld got his first hit of the season with a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning, and a sacrifice bunt by Michael McGraw
moved him to third where a sac fly by Lester brought him home for a 1-0 lead. James then threw another perfect inning in the sixth, and Mizzou went down in order in the bottom of the frame.
Alec Rash entered to pitch in the seventh, and after walking the first batter, the Tigers took advantage of a double play on a strikeout and caught stealing on the same pitch. Breckin Williams took over with two on and two outs, and he forced a groundout to give Mizzou its first win of the season.
The Eagles started better at the dish in game two, as they got a leadoff single to start the contest. The inning ended two batters later on a strike-him-out-throw-him-out double play. Kendall Keeton doubled to start the game for Mizzou, and Sommerfeld singled him in with two outs to put the Tigers on top 1-0. EMU threatened in the second with a runner on second and no outs, but he was left stranded on third. Dane Opel singled to lead off the bottom of the frame, but a 6-4-3 double play erased him in the scoreless frame.
After a scoreless top of the third, Nick Moore walked and Kendall Keeton singled to right to put runners on the corners with one out, and a fielder's choice allowed Moore to score for a 2-0 Mizzou lead into the fourth. Steele continued to keep Eastern Michigan off balance, throwing another scoreless inning. The Tigers caught fire in the bottom of the frame with two outs, as Keeton singled home a run after back-to-back walks for a 3-0 lead. A walk loaded the bases for Kelly, who singled home three runners to blow it open with a 6-0 lead heading to the fifth.
Steele held EMU scoreless again in the fifth, and Mizzou caught fire with two outs again, scoring on a single to center off Lester's bat to push the lead to seven. Ryan Phillips entered to pitch in the sixth and worked around a walk and an error to hold the Eagles scoreless again. Griffin Goodrich came in to close out game two, and a leadoff single turned into their first run of the day, but Goodrich came back with a strikeout to end the game.
Mizzou takes on San Francisco this weekend as they look to avenge a road sweep from last season. For all the latest on Missouri baseball, follow the team on Twitter (@MUTigerBaseball) or check in to MUTigers.com.