Eric Anderson started the game on the hill and bat in the leadoff spot Sunday.
March 9, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - A late push from the Tigers wasn't enough as Mizzou baseball (6-7) dropped its series finale against Southern Mississippi (7-9) by a 2-1 final on Sunday afternoon (March 9) at Taylor Stadium. Missouri got a strong start on the mound from Eric Anderson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), who had his longest outing of the season with 4.0 innings and matched his highest strikeout total since Feb. 24, 2012 with four. Anderson extended his team-leading six-game hitting streak in the loss, and first baseman Kendall Keeton (Columbia, Tenn.) pushed his on-base streak to 13 games, staying perfect on the season.
Southern Miss was boosted by a strong effort from starter Cameron Giannini, who worked a shutout into the eighth inning and surrendered only one unearned run, scattering four hits. He held Mizzou hitless between the third and seventh innings, handing Mizzou its first home loss of the 2014 season. A home run by closer and designated hitter Bradley Rooney in the fourth inning proved to be the difference in the game, preventing the Tigers from sweeping the four-game season series against Southern Miss.
Anderson started strong with a nine-pitch first inning, including eight strikes, and held his pace through the first three scoreless innings, Giannini matched the righty's effort though, holding Mizzou to just one hit in its first round through the order. The Golden Eagles struck first blood in the fourth, a two-run blast to the bullpen from Rooney off Anderson for a 2-0 lead at the end of four frames.
Ryan Phillips (Columbia, Mo.) took over for Anderson in the fifth inning, and two straight Tiger errors gave Southern Miss two runners in scoring position with one out as Austin Tribby (Springfield, Mo.) entered to diffuse the USM attack. Tribby quickly induced a pop up to Ryan Howard (St. Charles, Mo.) and a spectacular grab by Jake Ring (Inglesdale, Ill.) in right center ended the inning scoreless.
Keeton singled in the seventh inning with one out, the first Mizzou hit since the third inning, but he was thrown out on a fielder's choice and Dylan Kelly (Roswell, Ga.) was left stranded. Andrew Hohn (North Little Rock, Ark.) made his home debut for MIzzou in the eighth inning, recording two outs before being relieved by Andrew Schwaab (St. Charles, Mo.), who closed out the inning scoreless. The Tigers threatened in the bottom of the frame, putting two on with one out, and an error by USM's Breck Kline at short allowed Mizzou to push a run across and chase Giannini.
Breckin Williams (Oronogo, Mo.) entered to pitch in the ninth inning, tossing a scoreless frame highlighted by a diving stop at third base by Howard. Kelly wore a fastball to reach first to start off the inning, but Brett Peel (St. Charles, Mo.) was caught stealing as he pinch ran for the catcher. Dillon Everett (Phoenix, Ariz.) walked with two outs to reach base, but Keaton Steele (St. Joseph, Mo.) struck out looking to end the game.
Mizzou next takes on Alcorn State on Tuesday (March 11) at 6 p.m. at Taylor Stadium. Follow Mizzou baseball on Twitter (@mizzoubaseball) or check in to MUTigers.com to stay up to date with the team.
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