Brett Graves struck out a career-high nine.
April 4, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Tiger ace Brett Graves (St. Charles, Mo.) was strong once again for Mizzou (13-15, 3-7), but the home squad ultimately dropped a 2-1 decision to Georgia (17-12-1, 4-5-1) in 13 innings Friday (April 4) night at Taylor Stadium. Graves went 7.1 innings, striking out a career-best nine hitters and allowing one earned run in the weekend opener. This was the sixth time in seven starts that Graves hit the seven-inning mark. Keaton Steele (St. Joseph, Mo.) also was solid in relief, throwing a season-high 75 pitches, but he took the loss on an unearned run scored by Georgia in the final frame.
Logan Pearson (Bentonville, Ark.) led the offensive effort for the Tigers with a three-hit performance, the second of his career. Eric Anderson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) reached base to start the game once again, making it 12 times out of 19 games that he has reached to lead off in the first for the Tigers. Kendall Keeton (Columbia, Tenn.) padded his lead with his 12th multi-hit game of the season, and he had the only RBI of the game for the Tigers.
Mizzou wasted no time getting on the board, putting its first three hitters on base to start the game as Keeton hit in Anderson for a 1-0 lead after one. Graves struck out the side in the second and tossed a scoreless third, holding the visiting Bulldogs at bay as Mizzou held its one-run edge. Georgia was again held scoreless in the fourth, pitching out of a two-baserunner jam for the third straight inning.
Graves settled in nicely in the fifth, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning, but Mizzou again couldn't score in the bottom of the frame. The Tiger ace had another strong inning in the sixth, fanning another batter to set his career high at nine before he hung another zero on the board for the Bulldogs.
The pitchers' duel continued into the eighth inning with Graves taking the mound at 102 pitches before the inning started, giving up a leadoff single. Graves forced a fielder's choice from the next batter, and a single to center tied the game at one run apiece. Steele then relieved Graves, ending the inning without surrendering another run. Dylan Kelly (Roswell, Ga.) singled with one down in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game, and Josh Lester (Columbus, Ga.) singled to right to put runners on the corners with two down, the winning run on third, but they were left stranded.
Steele held down the Bulldogs for the next two innings, and Mizzou threatened in the bottom of the twelfth by loading the bases with one out, but Georgia pitched out of the inning with a strikeout and a grounder to second. Georgia struck in the 13th, taking advantage of a strong hustle play by Daniel Nichols and an error in the field from Mizzou for a 2-1 lead. The Tigers were unable to score in the bottom of the frame.
Mizzou and Georgia meet again Saturday (April 5) at 2 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, follow the team on Twitter (@MizzouBaseball) or check in to MUTigers.com.
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