April 5, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Keaton Steele (St. Joseph, Mo.) hit his first career Division I homer in the top of the fourth inning and that was more than enough run support for Tiger lefty Rob Zastryzny (Corpus Christi, Texas) as Mizzou defeated Georgia, 4-0, on Friday night (April 5) at Foley Field. The win moves Mizzou to 10-16 on the season and 3-7 in SEC play while Georgia drops to 11-20 and 1-9 in SEC play. The win marks the Tigers' third shutout of the season and second in SEC play.
The story of the night was the performance of Zastryzny, who threw a gem as he continues to put up impressive numbers in SEC play. The Tiger lefty struck out four and walked none over 9.0 shutout innings, marking his second career complete game shutout. It is also the first complete game shutout by a Tiger pitcher since Zastryzny did so on April 27 last season at Texas Tech. The complete game is his second of the year as well.
In SEC play, Zastryzny has been nothing short of sensational, allowing just six earned runs in 30.1 innings of SEC play this season, good for a 1.79 ERA. Zastryzny allowed just seven base runners (all seven hits) in the game on Friday and needed just 100 pitches for the complete game shutout. Zastryzny is now 2-5 on the season.
Another storyline for the Tigers is that they gave Zastryzny plenty of run support on the night. The four runs are the most that the Tigers have plated on a Friday night to back their lefty ace in SEC play and the most since a 6-2 win on March 8 against San Francisco. The win was just the Tigers' second against a left-handed starter this season.
After Zastryzny pitched around two infield hits in the bottom of the third, the Tigers carried that momentum into the top fourth. Jake Ivory (St. Charles, Mo.) tallied a single to right field and then Steele hit his first home run as a Division I player, launching a two-run shot on a 2-0 pitch over the wall in left field, a no-doubter off the bat. That put Mizzou on top, 2-0, and Zastryzny continued to dazzle from there.
(Columbia, Tenn.) turned a great double play in the fifth inning as Zastryzny had allowed just four hits through the five innings with no walks and a strikeout as he did a great job keeping UGA off balance in the early stages of the game. The Tigers added some insurance for Zastryzny in the bottom of the eighth as they plated a pair of runs. Scott Sommerfeld
(Manchester, Mo.) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the third run and Georgia native Josh Lester
(Columbus, Ga.) grounded into an RBI fielder's choice to drive in the fourth run.
That was all that Zastryzny needed as he got three flyouts in the ninth to end the game. Mizzou and Georgia will play game two of the series tomorrow at 7 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU with Tom Hart and Chris Burke on the call. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.