Tigers Build Early Lead, Fall to No. 9 Vanderbilt 8-3

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Brett Graves</i>
Brett Graves

May 2, 2014

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - Freshmen Jake Ring (Ingleside, Ill.) and Ryan Howard (St. Charles, Mo.) each tallied an RBI as Mizzou (20-25, 6-16) built a 3-1 lead after the third inning, but the Tigers couldn't hold the advantage as No. 9 Vanderbilt (34-12, 12-10) took the Friday night (May 2) contest, 8-3, at Taylor Stadium. Four Tigers in total had multi-hit games, including Howard, Dylan Kelly (Roswell, Ga.), Logan Pearson (Bentonville, Ark.) and Josh Lester (Columbus, Ga.). Kendall Keeton (Columbia, Tenn.) scored two runs in the contest along with Kelly's score.

Brett Graves (St. Charles, Mo.) started the game for Mizzou, going 5.2 innings and surrendering 11 hits and five earned runs. He pitched into the sixth inning, where he was chased as the Commodores tallied three runs in his final frame. Friday's contest was the first time this season that Graves failed to throw at least seven innings at home, and it was his first home loss in 399 days, since falling to LSU on March 30, 2013.

Both teams tallied a single in the scoreless first inning, with Pearson collecting an infield hit for the Tigers. After Graves pitched out of a two-on, two-out situation, the Tigers threatened with runners on the corners and no outs after a walk for Keeton and a single from Lester. After Howard walked to load the bases, Ring hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Keeton, giving Mizzou a 1-0 lead after two innings.

The lead was short-lived, though, as the Commodores answered in the top of the third with a run of their own on a two-out RBI single by Nolan Rogers to knot the game at one. Mizzou jumped back on top after Kelly doubled with two outs in the bottom of the frame and Vince Conde made a throwing error on Keeton's infield single, giving Mizzou a 2-1 edge. A double from Howard then brought in Keeton, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead through the game's first three innings.

A two-out knock from Dansby Swanson again trimmed the Tiger lead to a single run, scoring Jason Delay. After a quiet fifth, the Commodores took the lead on back-to-back hits from Rhett Wiseman and Delay, claiming a 4-3 advantage. Peter Fairbanks (St. Louis, Mo.) then replaced Graves, and Vandy plated a third run during a rundown on a pickoff for a 5-3 lead after six.

After a scoreless seventh, Ryan Phillips (Columbia, Mo.) took over on the bump for Fairbanks, surrendering back-to-back extra base hits to start the inning as Vandy took a 6-3 lead and Phillips was replaced by Breckin Williams (Oronogo, Mo.). A wild pitch enabled a runner to score before Bryan Reynolds launched a homer to left, giving the Commodores an 8-3 cushion.

Mizzou and Vandy play again Saturday (May 3) 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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