Keaton Steele tossed his first career complete game.
May 4, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Keaton Steele (St. Joseph, Mo.) was strong for Mizzou (20-27, 6-18), throwing his first career complete game and allowing only three runs to No. 9 Vanderbilt (36-12, 14-10), but the Tigers fell, 3-1, in the Sunday (May 4) series finale at Taylor Stadium. The senior righty recorded seven strikeouts, tying his season high, scattering seven hits and holding the Commodores to three extra base hits. He finished the game with six consecutive scoreless innings, retiring 11 of 12 batters in a stretch from the third to the seventh innings.
Shane Segovia (Sinton, Texas) padded his team lead in doubles, shooting his 12th double of the season to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ryan Howard (St. Charles, Mo.) scored the only run of the game for the home team, scoring on a walk to Dillon Everett (Phoenix, Ariz.) in the fourth inning, a frame that included four Tiger walks. Dylan Kelly (Roswell, Ga.) tallied a two-hit game as well.
Vanderbilt scored quickly in the first, taking advantage of Dansby Swanson shooting a double to left on the first pitch of the game and scoring two batters later for a 1-0 lead. The gap grew to three runs in the third, as the Commodores' Xavier Turner hit a double off the wall in left to drive in both Vanderbilt baserunners.
Mizzou threatened in the bottom of the fourth after back-to-back walks by Howard and Dylan Kelly (Roswell, Ga.) with one out, loading the bases with two down on a free pass for Josh Lester (Columbus, Ga.), and scoring on a four-pitch walk to Everett to trim the deficit to 3-1.
Steele had been in a groove since the fourth inning until a one-out double by Vince Conde ended a stretch where the senior righty retired 11 of 12 batters faced, allowing only a hit-by-pitch in the fifth. John Norwood followed the double with a single, but Steele induced a pop up on a bunt and made a brilliant defensive play to end the inning, keeping the runners stranded on the corners and holding the deficit at two. Mizzou put two runners on base in the bottom of the inning, a leadoff walk from Lester and a double from Segovia, but they couldn't score.
Steele set his career high mark for innings pitched in an outing during the eighth inning on a 6-3 groundout for the second out of the seventh, polishing off another scoreless frame with his sixth strikeout. He then tied his season high of seven strikeouts when he sat Conde down in the top of the ninth inning. Mizzou went scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, sealing the 3-1 loss.
Mizzou next heads to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks. Fans can follow that trip on Twitter (@MizzouBaseball) or by checking in to MUTigers.com.
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