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Alabama holds off Missouri for series win in Columbia

 Rory Whetstone   in Baseball

The Missouri Tigers (23-15, 5-12 Southeastern Conference) fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide (28-12, 8-9 Southeastern Conference) by a score of 10-4 at Taylor Stadium in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday evening. It’s Missouri’s second loss of the series.

Alabama struck first and put up a run in the first inning with singles from Jim Jarvis, Tommy Seidl, and a wild pitch. Rorik Maltrud’s wild pitch drove Jarvis past home plate and just like that the Tide were up 1-0. 

Unlike game one, Missouri was silenced in the first inning and was retired in order. They were retired in 1-2-3 fashion in two innings and didn’t record a hit in four total innings. 

The Tide broke out to a larger lead in the fourth inning. After Dominic Tamez took first base on a walk, Colby Shelton ripped a two-run home run over the wall in right-center. It was his 14th of the season and with this home run the freshman moved to 8th in the SEC with 14 HRs. 

Alabama wasn’t done. After Shelton’s extra-base hit, Andrew Pinckney and Jaxson West recorded singles of their own. Missouri turned to a pitching change to lessen the damage. Daniel Wissler entered the game and needed to record two outs. Unfortunately, he walked two batters and had a wild pitch. The score was now 4-0. Eventually, Wissler regained command of his pitches and ended the inning. 

Missouri added a run to the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Luke Mann started the inning with a walk. In the next AB, Trevor Austin flew out to center and was retired on a spectacular defensive play by Caden Rose. Hank Zeisler made up for the out with a double off the wall, and just like that the Tigers were threatening. Then, Dalton Bargo walked and the bags were juiced. With a new pitcher on the bump, Morris was hit by a pitch and brought in a run. However, Zane Probst quieted the Tigers with a strikeout and rolled Matt Garcia into a groundout. 

Alabama responded right away with back-to-back doubles from Tamez and Shelton and it was 5-1. It was also Shelton’s third RBI of the game. 

Missouri came roaring back in the bottom of the inning and brought the game to a close score of 5-4. With two outs, Mann worked a four-pitch walk and Austin was hit by a pitch. Fortunately for Mizzou, one of their best two-out hitters was at the plate and he delivered. He cracked a 3-run homer to right field and has now produced 21 of his team-leading 40 RBIs with two outs. 

The Tide went back to up two after a leadoff double by Jarvis. He was driven past home plate with an RBI groundout from Drew Williamson

Then, Alabama added their insurance runs in the seventh with two more home runs. In classic Colby Shelton fashion, he led off the inning with a home run. With his fifteenth four-bagger this season, he has tied Ross Wilson (2008) and Jeremy Brown (1999) for the Alabama single-season home run record by a freshman.

The second home run came from Caden Rose. In what was just a close game was now an 8-4 ballgame. 

While they had the bags loaded in the seventh, Missouri couldn't capitalize and wouldn’t score another run for the rest of the game. 

Unlike Missouri, Alabama knocked in two more runs. One in the eighth and another in the ninth. Alabama registered their fourth homer of the night with a no-doubter from Pinckney in the last inning of the game. 

Alabama had the hot hand from the plate the entire game. They had three doubles, a triple, and four home runs. In total, they had 15 base knocks. 

In the Future

Missouri looks to avoid a series sweep with a win in the Sunday tilt. The game will begin at 1 p.m.

Head coach Steve Beiser would like to see production from different spots in the lineup in the final game. Most of Saturday’s offense came from the heart of the lineup, with Garcia being the only player toward the bottom of the lineup with a hit. 

“We need more guys grinding out at-bats and competing,” he said. “We’re going to look at it and adjust the lineup, but on the same token we need to get some pitching too”.