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Alabama sweeps series against Missouri

 Rory Whetstone   in Baseball

The Missouri Tigers (23-16, 5-13 Southeastern Conference) fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide (29-12, 9-9 Southeastern Conference) by a final score of 3-2 at Taylor Stadium in Columbia, Mo., on Sunday afternoon. With the win, Alabama swept the series with Missouri.

For the first time in this series, Alabama was unable to score a run in the first inning and didn’t make a dent in the scoreboard until the sixth inning. 

Freshman Logan Lunceford dominated from the mound. While he did give up two solo shots that came in the sixth and seventh innings, his fastball command was on point. Over the course of 6.1 innings, he struck out seven and only allowed two hits. It was the most strikeouts he has recorded since April 6th against Vanderbilt. He also did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. Before the sixth inning, he threw four three-up three-down innings.

Steve Beiser was proud of the freshman for stepping up in a big conference matchup. 

“His fastball command was there and that’s what all our pitchers need right now," he said. "That’s why Logan was really tough today. Having great fastball command and then mixing the changeup and the breaking ball opened up a lot of avenues for him to make any pitch in any count he wanted too. We need more guys that are doing that.” 

Lunceford also displayed confidence on the mound which Beiser hopes will carry over to the rest of the staff. 

Alabama got their first run of the game from a no-doubt home run by Tommy Seidl in the sixth. Missouri tied them right up in the bottom half of the inning. 

The Tigers tied the game starting with a Ty Wilmsmeyer single that split the gap between short and third. Wilmsmeyer then stole second base and is now in sole possession of second place in the SEC with 18 swiped bags. Luke Mann grounded out but it advanced Wilmsmeyer to third place. He then came across home plate on a wild pitch during Trevor Austin’s at-bat. 

Wilmsmeyer has proven to be a great addition to the lead-off spot after moving from the nine-spot to the top of the order. He consistently reaches base and equips great speed that gets him into scoring position quickly. 

In the seventh, Alabama got their go-ahead runs from Andrew Pinckney and Mac Guscette. Pinckney launched a home run which gave him a homer in each game of the series. After a Missouri pitching change, Caden Rose roped a double to left field. He scored the Tide’s go-ahead run from a Guscette dribbler that went between first and second base and Justin Colon was unable to glove it. 

The Tigers had a chance to tie things up in the ninth when Matt Garcia hit a two-out double to right field. He was in scoring position, but Missouri couldn’t muster up any more hits and the game came to a close. 

In the Future

Missouri will face SIU-Edwardsville in a midweek matchup before traveling to Gainesville for a conference battle against Florida. 

The Tigers look to grab their first conference series win since sweeping Tennessee in early March. A current record of 5-13 has Missouri in the bottom of the SEC East standings. 

Missouri is also looking forward to having Ross Lovich back in the lineup. He started in the final game against Alabama, going 0-3 but drawing a walk. In his final AB of the game, Lovich squared the ball to the barrel of the bat, making solid contact. Lovich brings both power and poise to the plate that has been greatly missed in Missouri’s lineup. 

Beiser is excited to have him back in the line-up full-time. 

“It’s huge,” he said. “The one thing we know about Ross is he competes in each of his at-bats and we need more of that.”