On Wednesday, the Missouri baseball squad (2-6, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) pulled the brooms out of the closet at Taylor Stadium.
After losing their first two series of the year, the Tigers took both games in a doubleheader over Eastern Michigan, 1-0 and 7-1, in their inaugural home series.
“I think winning the first game (helped) after trying (for so long) to get that first win,” coach Tim Jamieson said. “You know, you want guys to focus on process and not results, but results ultimately drive confidence, so getting (that first win) helped the team.”
Coming off the win in the first game, Missouri found its offensive groove in the second, more than doubling its biggest run total in any game this season. Junior infielder Kendall Keeton tore the cover off the ball, going three for three with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base.
Sophomore third baseman Nick Moore reached base twice and also tallied two runs. However, junior catcher Dylan Kelly had the biggest hit of the day, a two-out base knock to center in the fourth inning, plating three runs.
“Up and down our lineup, we stuck with our approach,” senior left fielder Scott Sommerfeld said. “That’s all we had to do was just stick with it. We had some really disciplined at bats. Hats off to (our) pitchers, too. All the guys that threw today did a great job throwing strikes and getting guys out because that gave us momentum offensively to get things going.”
The Tigers starting pitchers preformed admirably in both games. In the latter game, junior Keaton Steele worked five scoreless innings, striking out three and walking three.
In the first game, sophomore Jace James strung together six innings with five Ks, three walks and no runs.
“My off-speed pitches weren’t really working for me,” James said. “I usually have that to fall back on. It was really my fastball. I was locating that really well today, and I was getting them to roll over and hit some weak fly balls.”
Sommerfeld scored the lone Missouri run in the bottom of the fifth after drilling a double to right center. He was later sacrificed home.
“Getting that first win under the belt was a big thing for us,” Sommerfeld said. “Yeah, it was a sigh of relief. We are a good ball club and we just have to trust (that we can win).”
Missouri will play San Francisco at 6 p.m. tonight at Taylor Stadium for the start of a three-game series.