Missouri baseball dominates Eastern Illinois 10-1

The Tigers rallied behind a hot bat from Brett Bond and solid pitching performances to hand Eastern Illinois a rough loss on Tuesday.
Maneater File Photo

Mizzou baseball defeated the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Tuesday 10-1 to extend its win streak to 11 games.

The Tigers got off to a strong start, both on the mound and at the plate. Starting pitcher Bryce Montes De Oca did not allow a run in the first three innings; Mizzou’s offense supported the righty during this stretch with six runs. Junior Brett Bond continued his strong start to the season with five hits in five at-bats, becoming the first Tiger with five hits in a game since 2011.

“I've been trying to be short and sweet, just see the ball and hit it,” Bond said. “It worked out tonight.”

Montes De Oca was also supported by a strong defensive effort.

“Before we started the season, we were looking to be an excellent defensive club,” coach Steve Bieser said. “I think we are starting to see what this defense is capable of. It's been a priority for us.”

The fourth inning saw the first bit of adversity for the Tigers as a wild pitch from Montes De Oca allowed a run to score for Eastern Illinois. Control issues marred the starter’s otherwise solid performance, as he hit three Eastern Illinois batters.

“It was some bad breaking balls I threw,” Montes De Oca said. “If that's the worst thing to happen today, it's the worst thing to happen today. Besides that, I was comfortable at the mound.”

The Tigers quickly righted this wrong in the bottom of the fourth by scoring a run of their own on a sacrifice groundout by junior Alex Samples that scored Robbie Glendinning.

Montes De Oca’s day ended with the Tigers up 7-1 after throwing a career-high five innings.

“[Montes De Oca’s start] is really encouraging,” Bieser said. “That's what we want to see. I was really pleased with the outing that he had tonight.”

The bullpen took over and cemented the win with four scoreless innings. The bullpen’s performance was highlighted by seven strikeouts from relief pitcher Ryan Lee.

“Ryan Lee was outstanding,” Bieser said. “We do a lot of our grading based on the quality of pitches, and Lee threw a lot of quality pitches.”

Despite a large lead, the Tigers’ offense still showed sparks in the late stages of the game. Junior Trey Harris knocked in a two-run hit in the bottom of the eighth to give the Tigers their ninth and 10th runs.

The Tigers play Western Carolina next. The game will take place at Taylor Stadium on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network+.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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