Missouri baseball extends winning streak to five with 7-4 win over Western Illinois

Missouri is now 9-5 on the season.

Game three of the Missouri vs. Western Illinois series was memorable for freshman and Columbia native Spencer Miles made his first career start at Taylor Stadium. The Tigers swept the Leathernecks in a 7-4 victory, extending their win streak to five games.

The first inning didn’t go as planned for Miles as the top of the lineup for Western Illinois earned an early lead as Trenton Bauer hit a 2-run shot over the right center field wall.

The lead was short lived, however, once Missouri senior Peter Zimmermann stepped into the box. Zimmermann blasted a 2-run home run, evening the score at two.

“I was sitting on the bench, saw the ball go off the bat — first one to jump up probably,” Miles said. “So I was pumped, got me back in it. And then after that, it’s a boost of confidence that I can go right now.”

Miles tallied five strikeouts in front of the home crowd with his family and friends in the stands.

“I like seeing everyone here, throwing in front of friends and family,” Miles said. “It may go unsaid, but it’s appreciated that all the fans came.”

“The way [Miles] was able to scatter hits, they got on him a little bit early, but he didn’t cave and he just kept coming at ‘em,” coach Steve Bieser said. “Maybe somebody that didn’t really have enough confidence would’ve folded under that, but I thought he settled in and threw the ball really well.”

Miles went six innings with five strikeouts while giving up nine hits before being relieved by sophomore Trae Robertson. Robertson struck out two in the 7th while Jackson Lancaster took over in the 8th. Trey Dillard made an appearance on the mound with three strikeouts securing the Tiger victory.

The Tigers improved their offensive consistency in Game three as Mizzou tallied nine hits. Zimmermann’s bat stayed hot as he went a career high 3-for-4 with four RBI’s as well as his third home run of the season. Sophomore Cameron Swanger was a key part of the team’s success batting 3-for-4 with two runs and shortstop Austin James provided insurance as he sailed a 2-run shot into the left field bullpen extending his home run streak to three games.

“A lot of guys hit the ball well today, it’s just, I mean we easily could have put up 12,13 runs if just balls started finding holes for us,” Zimmermann said. “I think our approach today was a lot better. I think guys didn’t try to do too much and it worked out very well.”

The Tigers improved their record to 9-5 on the season and look to welcome Northern Illinois on Tuesday, March 10, and Wednesday, March 11, before traveling to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to take on the ranked Crimson Tide for a series at the end of the week.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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