Missouri gives up six sixth-inning runs, falls to South Carolina 11-1

The Tigers gave up just one hit in the sixth inning, but it resulted in six runs.

After an exquisite relief appearance from right-handed graduate student Lukas Veinbergs, who gave Missouri a 7-2 victory against No. 11 South Carolina Friday night, the Tigers were again in a good position to upset the Gamecocks on the second night of a back-to-back.

While Missouri only held a 1-0 lead, sophomore starter Spencer Miles had a solid day on the mound and looked poised to keep the shutout alive.

But South Carolina junior center fielder Brady Allen had other ideas.

With two men on base against Miles, Allen cracked a deep fly ball. All redshirt senior left fielder Brandt Belk could do was watch the home run go straight over the wall.

Down 3-1, Missouri was still in the ball game. But the Gamecocks brought in junior reliever Daniel Lloyd, who retired the Tigers in order in the sixth. The Tigers came up with hard hits, but all were straight at fielders.

Miles came out for his sixth inning of work, pitching from behind 3-1. The Tigers wanted to keep the score right there with the ability to come back.

But they couldn’t make that happen.

Junior designated hitter Wes Clarke singled to lead off the inning, South Carolina’s only sixth-inning hit.

But on that one hit, the Gamecocks scored six runs. What followed the leadoff single was four walks, three different pitchers, two wild pitches and one balk.

This inning, in many ways, resembled the Tigers’ season as a whole. Poor bullpen play ultimately led to a large, insurmountable deficit.

Sophomore Shane Wilhelm relieved Miles. The right-hander faced two batters, walked both of them and allowed two runs. That was the end of Wilhelm’s day.

Graduate student Spencer Juergens followed Wilhelm, giving up three runs of his own through two innings of work. Two of those came in the eighth inning when South Carolina crossed double digits to make it 11-1.

In the game’s final four innings, Missouri out-hit the Gamecocks 4-3, but the home team was able to outscore the visitors 8-0 during those frames.

Offensively, the Tigers struck out ten times. South Carolina senior starter Brannon Jordan recorded 8 punchouts over his five innings of work and only allowed two hits.

Missouri’s only run of the game came in the fourth inning. After a leadoff double by sophomore first baseman Torin Montgomery, Belk moved him over via groundout to first.

Freshman designated hitter Garrett Rice came to the plate with two outs after an Andrew Keefer strikeout. In the first game of the series, it was Rice’s big hit that gave the Tigers the lead and eventually the victory.

In a way, Rice delivered again. Montgomery scampered home after a passed ball during Rice’s at-bat.

Not a single Missouri batter finished with a multi-hit game, and the team only walked four times. With bullpen inconsistencies, the Tigers need to rely on offensive production more than most teams. Six hits will rarely win you games in SEC play.

Missouri will return for the final game of the three-game series on Sunday at 11 a.m CDT on SEC Network. Freshman right-hander Zach Hise is the projected starter for the Tigers. Hise will look to improve on his last outing, where he only lasted four innings against Texas A&M.

Edited by Kyle Pinnell | kpinnell@themaneater.com

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