Missouri implodes against No. 8 South Carolina, falls 8–5

The Tigers gave up four runs in the sixth.

For the first time since its series against then-No. 15 Arkansas, the Missouri baseball team looked like it was going to beat a ranked team. Then, the sixth inning happened.

The Tigers lost 8–5 to No. 8 South Carolina on Friday night. The loss came after the Tigers led 4–1 with only four innings left to play.

After a rain delay that lasted an hour and four minutes, Missouri jumped out to a 2–0 lead in the first when freshman second baseman Ian Nelson singled to center field, scoring sophomore catcher Brett Bond and senior first baseman Zach Lavy. Sophomore left fielder Trey Harris added the team’s third run with a sacrifice fly to score junior shortstop Ryan Howard in the third inning.

With senior Reggie McClain on the mound, it appeared that Missouri had a win in hand. The Tigers even added another run in the sixth when junior center fielder Jake Ring doubled home junior right fielder Kirby McGuire.

But then South Carolina stepped up to the plate.

After singling home a runner, sophomore third baseman Shane Benes called off his fellow infielders on a routine fly ball just behind the mound. He proceeded to drop the ball, allowing runners to reach first and second with no outs.

Later in the inning, the Gamecocks had the bases loaded with one out. Then, on what should have been a routine double play to end the inning, Nelson dropped the ball on the transfer, allowing South Carolina to score on a fielder’s choice.

By the end of the inning, South Carolina led 5–4.

Any hope Missouri still had after that horrendous inning was squashed when the Gamecocks tagged senior pitcher Austin Tribby for another three runs in the eighth inning.

Other than a Lavy home run in the ninth, the Tigers could not muster anything in the ninth, finally falling 8–5.

Missouri takes the field against South Carolina for a rematch at 3 p.m. tomorrow. The game can be seen on SEC Network+ and heard on KTGR.

Edited by George Roberson | groberson@themaneater.com

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