Missouri opens season in dominant fashion with 7-0 win over Seton Hall

McClain allows four hits over eight innings of shutout baseball.
The Tigers' Lake Dabney pitches to a Missouri State player during the baseball game on April 21, 2015, in Taylor Stadium.

Missouri baseball could not have kicked off its 2016 campaign in any better fashion than it did on Friday afternoon against Seton Hall.

Despite playing at a neutral site in Fort Myers, Florida, the Tigers acted as if they were playing at Taylor Stadium. From the beginning, it was clear that the Pirates were no match for Missouri.

Mizzou started the game with redshirt senior Reggie McClain on the mound. McClain, who was not drafted last season despite posting a 3.56 ERA in 15 starts, took the mound with a vengeance. He quickly dispatched the opening three batters in Seton Hall’s lineup, setting the pace of play.

McClain continued to work effectively throughout the game, only allowing four hits in eight innings pitched. He used his secondary pitches effectively to keep the Pirates guessing and was able to set them down in short order as he only averaged 12 pitches per inning.

While McClain did his job on the mound, the Tiger batters showed no mercy on Seton Hall’s pitching staff.

With one man out in the bottom of the second inning, sophomore third baseman Shane Benes stepped into the box. After fouling a pitch straight back, Benes crushed a home run that got out of City of Palms Park before the announcers could even react.

In the fifth inning, the top of Missouri’s order produced. After freshman second baseman Ian Nelson dropped a single over the shortstop’s head, junior shortstop Ryan Howard produced in the leadoff spot with a single into left field. Junior center fielder Jake Ring followed the act with a single of his own, leaving the bases loaded for sophomore catcher Brett Bond.

After working a full count, Bond delivered with a single up the middle, driving in Nelson and Howard to increase Missouri’s lead to 3-0.

The Tigers extended their lead again in the seventh inning. Missouri’s two through six hitters all reached base, driving home four runs in the process to bring the score to 7-0.

The score would remain the same for the rest of the game, which eventually ended with Missouri leaving the field happy.

The Tigers will take the field again tomorrow for a doubleheader in their series against Seton Hall. Both games will be played at City of Palms Park, with the first pitch being thrown at noon. Fans can listen to the game on KTGR 1580 AM/100.5 FM.

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