Missouri wins first SEC game of the year, 8–5

Tigers stave off Razorbacks for first SEC win.
Michael Plassmeyer releases a pitch toward home plate at Taylor Stadium on March 15. Missouri lost to Southeast Missouri 7–2.

For the first time this season, the Missouri baseball team finished a Southeastern Conference game on the winning side.

Missouri (16–13, 1–7 SEC) held off Arkansas (19–7, 4–4 SEC) on Saturday night, 8–5, for its first SEC win of the season. It was also sophomore pitcher Tanner Houck’s first win in over a month.

The Tigers started the game hot, lighting up Arkansas’ sophomore Keaton McKinney for three hits in the opening three batters. The onslaught peaked when junior shortstop Ryan Howard lined a ground-rule double over the right field fence to score junior outfielders Kirby McGuire and Jake Ring.

Mizzou continued to pound McKinney, scoring six runs off the sophomore and eventually forcing him out of the game after just 3.2 innings.

Meanwhile, Houck mowed down Razorback hitters with ease. The sophomore did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, when junior Austin Catron launched a home run over the right field fence to for Arkansas’ first hit and run.

After that, Houck started to become shaky. Arkansas started to make solid contact of Houck, while his command started to slip away.

Houck exited the game in the seventh inning without recording an out. At that point, he had allowed three runs since the home run, bringing the score to 7–4. Houck would end up being tagged with five earned runs when the night was finished.

The Tiger bullpen, which has struggled this season, bent but didn’t break for the remainder of the game. Freshman Liam Carter and senior Austin Tribby combined for three innings of work, allowing five baserunners between them in three innings of work but not allowing a single Razorback to cross home plate.

Missouri will take on Arkansas again tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with a chance to win the series. The game can be viewed on the SEC Network and heard on KTGR 1580 AM/100.5 FM.

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