Mizzou baseball dominates Missouri State 17–9

The Tigers finished with their highest run total of the season for their 21st win.

It appears that Missouri’s two biggest schools refuse to play close games with each other.

Two weeks ago, the Missouri baseball team (21–21, 4–14 SEC) was drubbed 16–1 by No. 23 Missouri State (28–11). On Tuesday night, the roles were reversed as the Tigers smoked the Bears 17–9.

Mizzou opened up the offense early, grabbing three runs in the third, three in the fourth and then four in the fifth to open up a 7–1 lead.

A large part of the offense’s early success was sophomore designated hitter Shane Benes. Benes, who had not recorded a hit since April 8, first singled up the middle to score a run and then crushed a two-run home run over the Tiger bullpen. Benes finished with five RBI on the day.

“Every day I have a feeling it’s going to turn around,” Benes said. “It just happened to be today. I was just happy to hit a ball hard in play, it had been a long time.”

In the meantime, redshirt sophomore Cole Bartlett was stellar on the mound. Bartlett dominated a lineup that includes mid-season All-American Jake Burger, pitching five innings while only allowing one run on two hits.

“He’s been throwing a lot better,” coach Tim Jamieson said. “I thought he was our best chance against that team. That’s a good offensive team.”

Despite four Missouri State runs in the sixth inning, Mizzou maintained its stranglehold throughout the game. Senior first baseman Zach Lavy continued his hot streak, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Lavy finished just a triple shy of the cycle, but finished the day with six RBI, the most by a Tiger since 2010.

“I can’t have six RBIs if the guys in front of me aren’t out there,” Lavy said. “I was just taking a solid approach up to the plate and not trying to do too much and luckily the ball found some grass and the cement across the fence. It’s just a lot of fun playing with the lead and actually winning.”

Other offensive standouts included freshman left fielder Marquise Doherty and junior shortstop Ryan Howard. Doherty went 2-for-4 with three RBIs on the day while Howard went 2-for-5 and scored four runs.

“When you’ve got Howard and Lavy and (Harris) and Benes all contributing, that was real positive for us,” Jamieson said.

The 17 runs scored in Tuesday’s game is the most scored in a single game this year for the Tigers. It was much needed as Missouri was trying to get off a seven-game skid.

“There was a huge monkey on our back and finally it jumped off,” Lavy said. “We’re just really happy to get the W, especially against our in-state rivals. I don’t like these guys, so I’m really happy we won.”

With the win, Missouri’s record sits at .500. The Tigers will return to Southeastern Conference play on Friday against Tennessee. The game can be viewed on SEC Network+ and listened to on KTGR at 6 p.m.

Edited by Theo DeRosa | tderosa@themaneater.com

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