The Maneater

Montes de Oca pitches Missouri to 5-2 win over Northeastern

The Tigers have now allowed two or fewer runs in four of their five games.

Maneater File Photo

In his season-opening start against the Florida International University Panthers on Feb. 16, Missouri redshirt junior Bryce Montes de Oca didn’t allow a run. But he couldn’t find the strike zone either, walking seven batters over 3.2 innings of work.

Friday was a different story. In the first of a four-game set against the Northeastern Huskies, Montes de Oca exhibited pinpoint control, pitching 6.1 innings while allowing just one run, striking out eight and not allowing a walk and leading his team to a 5-2 victory.

While the Husky bats were held in check, the Tiger offense held its own. In the bottom half of the first, Missouri left fielder Zach Hanna came through with a clutch two-out double that plated two Tigers. This would prove to be all the support Montes de Oca would need.

The Tiger bats were quiet for the middle of the game, getting an occasional hit or two but never really threatening to score.

After 96 pitches, Montes de Oca was done for the night and was replaced by Nile Ball after a great outing, the second-longest of his career. Ball came in and pitched out of a jam, inducing a 6-4-3 double play.

In the ninth inning, the Tiger bats came alive again, with another two-out, two-run double, this time by right fielder Trey Harris.

Ball came back out for the ninth and shut down the Huskies, earning his first save of the young season.

According to coach Steve Bieser, Montes de Oca was the story of the night.

“For me, seeing Bryce – that's as well as he's thrown since I can remember,” Bieser said in a press release. “Just being able to use his pitches and he still had plenty left there at the end of the game. His arm strength was still phenomenal at the end.”

The Tigers are back in action on Saturday with a double-header against the Northeastern Huskies. Game times are noon and 3 p.m.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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