Mizzou baseball’s Keaton Steele takes home SEC Player of the Week honors

By Zach Garcia

Rarely can an individual player reasonably be called both the best hitter and best pitcher on a college baseball team, but Missouri junior Keaton Steele is starting to look like a prime example.

Steele was named the SEC Player of the Week on Monday after a huge offensive performance during the Tigers’ weekend series at Georgia. In his first season with Missouri after transferring from Iowa Western Community College, Steele is the only Tiger to earn an SEC Player or Pitcher of the Week award and the first SEC player to earn one of each so far this season.

Steele had six hits in the series against Georgia, three of which went for extra bases, including one that cleared the wall for Steele’s first Division I home run. He drove in three of Missouri’s 17 runs as the Tigers took two of three games from the Bulldogs.

Steele was also awarded SEC Pitcher of the Week honors on March 18 and garnered some consideration to capture that title for a second time with his equally strong performance on the mound in Georgia. Steele pitched 7 1/3 innings on Sunday, coming on with Missouri in a 4-0 deficit and departing with his third win of the season. He finished the game for the Tigers, retiring the final 15 Georgia batters in order, and allowing the Missouri offense to work its way back for an eventual 8-5 win. The final line for Steele included one run on four hits, striking out nine batters in relief.

After pitching over seven innings, Steele will likely not make an appearance on the mound for the Tigers as they prepare for another away contest with in-state power Missouri State (19-8) on Tuesday, but may be inserted in an infield spot for the start. Steele has seen time at both third base and first base, in addition to his pitching duties this season. Instead, starting pitcher Jace James will most likely get the nod for the Tigers in the 6:30pm start at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo.

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