By Caroline Hecker
The Missouri baseball team improved to 4-6 overall and snapped a five game losing streak after going 1-1 at this weekend’s University of Arkansas-Little Rock Invitational.
The Tigers faced Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPWF) during Saturday’s first matchup of the day. Freshman infielder Ryan Howard had three hits and a career-high four RBI, but inconsistent pitching and mental errors cost the Tigers the victory.
Starting pitcher John Miles gave up four runs in the top of the fourth before being relieved byRyan Phillips. Phillips then gave up a two-run homer, making the score 8-5 in favor of IPWF going into the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Tigers tallied two runs in the fifth inning after loading the bases with no outs, closing the gap to 8-7. Missouri then tied the game 8-8 in the sixth inning followingHoward’s fourth RBI of the game.
The seventh inning proved to be a different story though, when the Mastodons scored a pair of runs off of a one-out error by relief pitcher Breckin Williams. IPWF collected another run on a wild pitch, totaling three unearned runs in the top of the seventh.
The Tigers fell to IPWF, 11-8.
The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Illinois-Chicago featured strong Missouri pitching and contributions from veteran catcher Dylan Kelly.
Pitcher Brett Graves started for the Tigers and pitched 8.0 innings, giving up two hits, one walk and recording six strikeouts. In his last two starts, Graves has given up five hits, one walk and had 12 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Kelly went 3-4 and added an RBI for Missouri. Infielders Josh Lester and Kendall Keeton both recorded two hits for the Tigers as well.
The Tigers came out on top 4-0 over UIC and improve to 4-6 on the season.
Sunday’s game against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock was postponed due to inclement weather and will be played in Columbia later this season.
Missouri’s upcoming home games scheduled for March 4 and March 5 against Alabama A&M have been cancelled. The team will have its first home series against Southern Mississippi this weekend.
Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s game will begin at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s game at 12 p.m. at Taylor Stadium. All start times are central standard times.