Missouri starting pitcher Eric Anderson delivers a pitch in the third inning Sunday, April 6, 2014, against Georgia at Taylor Stadium. Anderson pitched a complete game allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and a career-high 12 strikeouts. It was Anderson’s first complete game of his Missouri career. Missouri beat Georgia 4-2.
Missouri third baseman Ryan Howard throws the ball to shortstop Josh Lester during a rundown of Georgia’s Hunter Cole during the fourth inning Sunday, April 6, 2014, at Taylor Stadium. Lester tagged out Cole on the play.
Missouri pitcher John Miles charts pitches by Eric Anderson during a fourth-inning at bat by Georgia’s Nelson Ward on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Missouri beat Georgia 4-2 at Taylor Stadium.
Missouri freshman Ryan Howard looks at the pitcher and pulls his right sleeve down before entering the batter’s box in the eighth inning Sunday, April 6, 2014. Howard’s at bat resulted in a walk. Howard batted 1-for-3 in Missouri’s 4-2 win over Georgia at Taylor Stadium.
Missouri players celebrate Sunday’s win after the final out in the ninth inning. Pictured from left to right are Josh Lester, Kendall Keeton, Shane Segovia (11), Ryan Howard (wearing a tan glove), Jake Ring and Jake Ivory (21). Missouri beat Georgia 4-2 on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at Taylor Stadium.
Missouri junior Brett Graves (second from left) directs his teammates to position the tarp as teammate Jordan Getzelman watches after Missouri beat Georgia 4-2 on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at Taylor Stadium. Getzelman’s arm is in a cast because he underwent left wrist surgery March 25. Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said Getzelman’s recovery will take four to five months, so he will miss the rest of the 2014 season.
By Caroline Hecker
Photos by Erik Hall
Missouri pitcher Eric Anderson’s career high 12 strikeouts and first-ever complete game kept the Tigers from being swept by the Georgia Bulldogs in this weekend’s series.
After dropping the first two games of the series to the Bulldogs, Missouri came into Sunday’s game “angry.”
“I think we played with a little edge, you know, a little anger almost,” shortstop Josh Lester said. “Friday and Saturday just weren’t us and we wanted to prove we can beat them.”
The Tigers were solid on the mound, as Anderson scattered six hits over nine innings and allowed two runs.
“This win was huge, this game meant a lot to me,” Anderson said. “We’ve had some real tough losses but I hope today can get us going in the right direction. It’s tough to win when you’re not playing well.”
Anderson commanded control early on, something Josh Lester said he noticed immediately.
“I knew right off the bat this was Eric’s game,” he said. “I love playing behind him, he’s one of the guys where you know you could have a lot of action in the infield. I probably had four or five groundballs.”
Missouri kept Georgia scoreless through the first three innings, eventually giving up a run in the top of the fourth.
Despite losing back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday night, Anderson said the team’s overall approach didn’t change.
“The approach didn’t change, I think we just executed better,” he said. “Hitting is very streaky, and it takes a game this to get things going again. Sometimes when one guy goes cold, suddenly everyone goes cold.”
Competing through later innings was a crucial part of Anderson’s game plan.
“You could tell he was on a mission,” head coach Tim Jamieson said. “For Eric to throw a complete game is remarkable in multiple ways, but the effort was just incredible.”
Missouri now stands at 14-16 overall and 4-8 in SEC play.
“My junior year, when we won the Big 12 tournament, we were a pretty similar team at this point in the season and we got it going,” Anderson said. “It only takes one game, and we feel good after today.”
Coach Jamieson believes the team need to improve upon its offensive firepower.
“Our pitching and defense is good, but we have to start putting up more runs on the weekend,” he said. “And that can happen by guys getting more confidence through playing and at practice.”
The Tigers will host in-state rival Missouri State on Tuesday, April 8 at 6 p.m. at Taylor Stadium in Columbia, Mo.
The team will then travel this weekend to the University of Kentucky for a three game conference series against the Wildcats (22-10)