Tigers baseball opens with losses

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — The Missouri baseball team opened its season with a pair of losses to No. 23 Southern Mississippi.

The Tigers kicked off the year with a 5-2 defeat against the Eagles on Friday night.

Southern Mississippi’s Andrew Pierce, a preseason All-American, shut down the Tigers on the mound. He picked up the win by tossing seven innings and allowing just one earned run on six hits while striking out nine.

Rob Zastryzny took the loss by allowing three earned runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings of work.

Southern Mississippi took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first before Missouri’s Keaton Steele picked up an RBI on an infield single in the top of the third to tie the game.

The Eagles picked up a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to take a 5-1 lead.

Missouri was able to bring one run across in the top of the ninth on a single by Kendall Keeton, but that’s as close as the Tigers would get. Missouri hit into a game-ending double play with the tying run at the plate.

Missouri then dropped a 5-3 decision Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers took their first lead of the season in the top of the first when Steels singled to left to bring home a run.

Dane Opel added to that lead with an RBI single in the fifth to make it 2-0. Southern Mississippi got a run back in the bottom of the fifth before Missouri went ahead 3-1 in the sixth on an error. The Eagles made it 3-2 in the bottom of the frame with a sacrifice fly.

Mason Robbins blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh for the game winning shot.

Ryan Yuengel took the loss for Missouri after surrendering the home run in relief. He pitched two innings out of the bullpen and allowed the three runs on one hit. Brett Graves started for the Tigers and pitched five innings while allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with five strikeouts.

Missouri (0-2) closes the three-game series at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Related:

SEC Diamond Report for Feb. 16, 2013

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