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MU baseball completes season sweep with 6-2 win against Missouri State

MU baseball completes season sweep with 6-2 win against Missouri State

April 24th, 2019 by Colin O'Brien in Mizzou Sports

COLUMBIA — For years, the seat of college baseball in the state of Missouri was not in Columbia.

Even though Missouri has a College World Series title and three runners-up finishes to claim against in-state rivals Missouri State, and 53 current and former players in Major League Baseball compared to the Bears' 26, Hammons Field in Springfield hosted an NCAA Regional in 2015, while Taylor Stadium has hosted once, in 2007, which was won by Louisville.

But Tuesday at Taylor Stadium, the Tigers at least evened the all-time series — Missouri officially has the record at 30-29 in its favor, while Missouri State's record book says 29 wins each — and swept the season series for the second consecutive year with a 6-2 win. The Tigers outscored the Bears 20-8 in two games, and Missouri State scored six of its runs in the ninth inning, including its only runs in the finale.

"I think it definitely means we're headed in the right direction," Missouri coach Steve Bieser said after the game. "That's a really solid program for many, many years and I felt like, last year and this year, we put together four really good games."

Missouri (27-15-1) has not lost a mid-week game all season and is solidly in the hunt for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012. The Bears meanwhile fell to 13-27 and will likely miss the postseason for the first time since 2016.

"That's something you want to do when Missouri State steps on your field, you don't want to drop that one," Missouri outfielder Kameron Misner said. "Just getting those wins, it's a good feeling."

After hitting a combined 11 home runs in his first two seasons, Misner hit his 10th this year in the bottom of the sixth inning and was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. He credited a more aggressive approach early in the count, as well as a renewed focus on barreling the ball up, for his increased production that is making use of the power his swing has always had.

Cameron Swanger got the eighth start of his freshman season for the Tigers, finishing 1-for-3 with two RBI. In that sixth inning, Peter Zimmermann followed Misner's homer with a single, Chad McDaniel grounded out, and with two outs, the Bears elected to intentionally walk Mark Vierling to bring Swanger to the plate.

"That I did, that I did," Swanger said when asked if he took Vierling's intentional walk personally. "I looked at coach Bieser, and he said, 'Make it hurt.' So I had one job, and I wanted to hit a ball hard."

He doubled to the gap in right-center, driving in two.

Misner and Zimmermann drove in runs in the first inning with groundouts but Missouri's bats went cold until the sixth with just one hit and two walks in the middle four innings.

The Tigers added an insurance run in the eighth. Misner led off with a double, advanced on a Zimmermann groundout before scoring as Chad McDaniel drove in his 23rd run of the season with a sacrifice fly.

Bieser went to the bullpen for his starter against Missouri State, giving Jordan Gubelman his second-career start. Gubelman gave up no hits in three innings of work, walking two with two strikeouts. Tommy Springer, who was initially slated to start, pitched the next three innings and was credited with the win, allowing two hits and striking out one.

Missouri (7-10-1 SEC) hosts South Carolina in a conference series starting Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.