KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Missouri baseball team pulled off an improbable comeback Sunday, defeating No. 23 Tennessee 10-8 to take the series.
The Tigers, ranked No. 24, trailed 7-0 after two innings and had used three pitchers as coach Steve Bieser elected to go with a bullpen start. But four hits and three walks in the third inning, including a two-run triple from Connor Brumfield, a two-run single from Chad McDaniel and a two-run home run from Paul Gomez, tied the game at 7.
Art Joven, Missouri's Sunday starter the past few weeks, lost the job after Georgia and South Carolina roughed him up in back-to-back weeks. But Joven pitched four stellar innings of middle relief, giving up just three hits and allowed no runs or other baserunners.
The Volunteers retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, as three straight baserunners reached with two outs on a hit by pitch and two walks, and despite a pitching change to ace TJ Sikkema, who started Saturday's game, walked in a run.
But Missouri responded in the top of the eighth, scoring three unanswered runs to take the lead for good. Gomez hit his second two-run homer of the day, and Brumfield picked up his third RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly after a Tony Ortiz walk and a Mark Vierling single put runners at the corners with one out.
Sikkema earned the win in 2 no-hit innings of work, issuing just the one walk and striking out one.
The Tigers held steady at third in the SEC East standings, and put distance between themselves and Tennessee (10-14) and Florida (9-15) after the Gators were swept at Georgia.
Missouri (33-16-1, 12-11-1 SEC) plays next weekend at No. 2 Vanderbilt and hosts Florida in its regular-season finale from May 16-18.