NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Missouri baseball ended No. 2 Vanderbilt's nation-best 13-game winning streak Saturday and evened the series with a 5-2 victory.
Today's rubber match starts at noon, with a TBA Tiger slated to start against RHP Patrick Raby (8-1, 2.51 ERA).
The Commodores scored first, with three singles and a fielder's choice in the fourth inning off of TJ Sikkema. But No. 22 Missouri (34-17-1, 13-12-1 Southeastern Conference) came right back in the top of the fifth. Paul Gomez singled to center, Tony Ortiz hit an infield single, then a double steal put two runners in scoring position with one out. Mark Vierling hit an RBI groundout, and Ortiz scored on a wild pitch from Vanderbilt starter Kumar Rocker.
Three straight singles in the top of the sixth, including an RBI off the bat of Peter Zimmermann, put the Tigers ahead for good, then in the seventh Gomez and Ortiz hit back-to-back singles again, with Gomez taking third on a hit-and-run. Vierling took an inside pitch on a 3-0 count that looked like ball four, and on the next pitch, a double-steal and a bad 6-2 throw home scored Gomez.
Missouri, which went 4-for-6 on the day in stolen bases, loaded the bases in the seventh but could not score another run as Ethan Smith struck out both Chris Cornelius and Kameron Misner.
Gomez, Ortiz and Connor Brumfield all hit 2-for-4 for the Tigers, and Zimmermann, who hit his sixth home run of the season to lead off the eighth inning and wrap up the scoring for Missouri, was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Sikkema (7-3) pitched six strong innings for the Tigers, giving up five hits, three walks and two earned runs while striking out four.
Ian Bedell was even better in three innings to pick up his fifth save of the season, tossing three two-hit innings with three strikeouts.