COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri baseball team snapped a five-game losing streak and bounced back from a blowout loss to Texas A&M on Thursday night, beating the Aggies 8-2 to even the series Friday at Taylor Stadium.
Trevor Austin (Helias High School) hit his first career home run and scored two runs in the win.
Austin caught ahold of a fastball in the bottom of the third inning, sending a drive out to left-center that got out with a little help from the wind. Austin also singled in the first game of the series, starting back-to-back games for the first time since opening the season as a starter at Grand Canyon.
"He's gonna be a special player," Missouri coach Steve Bieser said after the game. "He's a competitor, knows how to play the game, and that's why he opened the season for us in our opening day lineup."
Bieser said Austin took the demotion to backup middle infielder positively and continued to work hard as other players started hitting better. He now has three hits, including the solo homer, six walks and a hit by pitch in 23 at-bats as a true freshman, and is hitting .500 as a pinch hitter.
"The coaches have seen that I've worked really hard the last couple months since I got out of the starting lineup," Austin said after the win. "I think that's been the biggest thing, in practice producing."
Austin's home run led off the Missouri half of the third inning and came on a 2-1 fastball down the middle, tying the game after the Aggies took a 2-1 lead in the top of the frame. Austin sported a big smile as he went back to the dugout after tapping helmets with teammates Ty Wilmsmeyer and Mark Vierling, who led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer.
"It felt really good," Austin said. "It was a fastball, I was definitely looking for a fastball. I've been struggling with the off-speed lately but getting that fastball was nice and I barreled it up."
Starter Seth Halvorsen threw seven dominant innings, striking out a career-high 10 batters, walking three and giving up two earned runs, both of which came on a home run in the third inning. The Tigers (9-17, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) used his pitching performance as a springboard after getting drubbed 16-2 in the opener.
The series finale begins at 3 p.m. today on SEC Network as the Tigers go for their first conference series win of the season.