Poor offensive execution hurt Auburn for the second night in a row, and the Tigers fell to Missouri, 4-2, Friday night at Plainsman Park. The other Tigers clinched the series with their victory.
Auburn (18-10, 4-4 SEC) managed just two hits through the first five innings, both singles off the bat of Jordan Ebert, falling behind, 2-0. The Tigers finally got on the board in the sixth. Damek Tomscha led off with an opposite-field double to right, and two batters later, Tomscha came home on a one-out single from Blake Austin. But after an Anfernee Grier pinch-hit pop out, the inning ended when Austin was thrown out trying to steal second. Blake Logan didn't swing at the pitch; there was likely a missed signal by either the batter or the runner.
Ebert tied the game with a one-out RBI single in the seventh, and it looked like Auburn had regained the momentum. But that didn't last long.
Missouri (13-12, 3-5) regained the lead in the top of the eighth. Three singles loaded the bases with one out, and designated hitter Eric Anderson, who had two doubles already, hit his third of the night to drive in two and provide the final margin. Auburn threatened in the eighth, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but head coach Sunny Golloway called for a double steal, and Ryan Tella was thrown out at third to end the inning. In his postgame interview, Golloway blamed Tella for hesitating, but frankly it was a poor coaching decision.
Ebert was the only Auburn batter with multiple hits, going 3-for-4. Logan was 1-for-3, and Tomscha and Austin were 1-for-4. The Tigers finished with just six hits, and were 0-for-4 trying to advance runners on sacrifice bunts.
Second baseman Dan Glevenyak, who was hurt during Thursday night's loss, didn't play and was replaced by Connor Short (0-for-4). Golloway would go into specifics, but said Glevenyak could be dealing with a "long-term injury."
Keegan Thompson pitched six innings and didn't factor in the decision. Thompson wasn't as sharp as we've seen so far this year, allowing seven hits, four walks and two runs, but he did strike out nine. Justin Camp (1-4) took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out two in the final three innings.
Mizzou starter John Miles also took a no-decision, but he pretty much shut down Auburn's lineup. Miles entered with a 5.57 ERA, but he gave up just one run on four hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings, striking out three. Breckin Williams (1-1) allowed two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of relief to pick up the win, and Keaton Steele got the final four outs to earn his seventh save of the year.
Senior southpaw Michael O'Neal (1-2, 3.62) will take the mound for Auburn in the Saturday finale. The home Tigers will try to avoid a disastrous sweep against Missouri's No. 1 starter, junior righty Brett Graves (1-1, 1.51). First pitch is scheduled for noon CT, and the game will air on Fox Sports South.
Missouri 4 (13-12,3-5 SEC)
|Eric Anderson dh||4||1||3||2||1||0||0||0||0|
|Logan Pearson rf||5||0||1||0||0||2||3||0||3|
|Kendall Keeton 1b||5||0||1||1||0||1||8||0||2|
|Josh Lester ss||4||0||1||1||1||1||2||1||1|
|Shane Segovia 2b||5||0||1||0||0||2||2||0||1|
|Dylan Kelly c||4||1||1||0||1||1||3||4||3|
|Ryan Howard 3b||4||1||2||0||1||1||1||1||1|
|Jake Ivory lf||3||0||0||0||0||2||4||0||1|
|Jake Ring cf||4||1||2||0||0||1||4||0||0|
|John Miles p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Austin Tribby p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Breckin Williams p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Keaton Steele p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Auburn 2 (18-10,4-4 SEC)
|Jordan Ebert lf/2b||4||0||3||1||1||0||3||0||0|
|Sam Gillikin rf||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||2|
|Damek Tomscha 1b||4||1||1||0||0||0||5||0||2|
|Ryan Tella cf||2||0||0||0||2||1||5||0||1|
|Blake Austin 3b/c||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||0|
|Daniel Robert dh||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Anfernee Grier ph/dh||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Blake Logan c||3||0||1||0||1||0||10||1||2|
|J.J. Shaffer pr/lf||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Connor Short 2b/3b||4||1||0||0||0||0||2||1||0|
|Damon Haecker ss||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||1||0|
|Keegan Thompson p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Justin Camp p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Missouri............ 001 010 020 - 4 12 0 Auburn.............. 000 001 100 - 2 6 0 -------------------------------------------
|LOB - MU 12; Auburn 8. 2B - Anderson 3(6); Tomscha, D.(7). SH - Ivory(4). SB - Tella, R.(9). CS - Tella, R.(3); Austin, B.(1).|
|Breckin Williams W,1-1||1.1||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||6||7||4||0||24|
|Keaton Steele S,7||1.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||3||3||1||1||14|
|Justin Camp L,1-4||3.0||5||2||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||14||14||5||2||47|
Win - Williams (1-1). Loss - Camp, J. (1-4). Save - Steele (7). WP - Thompson, K.(3). Pitches/strikes: Miles 86/56; Tribby 21/11; Williams 24/16; Steele 14/10; Thompson, K. 104/71; Camp, J. 47/31.
Umpires - HP: Chuck Pack 1B: Fred Cannon 2B: Ray Miller 3B: Jack Cox