Mizzou baseball falls to LSU, faces Gamecocks next – STLtoday.com

The Missouri baseball team’s season is officially on the brink.

Needing a couple more wins in the Southeastern Conference tournament to feel safe about securing an NCAA regional bid, the Tigers couldn’t overcome two four-run innings by Louisiana State in a 10-3 loss Wednesday in Hoover, Ala., snapping MU’s seven-game winning streak. The loss dropped the Tigers to 0-12 all-time against LSU.

Mizzou (36-22) next faces South Carolina (33-24) in an elimination game Thursday, with the start time set for approximately 1:30 p.m. The Tigers took two of three from the Gamecocks earlier this month.  The Gamecocks, also on the NCAA tournament bubble, lost to No. 3 seed Kentucky 7-2 earlier Wednesday.

“Obviously for us it was just a tough one tonight,” Missouri coach Steve Bieser said. “We got outplayed.” 

In just his third career college start, Missouri freshman lefthander T.J. Sikkema opened Wednesday’s game with two scoreless innings against the SEC’s regular-season co-champion and No. 2 seed, but things unraveled in the third when LSU (40-17) scored four runs on a leadoff walk and four hits.

Sikkema allowed another run in the fifth before a rain delay put the game on pause for an hour and 21 minutes. Nolan Gromacki replaced Sikkema once play resumed and was tagged for another run before Brian Sharp replaced him on the mound. It was Mizzou’s second straight game stopped for a lengthy rain delay. The Tigers beat Texas A&M 12-7 on Tuesday in a game stopped for nearly two hours. 

“I thought last night (the delay) was tougher because we were on a roll and had to stop,” Bieser said. “Tonight I thought it came at a good time for us. It kind of slowed them down and gave us a little bit of time to regroup. As a true competitor, you can’t make excuses because that’s part of the game. We just didn’t respond very well tonight. That’s about as simple as I can put it. We didn’t come back out and respond.” 

Bieser went back to the bullpen in the eighth, but LSU continued to unload on Mizzou pitching with Kramer Robertson’s RBI double and Cole Freeman’s three-run homer. Freeman was four for four with four RBIs.

Against five LSU pitchers, Mizzou’s lineup couldn’t manage more than solo home runs from Kameron Misner and Nelson Mompierre and Brett Bond’s RBI single. Caleb Gilbert (4-1), a last-minute starter for LSU after scheduled starter Todd Peterson was suspended for breaking team rules, held MU to one run on three hits in five innings. LSU advanced to face Kentucky on Thursday. 

Sikkema, a reliever for the first three months of the season, gave up five earned runs on eight hits in four-plus innings.


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