COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Senior RHP Reggie McClain (Duluth, Ga.) struck out a career-high 12 and junior SS Ryan Howard (St. Charles, Mo.) drove in three as Mizzou (22-21, 5-14) defeated Tennessee (24-19, 6-13) 5-4 at Taylor Stadium on Friday afternoon. The win pushes Mizzou back above .500 with as the team heads down the homestretch of their schedule.
McClain put together a fantastic start, pitching 8.0 innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits while striking out a career-high 12 and walking none. McClain had control of his pitches all night throwing 88 of his career-high 126 pitches for strikes. Twenty-one of McClain's 24 outs came by either strikeout or ground out. McClain earned the 11th win of his career, fourth of the season, and first in SEC play.
Howard had himself a day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double three RBI and scoring the game-winning run off an impressive slide at home. Howard has hit 21 RBI this season, his third straight season of 20+ RBI. Mizzou is now 11-3 this season when Howard gets an RBI.
Senior 1B Zach Lavy (Auxvasse, Mo.) continued his All-SEC caliber play by driving in junior OF Jake Ring (Ingleside, Ill.) in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game at four. One batter later sophomore C Brett Bond (St. Louis, Mo.) hit a soft grounder to the shortstop whose throw to the plate was not in time to catch Howard, giving Mizzou the 5-4 lead.
Redshirt sophomore Cole Bartlett (Williamsburg, Ind.) pitched the ninth inning, giving up just one hit on nine pitches to secure the save, his third of the season.
Mizzou will play game two of its series vs. Tennessee Saturday at 3 p.m.