Missouri offense erupts in upset of No. 3 MS State
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mizzou Baseball (14-33, 7-20 SEC) launched four home runs en route to a 16-8, series-clinching win over No. 3 Mississippi State (36-13, 17-10 SEC) on Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
Mizzou jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out, two-run single from senior Clayton Peterson. Twin brother Alex Peterson made it 3-0 Mizzou with a solo home run in the second.
The Mizzou onslaught continued in the third as junior Joshua Day singled home a run to extend the lead to 4-0. Senior Brandt Belk then delivered a pinch-hit grand slam to swell the Tiger advantage to 8-0.
Mississippi State cut the lead in half in the fourth, using back-to-back homers to spark a four-run inning. The Tigers responded by scoring twice in the fifth to push the lead back to 10-4. Alex Peterson lifted his second homer of the day and Belk scored on a wild pitch to provide the runs.
Another four-run inning for Mississippi State in the fifth cut the Mizzou lead to 10-8 but the Tigers turned to sophomore Ben Pedersen (1-1) who shut down the Bulldogs the rest of the way. Pedersen tossed a career-long 4 2/3 innings while scattering four hits and not allowing a run to earn the win
Mizzou tacked on two runs in the seventh, one on a Day single, and then iced the game with a four-run ninth. Sophomore Luke Mann crushed a three-run homer to right field to punctuate the win.
#SHOWME TOP PERFORMERS
- Ben Pedersen: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 K, 1 BB
- Brandt Belk: 2-for-4, GS, 4 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB
- Luke Mann: 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI
- Alex Peterson: 2-for-6, 2 HR, 2 RBI
- Josh Day: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
HEAR FROM THE SKIPPER
Head coach Steve Bieser on series win...
"Big series win for us. This is a character-building series and something that we've needed for a long time here. I'm proud of how they responded. We're coming in playing a really good team - honestly, I felt like this was the best team on paper that we've played this season. We came out and played better than the other team and when you can do those things, you're going to have some success."
- The series win is the first for Mizzou over a top-5 team since April 2015 against No. 4 Florida.
- The 16 runs are Mizzou's most under coach Bieser in an SEC game and most for the Tigers in a league game since April 24, 2009 (18 runs vs. Texas Tech).
- Mizzou's four homers are the most since a four-homer performance against Northwestern on March 9, 2019.
- Belk's grand slam was Mizzou's first since Clayton Peterson's against Missouri State in 2019.
- Alex Peterson became the first Tiger to homer twice since Tony Ortiz in the 2019 Northwestern game.
- Mark Vierling produced a 3-for-6 day at the top of the order and scored a run.
- Torin Montgomery finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of walks.
Mizzou returns home for four-straight games to close the regular season. The Tigers host Kansas on Tuesday (May 18) before welcoming Auburn for a Thursday-Saturday series at Taylor Stadium.