Mizzou's home run party outlasts Lamar's comeback bid
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Led by Hank Zeisler's three home runs, the University of Missouri baseball team mashed its way to a 10-8 victory over Lamar Wednesday afternoon at Taylor Stadium.
Missouri (13-3), which scored in six of its eight turns at-bat, belted six home runs in a game for the first time in nearly 15 years. The Tigers needed each one of them in order to help stave off a late comeback bid by the Cardinals (13-4) and claim their 13th victory of the season.
Zeisler staked the Tigers to a three-run cushion with his two-out shot in the home half of the first, before adding solo blasts in the fifth and seventh frames to extend the Mizzou lead. The graduate transfer matched a career high with five RBIs in helping the Tigers put on their best single-game power display since a seven-homer night against Texas on April 11, 2008.
The Tigers wasted little time building their lead. In the first, Ross Lovich reached on a one-out single that dropped into right field, before Trevor Austin kept the frame alive by coaxing a two-out walk. With two aboard, Zeisler drove them both home with a three-run shot off the batter's eye in center field.
Juju Stevens added Mizzou's fourth run to lead off the second inning, belting his second round-tripper of the season just beyond the reach of Tanner Wilson at the center field wall.
The four runs were enough to give Ian Lohse some breathing room in his starting effort, as the junior lefty tossed two shutout innings while punching out a pair to complement the Tigers' hitting efforts.
In the fourth inning, the Tigers loaded the bases with a single from Tre Morris and a pair of full-count walks, flipping the lineup for Luke Mann. The third baseman roped a single into right field, bringing in Morris and Ty Wilmsmeyer.
Zeisler connected on his second home run of the game his next time up, crushing a no-doubter to right to open up a six-run Mizzou advantage.
The Cardinals made the contest close with a five-run seventh inning, buoyed by a pair of two-run home runs from Ben MacNaughton and Ryan Snell, cutting Missouri's lead to just a single run.
Just when the Tigers need it most, Zeisler struck again, taking a 1-2 offering deep into the Missouri bullpen in left field for an 8-6 margin. The Tigers hit two homers to reclaim a four-run bulge, as Justin Colon led off the eighth with his second long ball of the year, before Dalton Bargo's drive carried over the left-center field wall for his first collegiate home run and a 10-6 Mizzou edge.
On the mound, the Mizzou pitching staff punched out nine Cardinals, with Logan Lunceford (2-0) hurling four innings of one-run relief while striking out four to help the Tigers maintain their early lead.
Tony Neubeck entered in the eighth, breezing through a three-up, three-down inning before working his way out of danger after the Cardinals scored twice in the ninth and put the potential tying run in scoring position. The left-hander fanned Kirkland Banks on a 3-2 pitch to lock down the victory-Mizzou's 12th win in its last 13 contests leading into the start of Southeastern Conference play this weekend.
- Mizzou improves to 8-1 at home this season and 390-226 all-time at Taylor Stadium
- The Tigers hiked their record to 3-0 in midweek action
- Mizzou improved its record to 6-1 all-time against Lamar, with the Tigers taking the first matchup between the schools in Columbia
- For the fourth time this season, the Tigers put at least 10 runs on the scoreboard
- The Tigers homered on six occasions Wednesday, marking the most Missouri has hit since April 11, 2008, when it hit seven against Texas at Taylor Stadium
- Hank Zeisler became the first Tiger to hit three home runs in a game since Trey Harris accomplished the feat on April 15, 2017 against Kentucky
- Zeisler recorded his first multi-homer game in Black and Gold, reaching that benchmark for the second time in his Division I career (vs. San Diego State, May 19, 2022)
- Zeisler's five RBI tied a career high (April 24, 2022 vs. New Mexico) and marks a season best by a Tiger hitter
- Luke Mann extended his hitting streak to 12 games, knocking in a pair of runs for his fourth multi-RBI contest of 2023
- Dalton Bargo's solo home run in the eighth inning signified his first collegiate home run
- Bargo and Tre Morris each recorded two hits, marking their third and fourth multi-hit contests of the season, respectively
- Tony Neubeck recorded his first collegiate save, pitching two innings and striking out three to close out the contest
Mizzou will open its 2023 SEC schedule Friday when it welcomes No. 4 Tennessee to Taylor Stadium for a three-game series.