COLUMBIA, Mo. - In a see-saw battle that featured six lead changes, Dylan Leach's two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth lifted Missouri to a 14-12 walk-off victory over Georgia on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Taylor Stadium.
Moments after Luke Mann drew a leadoff walk, and Hank Zeisler doubled to deep right-center to bring in the tying run, Leach hammered a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right for the fifth Mizzou homer of the day, handing the Tigers their second-straight win over the Bulldogs.
The walk-off homer marked the third game-clinching hit for Leach this season and gave Mizzou its second-consecutive SEC series win.
Mann also inched closer to making a permanent imprint in the Tiger record book, homering in his sixth-consecutive game and drawing to within one round-tripper of Jacob Priday's Mizzou career home run record of 49.
The ninth-inning rally from a 12-11 deficit was not unfamiliar for the Tigers (29-20, 9-17 SEC), who battled back from deficits all day after honoring their 10 graduating seniors during pregame festivities. In order to record their fifth win in six games on their current home stand, the Tigers relied on the long ball once more, belting five home runs to overcome three separate deficits of at least two runs.
After Georgia (28-23, 10-16 SEC) scored the game's first run on back-to-back, two-out hits in the second, Charlie Condon extended the Bulldog advantage with a two-run homer in the third.
Mizzou responded immediately, engineering the first of its two four-run rallies to claim the lead in the home half of the third. A day after hitting for the cycle, Ross Lovich drove in the first two Tiger runs with a hot shot that caromed off the mound and found its way into shallow left-center, cutting the margin to 3-2. Mann added an RBI single to tie it up, and Zeisler's sac fly gave Mizzou a 4-3 advantage.
The Bulldogs answered with three in the fourth to reclaim the lead. Will David homered to start the rally, before back-to-back run-scoring doubles handed the visitors the 6-4 edge.
Matt Garcia delivered the first of Mizzou's five home runs in the home half of the fourth, but David responded with an RBI double in the fifth to give Georgia a two-run bulge once again.
Mann sparked another four-run Tiger rally in the bottom of the fifth, driving a two-run shot over the wall in center to even the score and make the fifth-year senior the first Mizzou player to reach the 20-home run plateau in a season since 1998.
Garcia came through with another big hit to cap the rally, driving a two-run double to left to give Mizzou a 9-7 lead. Trevor Austin's one-out homer the following inning stretched the margin to three runs.
But Georgia plated four in the seventh, using a two-run double by Cole Wagner and two-run homer by Fernando Gonzalez to take control of the contest once more with an 11-10 advantage. The Bulldogs added an unearned run in the eighth on a pair of wild pitches and a Tiger throwing error.
But once again, Mizzou relied on the long ball to bounce back, this time riding Lovich's two-out, solo shot to right-center in the eighth to pull back to within a run.
Austin Troesser (5-3) recovered from a shaky start to his outing in the eighth by retiring six straight Bulldogs to keep the Tigers within striking distance. The junior right-hander picked up the win after fanning five and allowing just one unearned run on one hit over 2.2 innings of relief.
One day after six different Tigers logged multi-hit performances in the series opener, four more Tigers turned in two-hit efforts in game two. Mann, Garcia and Lovich recorded two-hit, three-RBI afternoons, while Austin scored three runs and added a 2-for-4 game, as the top four hitters in the MU lineup combined to go 7-for-16 with three homers and nine RBIs.
- Mizzou dropped to 13-15 all-time versus Georgia and 4-9 against the Bulldogs at home
- The Tigers improved to 18-7 at home this spring, marking their best season win total at Taylor Stadium since 2019
- Mizzou's 14 runs gives it a total of 65 in its last five contests, including its first string of five consecutive double-digit scoring games since March 2005, when the Tigers reeled off nine straight contests scoring at least 10 runs
- Mann's fifth-inning homer established a career high and made him the first Tiger to hit 20 round-trippers in a season since Ryan Fry hit a program-record 27 in 1998, and Griffin Moore totaled 20 the same year
- Mann matched Moore for the No. 3 spot on the Tigers' single-season homers list, just one behind Dave Silvestri (21) in the second position
- Mann sits just one home run shy of Jacob Priday's all-time Mizzou record of 49 career long balls
- Additionally, Mann's streak of at least one home run in six consecutive games is one shy of the school record held by Moore, who went deep in seven straight games, March 22-29, 1997
- Zeisler extended his consecutive games reaching safely streak to 18 straight, dating back to April 11
- Mizzou's five home runs hiked its season team home run total to 75, moving the Tigers up to the No. 5 position on the school's single-season home run chart
- The Tigers' season total of 75 homers is the most by a Mizzou team since 1998, when the Tigers hit a school-record 110 home runs
- Saturday's announced attendance of 1,846 marked the Tigers' 19th crowd of at least 1,000 fans in 22 home dates this season, as well as their 16th in a row dating back to March 15
- The crowd also pushed Mizzou's single-season home attendance record to 35,686 with two home dates remaining
Mizzou concludes its series with Georgia at noon on Sunday (May 14).