Eric Anderson records 10 strikeouts, go-ahead hit in win vs. Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Fifth-year senior Eric Anderson struck out 10 Kentucky batters and tallied the go-ahead hit in the top of the sixth inning as Mizzou defeated No. 17 Kentucky 8-3 on Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Anderson became the first Tiger pitcher since March of 2013 to strike out 10 or more batters in back-to-back outings and he went 3-for-5 at the dish with two RBI and a walk. On the mound, he went 7.0 innings, allowing nine hits and one walks while fanning 10. He allowed just three runs to the SEC's top offense.
The win moves Mizzou to 17-17 on the season and 6-9 in SEC play. It is Mizzou's second road series win against a ranked opponent this season. Before this year, Mizzou had not posted a series win on the road against a ranked opponent since 2009. The Tigers now also have five wins against ranked opponents this season. Anderson earned the win, improving to 2-2 on the season while Andrew Nelson took the loss for Kentucky as the Wildcats fall to 22-13 and 7-8 in SEC play. Dylan Kelly tallied his team-leading fourth three-hit game of the season while scoring a run. Dillon Everett also had a nice day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI, including an insurance RBI single in the ninth. Keaton Steele earned his ninth save of the season, just three shy of the Mizzou single season record. The bottom three spots in the Tiger order went 7-for-14 with three runs and RBI in the win, including Jake Ring who went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run.
Mizzou gave Anderson, who had four strikeouts in his first two innings of work, some run support in the top of the third inning. Shane Segovia (Sinton, Texas) tallied his fourth double in as many games to lead off the frame Everett moved him to third on a groundout to the right side. Ring then roped an RBI single. The Tigers then executed a hit-and-run as Anderson poked a ball through the right side for a hit while Ring moved to third. An error by UK shortstop Matt Reida led to a run as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead.
But just as quickly as Mizzou took the lead, UK rallied to tie the game on a one-out, two run double by Max Kuhn in the bottom of the third. Anderson then settled back in and struck out AJ Reed on three pitches for the second time in the game and got through the frame. He had six strikeouts through three, giving him 18 through his last 12 innings dating back to his start against Georgia last weekend.
Everett then had his second productive at-bat of the game, capping a two-out rally in the fourth inning. After two quick outs, Logan Pearson worked a five-pitch walk and Segovia was hit by a pitch to put a pair on for Everett. The senior laced a 1-0 pitch into the gap in right center, just over the second baseman's head to score Pearson from second. That put Mizzou back on top, 3-2, through 3.5.
Anderson then worked another easy frame in the bottom of the fourth. Mizzou threatened in the top of the fifth loading the bases after back-to-back singles by Anderson and Lester in front of a sacrifice bunt by Kendall Keeton and an intentional walk to Kelly. But freshman Ryan Howard bounced into a 4-3 double play to end the threat.
UK used the momentum from getting out of that jam in the bottom half of the fifth. Austin Cousino tallied a bunt single before Anderson got to two outs. He then went 0-2 on Reed as he looked to strikeout the reigning SEC Player of the Week for the third time in the game, but Reed lifted a single into left to tie the game at 3-3.
Anderson then helped his cause in the top of the sixth, roping a two-out single into center field to score Everett from second, putting Mizzou on top 4-3. It stayed that way until the ninth when Everett tallied his second RBI to open the flood gates. Ring, Anderson and Lester all tallied RBIs in the ninth inning as the Tigers plated four runs to put the game away.