AUBURN, Ala. -- Senior catcher Dylan Kelly tallied a game-winning sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning as Missouri came from behind twice to defeat No. 25 Auburn 4-3 on Thursday night at Plainsman Park in front of a national TV audience. The win for the Tigers improves Mizzou to 12-12 on the season and 2-5 in SEC play. Sophomore lefty Austin Tribby earned his first career win and closer Keaton Steele was lights out, earning his sixth save of the year. The only innings in which Auburn did not have a baserunner were the eighth and ninth as Steele was dominant.
Right fielder Logan Pearson had a game-tying, two-out double in the seventh inning as well as his hit may have been the biggest of the game for Mizzou. Senior starter Eric Anderson was very good in 6.1 innings in a gutty outing. He allowed eight hits and three earned runs while walking three and striking out four. Two of his runs were inherited runners in the seventh inning as he ran out of gas after throwing 104 pitches. His three walks were two more than he had all season entering the start.
Anderson gave up a one-out single in the bottom of the first inning to three-hole hitter Damek Tomscha and that plated a run to give Auburn a 1-0 lead after the opening frame. But Mizzou got that run back in the top of the second on three consecutive singles, culminating in an RBI single up the middle by Kelly, scoring Josh Lester from second.
Mizzou then stranded a pair in the top of the third inning. With runners on the corners and one out, Kendall Keeton struck out and Shane Segovia bounced out to the pitcher to strand a pair. Auburn starter Dillon Ortman settled in from there as he cruised through the fourth and fifth innings, allowing just one hit.
Auburn threatened to score in the fifth inning, putting runners on the corners with no outs. During an eight-pitch bat to Tomscha, Kelly threw out the runner at first trying to steal second on a ball in the dirt. Anderson then struck out Tomscha on the eighth pitch of the at-bat and then got Ryan Tella to pop up to get out of the inning.
Ortman worked around a two-out single by Lester in the sixth and then a leadoff double by Blake Austin put more pressure on Anderson in the sixth. He got flyout to center field after a nine-pitch at-bat and then gave up a walk on a seven-pitch at-bat to put a pair of runners on with one out. That ended his day in favor of Breckin Williams, who made his 14th appearance of the season. Williams gave up the go-ahead single on the first pitch her threw to Keegan Thompson as Auburn went on top, 2-1, putting Anderson in line for the loss. Williams allowed another single before getting a double-play to get out of the inning, but Auburn took a 3-1 lead into the seventh.
Pearson came up huge in the top of the seventh inning, lacing a two run double into the left field corner to tie the game at 3-3, getting Anderson off the hook. It was his second hit of the day and gives him a pair of multi-hit games this season despite missing 16 games with a hamstring injury. Auburn threatened to score in the bottom of the seventh, but with two outs Auburn skipper Sunny Golloway called for the double steal, but Kelly threw the runner out at third to send the game to the eighth at 3-3.
Segovia then led off the eighth with a double off of the giant wall in left field and that led to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kelly to give Mizzou a 4-3 lead heading to the ninth inning. After Mizzou stranded a pair in its half of the inning, Steele retired the side, 1-2-3. Steele held Auburn without a baserunner in the eighth and ninth innings, their only of the day without a runner.