FROM ALABAMA MEDIA RELATIONS
“I’m really proud of the way our guys fought tonight,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “The biggest thing that stuck out at me were our 14 strikeouts, which seven or eight of those we were caught-looking. I’m disappointed in myself that our guys weren’t as prepared as we should have been. Before the game, I said ‘the little things are going to matter’ and we just didn’t execute tonight.”
Alabama starter Jake Walters (3-2) tossed a career-high 125 pitches across his 5.0 innings of work and struck out eight Tiger hitters. Walters gave up just one hit but issued eight walks – the most in any outing of his career – and allowed two runs by the end of his night, both of which were unearned. Missouri starter Tanner Houck (3-1) bested Walters’ effort, throwing 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just one hit and issuing three walks while punching out nine for the win.
Missouri got on the board early in Friday’s contest with the first three batters reaching base in the top of the first. The Tigers led off with a single and a walk before a catcher’s interference on a strikeout loaded the bases. A 3-2 walk brought in the game’s first run, before a sacrifice fly to left one out later crossed one more to make it 2-0 after a half inning of play.
The Crimson Tide had a chance to do some damage off Houck in the seventh, using a Chandler Taylor leadoff walk followed by a free pass to Tanner DeVinny to put a pair on. A sacrifice bunt attempt in the next at-bat was fielded quickly by the Missouri starter, who tossed it to his third baseman to cut the runner from second down. With one down and a pair at first and second, a 6-4-3 double play ended the Alabama threat and closed the book on Houck.
The Tigers would add one more in the ninth, using a solo home run from Trey Harris to make it a 3-0 affair. The home run was Missouri’s lone earned run of the day.
Alabama and Missouri return to the diamond tomorrow for the second game of this three-game set, scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide will call on senior right-hander Nick Eicholtz in the Saturday contest while the Tigers looks to sophomore lefty Michael Plassmeyer. Fans can catch all the action live on SEC Network.