Missouri baseball falls victim to opening-weekend sweep

Sunday, February 17, 2013 | 6:16 p.m. CST; updated 6:48 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Missouri baseball team fell to 0-3 after squandering their second late-game lead against Southern Mississippi in as many days on Sunday. Despite entering the eighth inning with a 1-0 lead, the Tigers lost 6-1 with all six runs coming in the eighth inning. 

Pitcher Jace James, who made his first start as a Tiger after transferring from Hutchinson Community College in the offseason, put his new team in a position to salvage its opening weekend. The Oklahoma City native allowed three hits and no walks through five shutout innings. 

When Dane Opel drove in fellow outfielder Sal Belfonte in the top of the sixth inning on a fielder's choice, it became the Tigers' game to lose; and they soon did just that.

James' immediate relief, redshirt junior Jake Walsh, picked up where James left off. Walsh allowed just one hit in two innings, taking the Tigers to the eighth inning with a one-run lead. 

It was then that the Golden Eagles shelled Rock Bridge alumnus John Miles for two earned runs and junior college transfer Keaton Steele for four more. The eighth inning debacle came just a day after Missouri pitcher Ryan Yuengel surrendered a game-winning, three-run home run in the seventh inning.

Head coach Tim Jamieson was unavailable for comment following the team's opening weekend, but will speak with members of the media Tuesday in Columbia.

Missouri will be back on the road next weekend for a three-game series against Memphis at FedExPark. Memphis (1-2) came out on the wrong end of its opening series this weekend against Illinois State, dropping games Friday and Saturday before bouncing back Sunday.

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