Missouri got seven dominant innings from Brett Graves, but the junior right-hander's performance went to waste as lackluster hitting and late defensive miscues led to a 1-0 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Graves was in exceptionally fine form for the Tigers and allowed just three hits in seven innings, striking out six Demon Deacon hitters and reaching up to as 96 mph with his fastball.
However, John McLeod was sitting Missouri hitters down with similar ease. He threw 6 2/3 innings and also allowed just three hits. The Tigers had runners on first and second in the sixth inning, but Dylan Kelly grounded into a fielder's choice to end the frame.
Missouri stranded nine runners in total in the game.
Keaton Steele relieved Graves and got out of a tight spot of his own in the bottom of the eighth. Wake Forest put a runner on third with one out, but Steele got a strikeout and induced a groundout to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Tigers stranded another two runners in the top of ninth. Steele retired the first two batters in the bottom of the inning, but after Wake Forest's Matt Conway singled to center and advanced to second after Jake Ring misplayed the hit, Nate Mondou put a ball just over left fielder Sean Ullrich's head in left field to drive home the winning run. Ullrich initially went in to get the ball, but he had to range back and saw it drift out of his reach.
Missouri finishes its Wake Forest Invitational slate Sunday when it faces Cincinnati at 11 a.m. Jace James is set to get the start for the Tigers.
Supervising editor is Sean Morrison.