OXFORD, Miss. — Missouri finally had its ace on the mound against Mississippi on Sunday, and for the seven innings Brett Graves pitched, the Tigers kept the game competitive and mostly held a lead.
But everything collapsed when Keaton Steele took the ball for Missouri. A six-run eighth inning propelled Mississippi to an 8-3 win and a series sweep of the Tigers (11-12, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) in Oxford, Miss.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Kendall Keeton drove Eric Anderson in from third with an RBI groundout. The Rebels tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, but Missouri got one run each in the fifth and seventh innings to go ahead 3-1.
Mississippi scored in the bottom of the seventh to narrow the deficit to 3-2. The normally rock-solid Steele entered in the eighth to try for a two-inning save, but he allowed hits to six of the 10 batters he faced and couldn't make it through the frame.
Missouri has a doubleheader against Arkansas-Little Rock in Columbia on Tuesday. After that, the Tigers travel to Auburn for a three-game road set starting on Thursday.