COLUMBIA — A three-run home run in the eighth inning from Missouri's Eric Anderson was the difference Friday night, as the Tigers beat Kentucky 8-7.
Missouri (16-16, 5-8 Southeastern Conference) exchanged runs with the Wildcats early.
The Tigers scored a run in the first inning, and Kentucky tied the game at 1-1 in the second. Missouri got another run in the second, and Dylan Kelly homered in the third to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
A.J. Reed homered in the fourth for Kentucky, but a two-RBI single from Missouri's Ryan Howard in the fifth gave the Tigers a 5-2 advantage.
Missouri starting pitcher Brett Graves held Kentucky's offense in check by allowing two runs in the first six innings. The junior right-hander turned shaky in the seventh inning as he loaded the bases with no outs and exited in favor of Austin Tribby with Reed coming to bat.
Reed hit a two-run single off Tribby, and Kentucky scored three more runs in the inning to take a 7-5 lead.
But the Tigers started the eighth with singles from Howard and Dillon Everett, and a bunt from Jake Ring moved the runners up.
Anderson saw two pitches before hitting a three-run home run over the left-field wall.
"There comes a time where enough's enough," Anderson said in the postgame interview on KTGR. "We've dropped so many games like that where we played so well and we deserved to win. The fact that I had a chance to do something about it and came through for the team, that's the best feeling."
Keaton Steele got the two-inning save for Missouri. The Tigers and Wildcats square off again at 6 p.m. on Saturday.