It was a pitcher's duel between Missouri's Ian Bedell and Kansas State's Connor McCullough.
Was is the key word here. It was a pitcher's duel until Kansas State's Chris Ceballos broke the spell that Bedell put the Wildcats under and hit a two-run home run to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Tigers were never able to come back, losing 5-1 to Kansas State on Friday in their first game in the Kleberg Bank College Classic at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The loss was in large part due to McCullough. While Bedell went on to give up one more run, McCullough only gave up one run in the six innings that he pitched. With only four hits given up and eight strikeouts, it's hard to believe that this was only his first collegiate win.
“Their starting pitcher did a really good job against our hitters," head coach Steve Bieser said in a news release. "He made good adjustments, especially the third time through our lineup. He was able to get deep in the game and I think that was the difference in the ballgame.”
McCullough and relieving pitchers Eric Torres and Brett Lockwood faced a Tigers offense that was led by Chad McDaniel, Peter Zimmermann, Mark Vierling and Brandt Belk.
McDaniel has multi-hit games in three of the Tigers four games this season. Today he went 2 for 4. Zimmermann recorded his third RBI in four games, which led to Vierling scoring the Tigers one run. Vierling also extended his hitting streak to three games with a single in the sixth inning. Belk's single in the fifth inning extended his hitting streak to three games.
The Tigers had a better outcome the last time Bedell started on the mound last Friday with a 10-4 win over Jacksonville State. While Bedell struggled more Friday, Bieser wouldn't say he had a bad game.
“It was a very solid outing," Bieser said. "One thing we know is every time Ian steps onto the mound, we’re going to have a chance to win the ballgame. His first outing he was super sharp. Today, I thought he was very good.”
Bedell and relieving pitcher Art Joven were up against a Kansas State offense that besides Ceballos, had two two-out RBI singles from Kamron Willman and had three hits from Daniel Carinci. Carinci went 3 for 3 on the day.
The Tigers (2-2) take on Utah (1-3) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Whataburger Field in Corpus Chirsti, Texas.