Missouri drops fourth straight in loss against No. 18 Florida

Reid Glenn

After a nearly three-hour rain delay, Missouri baseball’s game against No. 18 Florida finally got underway at 9:22 p.m. in Gainesville, Florida.

Some three hours later, the Tigers were still playing, but they couldn’t muster any midnight magic, falling to the Gators 8-5.

After the third inning, the game looked out of hand for Missouri (11-21, 4-9 Southeastern Conference). Florida (23-11, 7-6 SEC) had scored one run in the second and six in the third off of Tiger starter Seth Halvorsen to put Missouri down 7-1. Missouri batters came roaring back, though, scoring four runs in the top half of the fourth.


Things slowed down from there. Christian Scott took over for Florida starter Franco Alemán and shut down the Tiger offense. Scott retired 11 straight Missouri hitters from the final out in the fourth inning to the first out in the eighth for three straight 1-2-3 innings. Torin Montgomery finally singled to break the rut, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Florida plated an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, though it wasn’t necessary. Montgomery’s infield single was Missouri’s last hit of the game.

Where Halvorsen (3-2) struggled, Konnor Ash excelled. Ash cleaned up the last out of the fifth inning and got all three in the final three frames. Gator hitters teed off of Halvorsen’s high-octane fastball, blasting two home runs and seven other hits off the redshirt sophomore. Ash, on the other hand, posted a clean sheet aside from that run in the eighth. He allowed only four hits and one walk.

Josh Holt Jr. made his season debut. Sidelined for the first half of the season with a knee injury, the junior entered as a pinch hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. Holt drew a walk to bring the tying run to the plate.

“I really liked the way we had fight until the end,” Missouri coach Steve Bieser said in a news release. “Hopefully we can build off of that. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we have to be ready to play.”

With the loss Friday, the Tigers have dropped four straight games. Missouri is still on the outside looking in at the SEC Tournament and the Tigers look less and less likely to get a bid to compete in the postseason. A win Saturday or Sunday would be a step in the right direction.