Halvorsen’s one-hit gem propels Tigers to series-opening win over Georgia

The redshirt sophomore reached a career high in pitches and stifled the visiting Bulldogs in one of his best outings of the season as Missouri won 6-4.

Coming into the game with a six-game losing streak, Missouri looked to its No. 1 starter, redshirt sophomore Seth Halvorsen, to take down visiting Georgia and get the squad out of its two-week slump.

The right-hander delivered — in a big way.

Halvorsen went seven innings, giving up one hit and one run. However, he did walk five batters, which was the main reason he threw a career-high 114 pitches.

Despite the large total, the pitch count never crossed Halvorsen’s mind.

“After the sixth, I didn't even know my pitch count at all,” Halvorsen said. “They didn't say anything to me so I just went back out there and then after the seventh inning, [head coach Steve Bieser] came over and said they're going to [senior pitcher Konnor] Ash.”

Halvorsen claimed his fourth victory of the season, solidifying himself as the top dog in the Tiger rotation. With many scouts in the crowd as well, Halvorsen could be gaining some MLB Draft attention.

“I wanted to see exactly what we saw today, a complete game on the mound with Seth, and he was really sharp early,” Bieser said. “You could tell that he was in that type of game and groove, that he was going through the strike zone. Anytime Seth’s going through the strike zone, we know good things are gonna happen.”

This was Halvorsen’s strongest outing since the last time he pitched at Taylor Stadium, April 2 against Texas A&M. With a couple of strong starts under his belt, Halvorsen will look to keep delivering for his team, despite its poor record.

“That's our goal right now — make that conference tournament and then make your run from there,'' Halvorsen said. “I mean, we still have a lot to play for.”

The offense also provided a spark for Missouri today.

Junior third baseman Cameron Swanger pummeled a ball into the bullpen out in left field to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Junior DH Tre Morris did the exact same thing two innings later, giving Missouri a 6-1 lead.

The Tigers did this without senior middle infielder Mark Vierling, who is out all weekend due to a wrist injury. Bieser had to shuffle the lineup, which included sophomore Luke Mann moving to second base and senior Clayton Peterson getting a rare start in left.

“Clayton has just been really standing out in the practice setting and is such a positive factor for the team,” Bieser said. “I mean, he's the guy that's constantly rooting his teammates on, and he's a really solid player.”

Peterson showed right away that Bieser was right, hitting a leadoff double in his first at-bat. Mann also looked very comfortable at second base, proving that he can move around the infield if need be.

Relieving Halvorsen was senior right-hander Konnor Ash. Ash looked strong in the eighth, but gave up a three-run bomb in the ninth, which lit a little flame into the Georgia dugout.

Ash quickly blew that flame out with a strikeout, ending the game and the six-game losing streak.

“When you're in SEC play and you get a chance to win a game, you don't take any chances,” Bieser said. “They throw up three runs; they're really quick.”

Bieser gives the ball to sophomore Spencer Miles for game two’s contest, where Missouri will look to win their second series of the season. The game will start at 4 p.m. CDT on Saturday.

Edited by Jack Soble | jsoble@themaneater.com

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