12th seeded Mizzou dropped its SEC Tournament opener to fifth-seeded South Carolina, 4-2, late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning at Hoover Met Stadium in Alabama. Mizzou took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Carolina sent nine men to the plate and scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a lead for good.
Mizzou falls to 34-22 on the year while South Carolina improves to 33-22 and moves on to the double-elimination portion of the bracket. Senior RHP Andy Toelken was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on four hits over 2.2 innings. Sophomore LHP T.J. Sikkema pitched 4.0+ innings and allowed just one run on six hits in start on short rest.
Tigers coach Steve Bieser said Mizzou was right there all game.
The Tigers are 34-22 overall, but just 12-19 in SEC, including 4-9 since the end of April. Bieser is banking on a strong RPI and hopes for an NCAA Regional berth when the field of 64 is unveiled Monday.