COLUMBIA, Mo. – Jaren Shelby blasted a clutch eighth-inning home run for the second straight game but it was short-lived exultation as Missouri scored a 5-4 walk-off victory over Kentucky on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Taylor Stadium. The clubs will square off on Sunday with the three-game series in the balance.
Shelby, who obliterated a baseball over the bullpen beyond the left field wall on Friday night as the Wildcats took the opener, erased a 3-1 deficit with a no-doubt, three-run home run to left. It was his second homer in as many days and put the Cats in the driver’s seat to win a hotly-contested Southeastern Conference road series.
Missouri answered right back though with a solo home run by Paul Gomez to open the bottom half of the inning and then executed situational baseball in the ninth to even the series. A leadoff single and sacrifice bunt put the winning run on second with one out but the Cats recorded a strikeout to set up the final play. Austin James, who was hitting .154 coming into the game, took a big hack and lined a ball to left that found grass in left field just before a charging Ryan Shinn could haul it in, scoring pinch runner Connor Brumfield to end the game.
Junior left-hander Zack Thompson followed up his complete game shutout of No. 4 Georgia with six quality innings, allowing three runs – one earned – and striking out six as he got a sixth no-decision in eight starts.