MO State HS Sports

Baseball Rallies in Ninth to Complete Season Sweep of Missouri State

Dylan Leach

COLUMBIA, Mo. – In a see-saw battle that featured five lead changes, Dylan Leach’s one-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a late Missouri comeback and handed the Tigers a 7-6 victory over in-state rival Missouri State Tuesday evening at Taylor Stadium.

Moments after Dalton Bargo brought home the tying run with a sacrifice fly to center, Leach laced a single into the left-center field gap to plate Trevor Austin with the game winner.

The win secured a Mizzou (23-13) season sweep of the Bears and maintained a midweek hot streak by the Tigers, who improved to 18-3 in nonconference play this season.

Leach played a significant role in the Mizzou offense throughout the night, connecting on a fourth-inning two-run homer that erased a 3-1 deficit. Carlos Peña followed with the go-ahead solo shot to give the Tigers their first lead of the game.

Brock Lucas provided a lift out of the Mizzou bullpen, working 2 2/3 innings of solid relief, before Zach Franklin (6-2) turned in a scoreless ninth to keep the Tigers within one run.

The early stages of the contest saw each team score unconventional runs. After a wild pitch on a third strike allowed the Bears to open the scoring with a first-inning tally, a balk allowed Hank Ziesler to cross the plate for the Tigers, evening the score in the second.

A back-and-forth fourth frame saw Missouri State (19-16) take a two-run lead on Anthony Socci’s two-out, two-run homer.

But Mizzou’s one-two punch of Leach and Peña responded in the bottom of the inning, as each delivered their first home runs of 2023 in back-to-back fashion to put Mizzou on top for the first time.

Both lineups continued to trade blows. After Zack Stewart’s two-out, RBI single knotted the score in the fifth, Zeisler gave the Tigers the lead once again with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning for a 5-4 Missouri advantage.

As rain fell during the middle innings, the visitors responded with another game-tying rally in the sixth, using consecutive doubles by Will Duff and Nick Rodriguez to pull even at 5-5.

The game’s fourth homer—a solo shot to left-center off the bat of Cody Kelly—saw the Bears take the lead yet again in the top of the eighth.

After a scoreless top of the ninth by Franklin, the Tigers immediately went to work in the home half of the inning. Trailing 6-5, Luke Mann coaxed a leadoff walk to ignite the rally, before Austin lined a base hit through the left side of the MSU infield. Next, Zeisler was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Missouri with no outs.

From there, Bargo lined a Garrett Ferguson 0-1 pitch deep enough to center to bring in Mann with the equalizing run. Leach followed suit two pitches later, driving a one-strike offering to deep left-center for the deciding blow.

Both Leach and Pena finished 2-for-4, while Zeisler reached base safely in three of his five trips to the plate, adding a single, a steal and an RBI.


  • The win officially evened Mizzou’s all-time record vs. Missouri State at 31-31, including an 18-14 mark at home in the series
  • Missouri also extended its win streak in nonconference competition to seven straight games dating back to March 12
  • The Tigers improved to 13-3 at Taylor Stadium this season
  • The mound victory for Franklin marked his 22nd as a collegiate pitcher, which ranks third among all active NCAA Division I pitchers
  • Leach’s walk-off single was his second game-winning hit of the season (Feb. 18 vs. Texas in Arlington, Texas)
  • Tonight’s win marks Mizzou’s second walk-off victory in 11 days (April 7 vs. Vanderbilt) and its third this season
  • The Tigers drew four free passes via hit by pitches, matching a season high (March 24 at South Carolina)
  • Tonight’s announced attendance of 1,516 marked the 10th different home crowd of 1,000 or more spectators in Mizzou’s 13 home dates this season


Mizzou returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend, welcoming Alabama to Taylor Stadium for a three-game series, beginning with a 6 p.m. contest on Friday (April 21).


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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics