Opel homers twice, Mizzou baseball splits doubleheader with Arkansas State

By Zach Garcia

Missouri left fielder Dane Opel (left) is greeted by teammate Case Munson (right) after Opel homered in the bottom of the fourth of game two on Tuesday. The home run was Opel’s second of the day, who had four hits and batted in five runs over the course of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Arkansas State.

Missouri left fielder Dane Opel (left) is greeted by teammate Case Munson after Opel homered in the bottom of the fourth of the second game on Tuesday. The home run was Opel’s second of the day.

Entering its doubleheader with visiting Arkansas State on Tuesday, the Missouri baseball team had not hit a home run through its first 15 games of the season. On Tuesday, Dane Opel connected for two homers on his own.

Opel had a big day at the plate, going 4-6 with three runs scored and five runs batted in, as Missouri (7-10) split its doubleheader with Arkansas State (15-7).

The Tigers cruised to a 5-1 victory in game one, with four of those runs coming off the bat of Opel along with starting pitcher Jace James securing the win. James pitched six and 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and one run, while striking out a season-high eight batters.

During the second game, Missouri scored two runs in the seventh inning to tie the game. Arkansas State then scored seven unanswered runs in the top of the eighth inning. Four Missouri relief pitchers (two of which pitched in the first game) were called upon in the frame. All of the runs came with two out in the eighth inning, and pitcher John Miles (1 2/3 innings pitched, two hits and two unearned runs) was tagged with the loss for Missouri as Arkansas State salvaged a doubleheader split with a 10-3 Game 2 win.

Missouri resumes Southeastern Conference play this weekend, with a three-game series on the road against Tennessee (10-9) in Knoxville, Tenn. The Tigers are 0-6 away from Taylor Stadium this season, but haven’t played an away game since their Feb. 24 loss at Memphis.

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