AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn committed four errors and let a late lead slip away as Missouri scored the final three runs to win 4-3 Thursday night before a capacity crowd at Plainsman Park.
The Tigers (18-9, 4-3 SEC) lost for just the second time this season in a series-opening game and the first time in conference play. It also marked Auburn's third straight loss to Missouri (12-12, 2-5), which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Game two of the weekend series is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch Friday at Plainsman Park. Freshman RHP Keegan Thompson (5-0, 0.78) will make his third start in Southeastern Conference play.
"We had a lot of errors," Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said. "I haven't seen us have that many miscues defensively. Again, it's got to be about pitching and defense, and we didn't do that. … It was a different team than what I've seen. We were hoping that these (kinds of games) were behind us, but they're not. The good news is we know we can play better.
"We've got to make these guys understand the margin in winning and losing in this league is very, very thin."
A national television audience on ESPNU and a sellout crowd of 4,096 at Plainsman Park saw the Tigers fall for just the second time in their last 13 home games.
"I think it ended up working against us," Golloway said. "I don't think our guys played very calm or very poised. I think Missouri played more poised than we did in front of what was a hostile crowd for them."
With Auburn holding a 3-1 lead going to the seventh inning, Missouri scored a pair of unearned runs on a two-out, two-RBI double by Logan Pearson, tying the game at 3-3 as Jake Ring and Dillon Everett scored. The inning was set up by a one-out error, Auburn's second of four on the night.
Auburn starter Dillon Ortman (5-2) ran into trouble in the eighth, giving up a leadoff double to end his night. Three batters later, a sacrifice fly by Dylan Kelly off reliever Terrance Dedrick scored Segovia to give Mizzou a 4-3 lead it would not relinquish.
Ortman pitched well through seven innings, giving up four runs – two earned – on nine hits while striking out five. Jay Wade and Dedrick combined for two scoreless inning of relief.
"I thought he pitched well," Golloway said of Ortman. "If the outcome was 3-1 we would be talking about how well he pitched. I thought his outing was fine."
Damek Tomscha had three of Auburn's 10 hits, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Jordan Ebert and Blake Austin had two hits apiece.
Auburn jumped ahead 1-0 in the first after a Tomscha single scored Ebert, who had led off with a single and moved to second on a Damon Haecker groundout.
But Mizzou answered in short order in the second, tying the game on an RBI single from Kelly.
Auburn made it 3-1 in the sixth. The first two pitches from Mizzou reliever Breckin Williams were lined into left field for base hits by Keegan Thompson and Sam Gillikin, scoring Austin and Dan Glevenyak, respectively.
Logan Pearson, Josh Lester and Dylan Kelly led Missouri with two hits apiece.
NOTES: New Auburn head basketball coach Bruce Pearl threw out the ceremonial first pitch … Auburn fell to 1-1 in televised games this season (ESPNU had the national broadcast) …
Auburn is now 1-4 all-time against Missouri at home …
The game marked Damek Tomscha's third three-hit game of the season.