PowerMizzou - Behind Joven, offense, Mizzou wins series over LSU
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Behind Joven, offense, Mizzou wins series over LSU

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There are plenty of reasons why the Missouri baseball team is playing like it wants to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years. On Sunday against LSU, another one emerged.

It was Art Joven, the junior transfer left-hander from California, who showed his stuff in Missouri’s series-clinching win over No. 8 LSU at Taylor Stadium. Joven took a no-hitter through five innings, pitched into the seventh and didn’t allow a single earned run as Missouri (25-12-1) beat LSU 11-5 to take two of three games on the weekend and even its SEC record at 7-7-1.

While a few walks in the early innings hampered Joven, each time the lefty bore down and retired the side.

“I started off slow, and my offspeed wasn’t really there, but I just tried taking it one out at a time," he said.

Pitcher Art Joven didn't allow a hit through five innings in Missouri's 11-5 win over LSU.
Pitcher Art Joven didn't allow a hit through five innings in Missouri's 11-5 win over LSU. (Mizzou Athletics)

His offense came up huge for him, pounding out 14 hits and scoring in six of eight innings to more than back an excellent start.

The Tigers did that very well Sunday, tagging LSU starter Eric Walker for eight hits and six runs in four innings. Senior Tony Ortiz took a Walker slider out to right field for the big blow, a three-run homer in the second inning that opened the game’s scoring.

“It was great to get the whole offense rolling,” Ortiz said. “I guess I was the guy to get it started. That’s just how it happens."

All nine starters got at least one hit Sunday, and right fielder Clayton Peterson knows that for his team, hits are “contagious."

"When one person hits, then the entire team starts hitting,” Peterson said.

Kameron Misner was the last to catch the bug, sending a ball to the top of Devine Pavilion in the bottom of the eighth for a two-run shot to seal the ballgame. The home run had a projected distance of 457 feet.

“The wind was a little in my favor today,” Misner said, “but I still hit it pretty hard.”

Missouri didn’t have to rely much on the wind, leading by four or more runs from the third inning on. The Tigers looked dominant throughout the game against a formidable but banged-up LSU ballclub.

“This is a statement win for our program,” Missouri head coach Steve Bieser said. “We’re here to stay, and we’re here to compete.”

Peterson, who had two hits and scored two runs out of the leadoff spot, couldn’t agree more.

“Hats off to LSU, they’re a phenomenal team,” Peterson said. “But the Tigers are hot. That’s the Missouri Tigers that I’m talking about.”

A red-hot Missouri club will take on rival Missouri State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hammons Field in Springfield.