Monday, June 24, 2013
My Twitter feed is in the column at left I still tweet links and info about Mizzou Baseball at @trippleplay on Twitter. Other MU Baseball twitter sources include @MUTigerBaseball @ianmcfrazer @TexLittleSS @MUTigersOnDeck @MizzouNetwork @Hunter_Mense @ShawnDizzle77
I also occasionally write longer pieces for RockMNation.com
Thanks for dropping by. E-mail me at email@example.com
Monday, May 27, 2013
As Kegger said in his farewell, "the University has started mutigers.com, and they are finally able to provide information in a timely fashion". But while they were able, actually following through on that capability was another thing. The Athletic Department's foray into the internet was in its infancy and more focused on football and basketball than anything else.
And so I picked up the baton from Kegger and began SimmonsField.com, first at MSN Groups (now defunct), and then here on Blogger.
And now, about 14 or 15 years later, this is my farewell post.
The athletic department, through mutigers.com and through their new "strategic communications" effort, are now doing a pretty good job of covering MU Baseball "in a timely fashion".
And I just don't have the time I used to have for an unproductive, unprofitable and often thankless time-gobbler.
However, I'm not going to quit covering Mizzou Baseball completely.
I plan to continue to point fans to good info and links by way of Twitter (follow me @trripleplay). And if you'll look at the left-hand column here on the home page, you'll see there's now a feed of everything I post on Twitter, for those of you who would rather continue visiting this blog instead of figuring out Twitter.
I plan to leave tise site open and active for a long while. The Twitter feed will keep on ticking and I'll try to keep the lists of links updated along the left and right columns, which I've worked to make the best list of Mizzou Baseball related links available.
You might want to make sure your bookmarks or favorites link to the full URL of this site, http://simmonsfield.blogspot.com in case I decide some day to stop paying GoDaddy $8.95 a year to keep the SimmonsField.com URL active.
Twitter and on RockMNation. You can still e-mail me with questions and comments at simmonsfield @ hotmail.com . And, of course, you can find me in Section E, Row 4, Seat 1 at Simmons Field, ever faithful to Mizzou Baseball.
Thanks to all who have made this worthwhile.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Best reason to watch a game from the third base line
|3rd Base Sliders|
If you went to SEC weekend series at Taylor Stadium all year and never wandered down by the pavilion, you didn't discover the Third Base Sliders concessions stand, and you missed some of the best food served at Simmons Field since Johnny's Beanery ran the concessions back in the 90's. Chef Travis Taylor served up fresh grilled philly cheese and ham and cheese sliders, Chicago dog sliders, grilled corn on the cob, and more. Mmm good, but you missed it. Sorry.
And now they're already working on a new building and seating area in that spot, which I suppose means they probably won't be back next season. But I'll be following my nose on that first SEC Friday night next season, just to make sure.
The Ian Kinsler Base Cadet Award
I need some input here...who wins in a race, Billy Butler or @d_kelly5?
— Hunter Mense (@Hunter_Mense) May 19, 2013
I'm really tempted to give this annual award for creative base-running to Dylan Kelly. We were warned early on about the catcher when Rob Z told KBIA Sports Extra “He may run a little weird, but he is a phenomenal teammate.” Watching DK run the bases or run down an errant baseball was like watching a Teenage Mutant Ninja Hermit Crab chasing down a meal.
But considering Kelly only attempted one steal all season (at which he failed), he hardly qualifies. Dane Opel actually lead the team in base-stealing blunders, but wasn't particularly spectacular in doing so.
And besides, the most spectacular base running catastrophe I saw all season was the now-famous slide into third by the orginal Mizzou Base Cadet, who face-plowed his way into reclaiming the award that bears his name:
Black & Gold Glove
Josh Lester not only played four different infield positions for the Tigers in 2013, he also led the team with the fewest errors (4) among Tiger infielders.
Among the outfield, Dane Opel had only 2 errors, and led the nation with 15 outfield assists.
And then there's Dylan Kelly, who committed only 1 error the entire season, and ably handled his duties as a backstop and handler of pitchers.
On a team that gained a reputation for sometimes catastrophic defensive failures, there really were a lot of amazing plays this season. Keaton Steele made an acrobatic stop at first in one game that took my breath away.
Here's a tip of my cap for all the times this team flashed the leather like pros.
John McKee HBP Award
Dane Opel led the squad with 13 HBP, followed closely by Keaton Steele with 12. Between the two of them, they accounted for about a third of the team's "accidental" plunkings".
Mark Alexander Phoenix Award
On May 17, 2010, Anderson had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.Eric Anderson has impressed everyone with his bulldog determination to get past all the injuries and be the pitcher he once was. He has definitely earned the come-back player award this season.
On May 17, 2012, Anderson had surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
On May 17, 2013, Anderson's right arm helped the Tigers clinch a spot in their first Southeastern Conference Tournament (Columbia Tribune, 5/18)
I was most impressed by the way he treated Mizzou Baseball the same way beat writers cover Mizzou Football or Basketball, as an important part of MU Athletics. Many writers treat Baseball as one of the "unimportant" sports, and they treat it with kid gloves because it's not worth their time to dig and expose and question. As a result, fans, players and coaches may come to expect more positive reporting and are a bit disturbed when someone plays a different tune.
Alex Silverman marched to the beat of an aspiring serious sportswriter, though, chasing down leads and calling things like he saw them.
"Root, root, root for the road team."
This could have been the refrain Saturday at Taylor Stadium, where No. 2 LSU clobbered the Missouri baseball team 8-0. Even after a five-hour rain delay, which several LSU fans spent tailgating under cover in the parking lots along Carrie Francke Drive outside the stadium, hundreds of purple-and-gold clad fans filled the seats behind the LSU dugout along the first-base line.
"We want a home-field advantage and, hell, we felt like we were in Alex Box," MU outfielder Logan Pearson said. "Their fans stomped our fans today." (Columbia Missourian, 3/31)
That apathy seemed evident following Tuesday’s loss. Outfielder Case Munson, who made a tremendous diving catch in the contest, was all smiles with reporters after the game despite the result. (Missourian, 4/3)
It was Missouri third baseman Shane Segovia’s shot at redemption. A base hit in the bottom of the 15th inning Saturday would make it all OK.
The ball he bobbled half-an-inning earlier that lead to Florida’s go-ahead run wouldn’t matter.
The night before, Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson pinch-hit for Segovia in the bottom of the ninth, a decision that haunted him after his replacement, Jake Ivory, struck out looking.
“I second guessed it,” Jamieson said. “Even though Shane’s struggling, he probably was still the best option at that point.” (Missourian, 4/21)
The Missouri baseball team's postgame reaction Sunday at Taylor Stadium was an unusual sight. The Missouri players were uncharacteristically jubilant after sweeping Auburn in a doubleheader Sunday, 3-1 in the first game and 4-1 in the second game, to take its first Southeastern Conference series win at home.
There were high fives all around, pitcher Keaton Steele and infielder Gavin Stark shared a chest bump-based dance, and infielder Mike McGraw rode on the shoulders of outfielder Brannon Champagne. (Missourian, 4/29)
"Pregame I didn’t sense it," Jamieson said. "Anytime that happens, it’s lack of focus, not good enough focus. I can’t explain it."
Jamieson has been at a loss throughout the season, which is on pace to be his worst at Missouri since his first season in 1995. Missouri signed Jamieson to a contract extension through 2015 following the team's Big 12 Conference tournament title last season. (Missourian, 4/30)
Honorary mention goes to Jack Witthaus, writing for The Maneater, who often was competing with Silverman for the same stories, and sometimes beating him to the punch. He caught the attention of this Mizzou Baseball history buff, though, with a profile of former Tiger Jim Doerr. If you haven't rad it, click the link and learn.
Doerr, donned in a bright green sweater with yellow pants, arranges a simple display on one of his couches. He’s collected a few framed photos, an autographed bat and some worn articles printed on computer paper. A fat, jewel-incrusted ring emblazoned with an “M” is wedged on his finger.Number Cruncher
Sam came to me before the season and offered to help me out by writing previews of each MU Baseball opponent this season, and we cut a mutually beneficial deal: less work for me, experience and exposure for him
I received several comments this season, telling me, I really liked that preview you did of this weekend's series! It wasn't me, folks. Sam I am not, but I tip my cap to him for adding a different flavor to SimmonsField.com this season with his Mizzou Matchup pieces.
That's it for the 2013 season. The results were disappointing, but it's still baseball. Put two teams of nine kids on a field with a ball and a bat and I'll be glad to watch.
There is one last Tip of the Cap post. Check back here Monday morning.
Friday, May 24, 2013
You thought you deleted that one, didn't you?
7 days from @mutigerbaseball Opening Day and 7.5" of snow on the field. Mother Nature, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!! twitter.com/mcpher28/statu…
— Josh McPherson (@mcpher28) February 22, 2013
“@jpankake:Feels good to be back in South Carolina.I like our columbia a lot better.” U mean u didn't enjoy not being able to grip the ball?
— Chase Vergason (@vergason16) March 17, 2013
Monday is April. LSU is playing baseball this weekend in a place with snow still on the ground. WTF
— Pod Katt (@valleyshook) March 29, 2013
Definitely just destroyed the baseball team in a snowball fight... They don't wanna see us!! Broadway athletes get it done!
— Laurence Bowers (@MU_Highflyer21) February 26, 2013
Baseball team just dominated the basketball team in a snowball fight! #no competition @philpressey @mu_highflyer21
— Brandon Platts (@DatOthaDudeBP11) February 26, 2013
Never pick a snow ball figh with a mizzou baseball player they got crazy aim!!
— Alex Oriakhi (@aoriakhi42) February 26, 2013
Most people hit right handed or left handed. @d_kelly5 hits correct handed #superdk
— Mike McGraw (@BigGrizz3) May 3, 2013
Most people yell"ball" when a pop up is hit @d_kelly5 yells "get in my glove" #superdk
— Mike McGraw (@BigGrizz3) May 3, 2013
My boy @d_kelly5 #hecatchesmypitches twitter.com/RobbyBaseball_…
— Rob Zastryzny (@RobbyBaseball_8) February 17, 2013
Life in the SEC
I do have to admit that the barking that UGA fans do is a bit weird. Feels like I'm listening to a DMX album.
— Shawn Davis (@ShawnDizzle77) April 7, 2013
Gotta love being back in Georgia. Wife and husband come to Waffle House after wedding twitter.com/BigGrizz3/stat…
— Mike McGraw (@BigGrizz3) April 7, 2013
Truman state 0-1 in SEC play #oops
— Mike Monfre (@Kenny__9) March 14, 2013
Just Another Bunch of College Guys
The series finale for "Tom and Jerry" should be Tom catching Jerry and eating him. Jerry is getting too cocky
— Rob Zastryzny (@RobbyBaseball_8) April 4, 2013
Mississippi state softball team asks @easports44 what time we play tonight, his reply is "yeah tonight" #nervous
— Jake Walsh (@JakeWalsh35) May 3, 2013
Interview w/ @mutigerbaseball freshman infielder @joshlester4, courtesy of @erinandrews & @bmweiss18 #justrealhappyyoutube.com/watch?v=wiTWAY…
— Daniel Tappana (@JustTappItIn) May 15, 2013
I love monkeys but I really love high fives. All came together at one magic moment
— Mike McGraw (@BigGrizz3) March 4, 2013
Tex & Hunter
Today, I go back up in the broadcasting booth to color commentate with this gem of a human being, @texlittless. lockerz.com/s/283520186
— Hunter Mense (@Hunter_Mense) February 15, 2013
View from the booth with @texlittless and @hunter_mense. Pic courtesy of @colinmcelroy twitter.com/MUTigerBasebal…
— Mizzou Baseball (@MUTigerBaseball) May 22, 2013
Only in Missouri would a dude have three toilets in his truck. And i would know the guy. @texlittless twitter.com/ShawnDizzle77/…
— Shawn Davis (@ShawnDizzle77) April 4, 2013
Mizzou's opponent tonight, Miss. St., has 25 guys on their roster who have a combover/swoop. This guy has the best... twitter.com/Hunter_Mense/s…
— Hunter Mense (@Hunter_Mense) May 21, 2013
I bought a cookie from the NORML bake sale on campus and now I've got the craving for even more cookies. Hmmm.....
— Hunter Mense (@Hunter_Mense) April 15, 2013
You know what sucks? Not filling out a bracket. You know who didn't fill one out? Me. So you know who sucks? Bill Self.
— Hunter Mense (@Hunter_Mense) March 22, 2013
It's the little things in life that I appreciate...like not having to fight the urge to pee an hour before I'm gonna wake up.
— Hunter Mense (@Hunter_Mense) March 16, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
139th Mizzou's official NCAA RPI ranking on May 21st.
7 MU's Strength of Schedule ranking among D-1 teams (BoydsWorld.com, 5/22)
18-32 Final W-L record, fewest wins since 1975; Tim Jamieson's fewest wins as head coach
.360 Lowest winning % since 1995
5 Games cancelled
12 Games postponed or rescheduled
20.5 Inches of snow in in the last 8 days of February in CoMo
33.7 Average temperature in March in CoMo
3 Longest MU winning streak, 3/6-3/8 vs. Eastern Michigan (DH) and San Francisco
6 Longest MU losing streak, the first two weekends of the season vs. Southern Mississippi and Memphis
2 Number of games MU lost by just 1 run
15 Home runs for the team, fewest since 1973
64 Doubles, fewest since 1975
205 Runs, fewest since 1973
402 Hits, fewest since 1983
185 RBI, fewest since 1973
161 walks, fewest since 1973
2-9 Rob Zastryzny's W-L record
3.38 Earned runs given up by Rob Z per 9 innings
1.92 Average runs scored by MU in Rob Z's 13 starts
228 Career strikeouts for Rob Z, tied for 8th all-time at Mizzou (tied with Rob Pietroburgo, father of current assistant coach Dan Pietroburgo)
3.87 Team ERA, surpassed only by the 2004-2006 Max Scherzer teams since 1981
484 Hits allowed, fewest since 1993
242 Runs allowed, fewest since 1983
189 Earned Runs allowed, fewest since 1983
152 Walks allowed, fewest since 1983
15 Outfield Assists for Dane Opel in 2013, 1st place in Division 1 for the regular season
30 Career Stolen Bases for Brannon Champagne, tied for 9th all-time at MU
4 Infield Positions played by Josh Lester: 23 1B, 7 2B, 6 SS, 7 3B
30 Games Jake Walsh appeared in, out of 50
.193 MU's batting average in the 2013 SEC Tournament
.359 MU's batting average in the 2012 Big 12 Tournament
1.11 MU's ERA in the 2013 SEC Tournament
2.83 MU's ERA in the 2012 Big 12 Tournament
8 NCAA Regional appearances in 10 years from 2003-2012
1 NCAA Regional appearance in 4 years from 2010-2013
622 Career wins by Tim Jamieson
Conference ISR rankings, as of 5/22/2013
1 114.5 ACC3,145 Biggest Crowd at Taylor Stadium in 2013, also biggest regular season crowd ever
2 113.0 SEC
3 112.7 PAC 12
4 109.0 Big West
5 108.6 Big 12
127 Smallest Crowd at Taylor Stadium in 2013
19,561 2013 Total Attendance
752 2013 Average Attendance
Past Years' Regular Season Home Attendance
2012: Total: 26,357; Average: 8242013 Home Attendance Detail
2011: Total: 13,334; Average: 476
2010: Total: 19,310; Average: 715
2009: Total: 23,848; Average: 852
2008: Total: 30,687; Average: 1,136
2007: Total: 14,190; Average: 645
2006:Total: 23,906; Average: 885
2005:Total: 16,965; Average: 707
ATT - DAY DATE OPP3,145 - Fri 3/15 S. CarolinaTop 10 All-Time Home Attendance
2,563 - Sat 4/20 Florida
1,263 - Fri 3/29 LSU
1,107 - Sun 3/31 LSU
1,018 - Sun 4/21 Florida
945 - Sat 3/30 LSU
886 - Sun 5/18 Kentucky
879 - Sun 4/28 Auburn G1
879 - Sun 4/28 Auburn G2
850 - Sat 5/17 Kentucky
840 - Fri 4/19 Florida
826 - Sat 3/16 S. Carolina G1
826 - Sat 3/16 S. Carolina G2
750 - Tue 4/30 SEMO
654 - Fri 5/16 Kentucky
544 - SatT 3/9 SF
480 - Fri 3/8 SF
431 - Wed 3/13 Truman St
423 - Tue 3/12 Jackson St
400 - Tue 3/19 Arkansas St G1
400 - Tue 3/19 Arkansas St G2
306 - Wed 4/24 Missouri St
291- Fri 4/26 Auburn
227 - Wed 3/6 E Mich G1
227 - Wed 3/6 E Mich G2
127 - Wed 3/27 Neb-Omaha
6/2/07 Louisville (Regional) 3,630
6/1/07 Kent St (Regional) 3,481
6/3/07 Louisville (Regional) 3,457
3/15/13 South Carolina 3,145
5/17/08 Nebraska 3,126
5/18/08 Nebraska 2,418
4/25/98 Texas 2,347
4/24/98 Texas 2,372
5/5/12 Texas 2,2104/5/08 Okla St 2,205
6/4/07 Louisville-MU (Regional) 2,199
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The theme of 2013 was supposed to be Mizzou Baseball building on that Big 12 Championship and proving to the SEC and that they do belong, that they can compete. The catch phrase before the season began was "Embrace the Underdog".
And then, it seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The team hit at an historic low production level. The defense struggled to maintain leads.
The two players in that intro video who said, "I won't back down" and "I will make plays", weren't even on the active roster by season's end.
What was the problem?
It was the weather.Perhaps we all should have been recognized it as a bad omen when Hattiesburg, MS, the site of the Tigers' season opening series, was hit by a tornado 5 days before Game 1. The weather man was not kind to Mizzou Baseball in 2013.
Specifically, it was the cancelation of four nonconference weekend home games in March. When SEC play started, the Tigers were a step behind. Not only have they have not been able to catch up, it seems that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.
"I mean, I know this is not a great team, but we've been good enough to be right there," Jamieson said last week, "and you wonder, 'OK, if we'd been able to tweak a few things or get guys more prepared by playing more games, could it have been different?' It's not a great team, but it could have been a .500 club. It could have been a club that at least gives you some positives." (Columbia Tribune, May 16, 2013)
The schedule seemed to stumble along in fits and starts all season long.
- Entire home opener series vs. Northwestern: cancelled due to huge snow. Three games lost.
- Game 1 at Memphis was pushed to a later start time due to weather.
- 2-day series against Eastern Michigan pushed to a double header (7 innings each) on Wednesday, in bitter cold.
- Game 3 vs. San Francisco: cancelled
- Game vs. D-II Truman State cobbled into the schedule. One game added, but it doesn't really count in the official RPI.
- Game 3 vs. South Carolina moved up to be part of a Saturday double-header ... in bitter cold
- Two-game set against Arkansas State was moved forward to a double-header, due to weather.
- Game 3 vs. Tennessee moved up to part of a Saturday double-header
- Tuesday game against Nebraska-Omaha was pushed back to Wednesday, due to yet another big snow.
- Game 2 against LSU was pushed back from 1:00 to 6:00 due to rain, wiping out a scheduled national TV broadcast.
- Missouri State at Mizzou was postponed a week due to severe thunderstorms
- Murray State game was cancelled outright due to heavy rains in the forecast
- Saturday game vs. Auburn postponed to later in the day, then postponed to be part of a 7-innings double header on Sunday.
On the other hand, Mizzou Softball saw 14 games cancelled outright, plus many more postponed and rescheduled, including weather delays in their SEC Tournament. They finished 35-11, 15-8 in the SEC, won the Regional they hosted in Columbia and at this writing are preparing to host a Super Regional. And they did that even with their pitching staff in disarray.
So, yes, the weather problems were hard to deal with. But that doesn't really explain this season.
The Best of Times, The Worst of Times
The 2013 Tigers were a bipolar team, proving themselves to be both one of the best and one of the worst Tiger squads in decades.
This season's pitching staff has proved themselves to be one of the best and deepest Mizzou fans have seen in quite a while. The team ERA of 3.87 is surpassed only by the Max Scherzer teams of 2004-2006 during the Tim Jamieson era of the past two decades, and prior to that you have to go back to 1981 to find a better pitching staff..
The offense, however, stands out historically in a way not as admirable. The Tigers' team batting average of .245 is the worst team BA since 1969, when the Tigers managed a weak .230 average.
The final game of 2013 summed up the entire season in 17 long innings. Rob Z pitched a masterful 9 innings, Keaton Steele followed up with 7 more scoreless innings, and it was a run given up by Jake Walsh in the 17th inning that ended the Tigers' season. That incredible pitching performance just wasn't good enough to make up for the Tiger lineup's .193 batting average for the game, getting their only run on a wild throw. It was an exhilarating game and a frustrating game.
And it was an exhilarating and frustrating season.
In the end its our defiance that redeems us.
— Breckin Williams (@BreckinW) March 23, 2013
Leaving the Zou
I'm gonna miss these guys: @bchampagne7 @d_opel24 @scottsommertime @big_byrd18 @robbybaseball_8 @datothadudebp11 @yaboigg3
— Larry Wyatt II (@mizzoufan_1) May 19, 2013
Big 12 champs! twitter.com/scottsommertim…— Scott Sommerfeld (@scottsommertime) May 27, 2012
@bchampagne7 "I forgot what pump I'm at. What's the one behind 5?" Gas clerk, "that'd be 6..."— Scott Sommerfeld (@scottsommertime) December 5, 2012
Holdin that trophy like a boss, still can't believe it! twitter.com/BChampagne6/st…— Brannon Champagne (@BChampagne7) May 27, 2012
@big_byrd18 representing this week at #StarlightReading @mutigerbaseball twitter.com/MUAthleticsTPP…— MU TPP (@MUAthleticsTPP) March 20, 2013
This is the bomb @robbybaseball_8 gave up recently #AccordingtoRob twitter.com/Corbin1313/sta…
— Corbin Berkstresser (@Corbin1313) April 1, 2013
Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.
— Rob Zastryzny (@RobbyBaseball_8) February 6, 2013
We're going to play guess whose @mutigerbaseball calves these are? Hint: His last name starts with a Z twitter.com/ShawnDizzle77/…
— Shawn Davis (@ShawnDizzle77) January 22, 2013
Sometimes change is needed in order to follow your dreams. It's been real Mizzou. Met some amazing people the last 2 years! #MIZ #illbeback— Brandon Platts (@DatOthaDudeBP11) May 18, 2013
I honestly enjoyed my time here at mizzou. Didn't go ideally but I met so many great people and it was a good experience. I'll miss y'all— Gerrion Grim III (@YaboiGG3) May 13, 2013
"We're still going to have to score runs, and that has been our biggest issue," Jamieson said. "Rob has been great for his entire career at our place. He is going to be a high draft at the end of the year, and he has a good professional career ahead of him, and he'll compete and do fine, but we have to score runs." (Columbia Tribune, 5/21)
The story of Mizzou Baseball in 2013 has been a consistent one, and it continued right on through the final 17 inning chapter. It's the story of a bi-polar team. And no, I'm not talking about the weather.
In the final marathon against fellow defending conference tournament champion Mississippi State, the Tiger pitching shined as always. One of the best and deepest pitching staffs of Tim Jamieson's tenure represented themselves well, led by their ace, Rob Zastryzny, and the Man of Steele, Keaton Steele.
At least on this night, Zastryzny silenced any and all doubters. The lefty was terrific against the Bulldogs, striking out seven, walking two and allowing just one run on seven hits in nine stellar innings of work.
"He was phenomenal, focused and on a mission tonight," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "I think that's about as well as he has thrown all-season long for nine-straight innings.
"I think he's the next of our pitchers to make it to the big leagues," Jamieson continued. "He has big-league type of stuff and his competitiveness is off the charts out there." (Perfect Game)
"I'm not even going to attempt to pronounce the first left-hander's name but we'll probably all know his name in five years when he's playing in the big leagues because he's really good," Mississippi State head coach John Cohen on Missouri left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny (al.com)
On the other hand, last night's game was typical of the entire season for the offense as well. MU's lone run was scored on a wild throw. The hitters, while they gave it everything they had, it just wasn't enough yet again. The team managed 11 hits hits in 57 at bats, for a .193 batting average, with only one extra-base hit. And as usual against a ranked SEC team, they weren't given many walks or other free bases to exploit.
And so a difficult season ends. The Tigers finish 18-32 overall, 10-20 in the SEC.
None of the regular hitters finished with a batting average above .300. On the other hand, all the regulars managed to lift their averages above the .200 Mendoza line by the season's close.
But the pitching amassed a team ERA of 3.87, which is good enough to carry a team deep into the post-season...if it weren't for the fact that the offense has handed its opponents' pitchers a 3.60 ERA.
As I've said all year long, it wasn't about the move to the SEC. A team that only hits .245 as a team isn't going to compete in any conference.
But, like every Cubs fan knows, there's always next year.
Over the coming week we'll be posting our annual Tip of the Cap season wrap-up series here at SimmonsField.com before we put this season to a merciful end.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
♦ Also check out our off-season South By Southeast posts about Mississippi State Baseball:
- Starkville, MS
- Hail State
- John Cohen's Mississippi State Bulldogs
- Mississippi State Baseball History
Mississippi State baseball is 1 of just 3 SEC teams w/ 40 wins, impressive given the Bulldogs' strength of schedule (5th nationally)...
— Mike Nemeth (@MikeNemeth) May 19, 2013
A&M coach Rob Childress on Mizzou LHP ace Rob Zastryzny: "He matches up really well against MSU b/c they have several LH hitters in lineup.— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) May 20, 2013
John Cohen just confirmed that MSU will throw RHP Trevor Fitts (12 apperances, 1.65 ERA, 1 start) vs. #Mizzou Tuesday.— Mizzou Baseball (@MUTigerBaseball) May 20, 2013
Coach J on Cohen: "It was something that was going to happen eventually...I’m anxious to see John’s reaction more than anything"— Mizzou Baseball (@MUTigerBaseball) May 20, 2013
♦There's a good summary of how Mississippi State finished strong to end the regular season at This Week in MSU Baseball: SEC Tournament Edition (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
...The Bulldogs now defend their title in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. Last season they were pretty much out of regional hosting so winning wouldn't hurt. They ran the table and won five games in six days, one of the best runs in tournament history. This season is slightly different. I think State will be content with bowing out of the tournament. That's not to say they want to try and lose, but having a few extra days to rest for the regional will probably be best.♦ Thanks to success of its programs, baseball enjoys unmatched popularity in Miss. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)
State will start the tournament Tuesday playing the final game of day one against the 12-seed Missouri. I believe winning the Tuesday night game seals up MSU's hosting chances. Going 2-2 in the tournament would be reasonable enough for most fans. We shall see how it all plays out.
The evolution of Southeastern Conference stadiums began in Starkville. Mississippi State athletics director Scott Stricklin remembers driving down to Jackson to watch MSU play Georgia Tech. In the middle of the game the Bulldog Club offered fans an opportunity to pick their seat at the new Dudy Noble Field.♦ Tension Tuesday at SEC baseball tournament now means win or go home (al.com)
“It was jaw-dropping at the time that anybody could do that for college baseball,” Stricklin said. “And that happened because of what those crowds drew at the ’85 team.”
What many consider the best college baseball team to not win a College World Series, the 1985 Bulldogs took the field with 18-game winner Jeff Brantley, Bobby Thigpen, Clark (the eventual Golden Spikes Award winner) and Palmeiro, MSU’s career home run leader....
Seven of the SEC Tournament's 17 games are now single elimination (41 percent). Two years ago during the final season of the eight-team bracket, there was one single-elimination game, Sunday's championship.♦ Missouri coach Tim Jamieson Monday morning debriefing (Jackson Clarion Ledger)
Single elimination contradicts how baseball typically evaluates success and failure -- over a series of games. In the NCAA Tournament, there are double-elimination NCAA regionals, best-of-three NCAA super regionals, a double-elimination College World Series, and a best-of-three national championship series.
But if the SEC wants to have 86 percent of its teams in Hoover -- 67 percent went during the eight-team tournament -- coaches say single-elimination games are needed to spare players' bodies for the NCAA Tournament....
On opening against friend John Cohen: ”I’m looking forward to it. John and I didn’t get to compete against each other this year. We didn’t play Mississippi State this season. It’s going to happen sooner or later. Next year’s schedule they get to come to Columbia. It’s something that’s going t happen eventually and I’m looking forward to it. I’m anxious to see John’s reaction than anything else.”...