Thursday, April 30, 2009

MU in the Minors

Nathan Culp (04-06) is having a great year for the San Antonio Missions. Wednesday he pitched 7.0 innings, scattered five hits, gave up no runs. His WHIP for the season with San Antonio is a very nice 1.06.

■ From AZ Snakepit:

Evan Frey (06-07)had a great year last season, batting.314/.400/.411 with 37 steals between South Bend and Visalia, and earning himself a first shot at AA this year at the young age of 22. He isn't exactly setting the world alight, but his .254/.329/.373 line in 70 PA is mostly held back by BABIP. On first glance his .300 BABIP seems normal, but he has a line drive bat that helped him to an incredible .370 BABIP in his career so far. Couple that with a great eye (11.5% BB this season, 10+ for his career) and he's one of our brightest prospects. Like Parra, he has no home run power, but I think some high average + high OBP + low power guys are a welcome change in contrast to our big league guys, who can hit it 500 feet, but also will likely never sniff league average OBP numbers.

Your chance to catch MU Softball

The Baseball Tigers are playing at Nebraska this weekend, so if you're not traveling to Lincoln and will be around Columbia, this is your chance to see the hugely succesful Mizzou Softball team in action. The ladies are also playing the Cornhuskers, but they are in Columbia at University field for a pair of games: Saturday at 2:00, Sunday at Noon.

You Make the Call: April MVPs

April is over for the Tigers' schedule, so it's time for another set of polls: for the Most Valuable Pitcher and Most Valuable Position Player of the month of April.

I've crunched the numbers to isolate the April performances, and developed a list of nominees. Statistical leaders in BOLD:

Most Valuable Pitcher nominees:

Ian Berger: 0-1, 4.73 ERA, 8 APP, 13-1/3 IP, 16 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 7 BB, 10 SO, .75 SO/IP, .53 BB/IP

Brad Buehler: 0-1, 2.00 ERA, 9 APP, 2 Sv, 9 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO,
.78 SO/IP, .33 BB/IP

Tyler Clark: 1-0, 5.87 IP, 9 APP, 7-2/3 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO, .91 SO/IP, .52 BB/IP

Ryan Clubb: 2-2. 5.06 ERA, 9 APP, 16 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO, .44 SO/IP, .25 BB/IP

Jeff Emens: 0-0, 3.86 ERA, 9 APP, 9-1/3 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO, .54 SO/IP, .43 BB/IP

Kelly Fick: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9 APP, 9 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, .56 SO/IP, .11 BB/IP

Ryan Gargano: 0-0, 4.05 ERA, 11 APP, 13-1/3 IP, 18 H, 12 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 13 SO, .98 SO/IP, .38 BB/IP

Kyle Gibson: 3-1, 4.67 ERA, 5 APP, 3 Complete Games, 34-2/3 IP, 39 H, 18 R, 18 ER, 4 BB, 42 SO, 1.21 SO/IP, .12 BB/IP

Scooter Hicks: 2-0, 2.45 ERA, 7 APP, 14-2/3 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 12 SO, .82 SO/IP, .27 BB/IP

Phil McCormick: 0-0, 7.85 ERA, 9 APP, 8 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO, 1 SO/IP, .38 BB/IP

Nick Tepesch: 3-2, 7.83 ERA, 6 APP, 1 CG, 23 IP, 32 H, 23 R, 20 ER, 9 BB, 26 SO, 1.13 SO/IP, .39 BB/IP

I have left Johnny Wholestaff off the ballot this month, preferring instead to give his various participants more recognition for their contributions to that effort. Just FYI, JW's stats for April are: 5-2, 4.15 ERA, 65 IP, 69 H, 38 R, 30 ER, 20 B, 49 SO

Most Valuable Player nominees:

Trevor Coleman: .283 Avg (17-for-60), 19 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 19 BB, 5 HBP, 9 SO, 3 SB

Greg Folgia: .419 (31-for-74), 24 R, 12 2B, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 6 BB, 4 HBP, 11 SO, 0 SB

Steve Gray: .316 (24-for-76), 12 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 16 RBI, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 23 SO, 0 SB

Austin Holt: .324 (12-for-37), 13 R, 2 2B, 7 RBI, 10 BB, 5 HBP, 11 SO, 2-for-5 SB

Ryan Lollis: .276 (21-for-76), 14 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 11 BB, 1 HBP, 12 SO, 5-for-6 SB

Kyle Mach: .414 (29-for-70), 12 R, 5 2B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 5 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 0-for-1 SB

Aaron Senne: .356 (26-for-73), 19 R, 7 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 15 BB, 0 HBP, 13 SO, 0 SB

The voting is open now in the left hand column on your screen. You make the call!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MU @ Missouri State cancelled

Tonight's game has been cancelled due to expected thunderstorms.

"This is going to be fun down the stretch"

■ Comment from
TigerNation25: Great win tonight. The teams starting to click. This is going to be fun down the stretch.
Mizzou baseball wins four in a row (
Senior Steve Gray matched a career-high with four hits on Tuesday night, finishing 4-for-4 with two RBI. Junior Greg Folgia added two hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, and junior Aaron Senne had a pair of hits, including a two-run home run.
Johnny Wholestaff pitched the game against Eastern Illinois, with 9 pitchers in 9 innings. JW is now 11-3 on the year, with a 3.07 ERA

Big12Hardball is well informed:
MU gets a nice RPI win vs. a quality out-of-conference foe. Tigers are now 11-3 when using "staff pitching" approach. This game was the "Wood Bat Classic." Does that mean the team's used wooden bats? Eastern Illinois was 32-9 and #44 in the RPI so they are plenty good.

■ The win against Eastern Illinois moved MU from a #39 RPI rank to 31st, according to Boyd's World. The official NCAA D-1 RPI rankings were released yesterday, showing MU at 38th prior to the EIU game.

■ DanOshinsky, at the creatively titled, has a comment about Greg Folgia's intensity, plus a handful of good pictures from the Texas Tech series:

Mizzou junior outfielder Greg Folgia had an impressive game against Texas Tech, including a home run in the 2nd inning that extended his hitting streak to eight games. But after one late inning strike out, Folgia took out his frustration on his bat by actually screaming into it.

The bat was not available for comment after the game.

■ The Kansas City Star reports that Justin James (02-03) has signed to play with the Kansas City T-Bones of the independent Northern League.
James, 27, is in his seventh season in professional baseball. Originally a fifth round pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2003 amateur draft, James advanced as high as Class AAA in 2007.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quotes & Notes: 46th vs. 38th, 57 vs. 56, MiLB vs. Sr. year, Big 12 vs. Big 12

■ The Eastern Illinois Panthers are 32-9, with a Boyd's World RPI ranking of 46th, compared to Mizzou's #38 ranking.

■ The question was brought up at about the fact that the Tigers intentionally over-scheduled 1 extra game about the limit of 56 - but have yet to have a game cancelled outright because of weather. So which of the remaining games should they jettison, if the rain doesn't do the job for them? The answer seems clear to me, as I said in that discussion thread.

■ The Rochester Post-Bulletin has an interview with their hometown Tiger: Baseball draft right around the corner for Aaron Senne :
I have put thought into returning to Missouri for my senior season and it is a great option to have. I would love to go play pro ball and I would love to come back for one more year of Big 12 baseball, so just like I said before in 2006 it's a win-win situation for me. As for a round, I do not know what round or circumstances for that matter would make me decide to come back yet. I just want to focus on making the post season this spring and be a dangerous threat at making a run to Omaha. The draft matters will have to wait until our season is complete.

K-State's series victory over Texas tightens Big 12 (Kansas City Star):

No separation anxiety in Big 12 baseball this season. The teams are bunched too
close together.

Ninth-place Oklahoma State is three games behind first-place Texas A&M in the loss column. All 10 teams have two or three conference series remaining, and coaches said Monday they’d be surprised if the championship wasn’t settled until the final day.

“Maybe the last pitch,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said.

Mizzou Baseball Recruits

■ SS Eric Garcia of Hendrickson HS was named by ESPN Rise to their All Area Team for San Antonion/Austin, on Blake Brown:

No doubt Blake Brown can hit. The Normal West senior standout can also run. It turns out the Missouri recruit can pitch, too. Brown took the mound for the third time this season and turned in a solid 5 2/3 innings Saturday. Brown added three hits and five stolen bases as the Wildcats downed Mattoon, 12-3, in a Big 12 Conference baseball game at breezy West field.

“He was sharp,” said Hawkins. “He’s one of those guys that always has been a thrower, but today he really looked like a pitcher. He wanted the baseball. This was a pretty big conference game.”

Monday, April 27, 2009

MU in the Majors & Minors

Brock Bond has been reinstated after a short stint on the disabled list.

MASN Sports has some comments about Rick Zagone (1.72 ERA):
Zagone is a guy who can dominate and we may re-evaluate him at mid season.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Johnny Wholeteam sweeps Tech

Scooter, Nick and the Mizzou pitching staff put on a great show this weekend (without the aid of Mr. Wholestaff) and the Tiger offense flexed its collective muscle to pound the Red Raiders into submission.

Or maybe it was the field.

"Missouri in general is just a tough place for an away team," said Brian Cloud, who will take the mound today for the Red Raiders. "The facilities aren't exactly what you want, the playing surface isn't what you would want it to be, but it's a place where Missouri plays good." (Daily Toreador, 4/24)

Tigers baseball sweeps Texas Tech (Columbia Missourian):

It is the first time this season that Missouri has swept an opponent during a weekend series. The win puts the Tigers (24-21) one game over .500 in the Big 12 and makes the reality of making their seventh straight NCAA tournament likely.

■ Hicks makes a day of it against Tech (Columbia Tribune)

Vitello had told Hicks to take it one inning at a time, and the coaching staff privately hoped to get two innings out of the senior left-hander, who’d spent far more time pitching in the ninth inning than in the first during his three seasons with the Tigers.

Nobody could have expected Hicks, in the longest outing of his career, to carry a perfect game into the fifth inning, and hold the Red Raiders to three runs in 42/3 innings, setting the tone for a 9-5 Missouri victory on Simmons Field.
Tigers get four perfect innings from Scooter Hicks (Columbia Missourian)

"Two innings is what we were hoping for," Jamieson said. "When they haven't put a good swing on him in two innings you put him back out there."

Instead, Hicks pitched four perfect innings to start the game and allowed three earned runs in the fifth before being removed with the lead.
Red Raiders have arse handed to them (DoubleTNation)

Things started out well, up 5-0, but fell apart in the bullpen in Columbia in a blowout loss to the Missouri Tigers. I won't get into all of the gory details, but let's just say that every pitcher was awful, except for outfielder Kellen Monreal. Yep, an outifielder was Texas Tech's best pitcher last night. In an effort to probably save Texas Tech's bullpen, head coach Dan Spencer allowed Monreal and DH Nick Hanslik pitch the last few innings.
Tech's bullpen implodes (Lubbock Avalanche Journal)

The house of horrors that is Missouri's Taylor Stadium struck the Texas Tech
baseball team again.
Tiger offense picks up Gibson in win (Columbia Missourian)

Met by the team at home plate, Senne had a grin across his face. Senne had gone 148 at-bats before hitting his first home run of the year.

"It was a pretty big celebration," Senne said.

Center fielder Greg Folgia joked that he popped up quickly in his at-bat following Senne's home run so he could get back to the dugout to join the celebration.

Offensive explosion (Columbia Tribune)

“I went out there, got a little too jacked up in the beginning, leaving the ball up,” said Gibson, who finished with nine strikeouts. “That’s really the only time I got hurt tonight, when I was leaving it up.”

The junior from Greenfield, Ind., made some adjustments after that and again resembled the Tigers’ ace. He kept Texas Tech off the scoreboard over the next five innings — including a string of 13 straight outs — to let Missouri’s offense creep back in the game.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quotes & Notes: Hit and Be Hit

Folgia continues to excel at what's asked of him for Tigers (Columbia Tribune):

Entering this weekend’s series against Texas Tech on Simmons Field, Folgia has hit safely in 12 of 13 games, including a 2-for-4 night in the midweek game against Kansas. In his current six-game hitting streak, the reigning Big 12 player of the week is 11 for 25 with nine runs and 10 RBI.

Folgia said he has an advantage when in the batter’s box. As a pitcher, Folgia thinks about how he would pitch in certain situations and knows what to expect from the opposing hurler.
KOMU TV has a video preview of the MU-Tech weekend series. Gibby and Gebby are interviewed in dress shirts and ties.

■ The Columbia Missourian says MU baseball coaches urge players to let pitch hit them. And check out a journalism student's multi-media presentation about MU baseball's penchant for getting hit by pitches: Missouri players stand ready

Conner Mach and Nick Tepesch are listed on the 2009 Summer Roster of the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tech 9

1) Tech hitters, bullpen lead rout of Rebels (Lubbock Avalanche journal):

Don’t look now, but the Texas Tech baseball team just swept a midweek series.

After struggling all season to build some momentum outside of Big 12 Conference play, the Red Raiders finally found the right combination to follow up Tuesday’s win over Nevada-Las Vegas with another one on Wednesday. Tech’s bullpen scattered two runs and seven hits over eight innings, and the Red Raider offense came alive late to surge past the Rebels, 14-5, at Dan Law Field.

It is the fourth win in the last five games for Tech and provides a boost going into a key conference series beginning Friday at Missouri.

2) Tech takes first two from No. 24 Kansas (Lubbock Avalanche Journal):

“Obviously every club is better when they’re ahead,” head coach Dan Spencer said. “For us getting the lead was important and more important was getting a zero (on the scoreboard) in the first inning and building momentum against Kansas, cause they didn’t quit. We have some older guys who want to get to the Promised Land and play late in the year … and that’s important to them. They rose to the occasion.”
. . .
“We’re really going good right now and hopefully (today) we can come out and do the same,” designated hitter Scott LeJeune said. “We really all do believe we have a good, solid team here and as long as we do our stuff and get the wins, we’ll go places like this. We have a good team if we do things right.”

3) Bettis is pitching Tech in the right direction (Lubbock Avalanche Journal):

Texas Tech’s pitching philosophy is pretty simple: If there’s a chance to win a game late, or if the Red Raiders need a win to avoid a Big 12 weekend sweep, sophomore right-hander Chad Bettis will be on the mound.

It’s a formula that has factored into each of the Red Raiders’ seven Big 12 Conference victories and nine of the team’s 16 victories overall, and it’s a big reason why Tech (16-23, 7-8 in Big 12) is still in the thick of the league race with just four series

But the most amazing part of the formula is how Bettis has handled going from starter at the beginning of the season to closer during Big 12 play while also starting a pair of league contests in which he established career marks for innings pitched in a game. Never was he more important than this past Sunday when he threw 154 pitches to notch his first complete game of the year and give Tech a 5-1 win over No. 11 Oklahoma, its only win of the series.

“In the past I’ve been able to go deep in pitch counts and it hasn’t affected me. I don’t think it will be this time,” Bettis said. “Either way, we’re trying to get the win. I feel as long as I give my team the best chance to win, that’s where I need to be.”
4) And the Avalanche Journal takes a look at MU: Creative pitching moves keep Tigers in Big 12 hunt:

Jamieson said the bigger problem for the Tigers has been offense. Missouri ranks last in the Big 12 with a .266 batting average and has scored the third-fewest runs despite playing the second-most games in the conference (41). Missouri also ranks ninth in hits (359) and home runs (21), and only Oklahoma and Baylor have struck out more than the Tigers’ 293 times.

The numbers get worse in Big 12 play. Missouri is hitting just .211 and averaging 3.6 runs per game. The Tigers have scored 10 runs or fewer in four of their six three-game conference series, although they tagged Kansas State for 20 this past weekend.

“We have a bunch of guys offensively who got off to a slow start and didn’t handle it particularly well,” Jamieson said. “We’ve been a little better and our lineup is getting better and swinging the bats better. We’re playing more as a team offensively. There’s no doubt that slow start affected our confidence and we had that issue to overcome. Finally, I think we’re starting to see the light.”
5) LAJ has a profile of the Raiders' starting catcher: Mayo providing boost with bat, mitt:

“He’s a kid that takes good care of his body and is proud of his work in the weight room,” Spencer said. “But he is also blessed with that good arm and has really polished his catching skills. He does drills at full tilt, asks questions about baseball as far as helping him prepare and wants to know things like a coach would, which is the next step in becoming a great catcher.

“Jeremy is more abrasive like (former Oregon State pitcher) Dallas Buck was on the mound. Mitch was more mellow and was a good match for our pitchers. Our guys here are not as abrasive on the mound and Jeremy is a good match for those guys. He has put himself in a position where he will never be considered a hypocrite because he’s done everything he’s trying to get you to do.”
6) Papi Chulo Baby!!! Fans who were at the MU-Tech series in Columbia two years ago will remember pitcher AJ Ramos, who disintegrated on the mound as Tiger fans pummelled him with cheers of "Papi Chulo, Baby!". He apparently didn't learn: A. J. Papi Chulo Ramos Bay!!! on
About me: I play baseball for Texas Tech and i am a junior. I like to kick it with my girl kk, amber and megs and chill with the guys. I live and breath baseball and plan to go far doing it. so pretty much i wake up in the morning and piss excellence, lol

Occupation: Student / part-time stripper

From his myspace blog:
I see i said, jealousy I said
People wishing they were me i said
Then P.C. said, "Aj' remind yourself
nobody built like you, you've designed yourself"
I agree i said, my one of a kind self
Amazing people everyday like MJ did
What he said, I said, has been said before
"Just keep doing your thing," he said, say no more
7) And in case you weren't at that game two years ago, read meets in my Tip of the Cap Awards for 2007 at the end of that season:

8) And the Texas Tech Baseball Message Board at had a few interesting comments:
Techsan2007: I am intrigued about Missouri's possible pitching approach on Saturday against AJ when they will apparently throw 9 pitchers (one each inning). I thought it was crazy when I first heard about it, but evidently they have been pretty darn successful with it. I guess we will see how it goes.

And a thread on Chad Bettis' high pitch count accumulation
9) Check out, a Texas Tech blog with lots of info

KU 7, MU 3

■ The Maneater's JJ Stankevitz posted a live blog during the game:
A 1-2-3 ninth was the final nail in the coffin for Missouri, which lost 7-3 to Kansas in a game that did not count toward Big 12 standings. Missouri dropped to 21-21 on the season, while Kansas improved to 27-14.

A two-out, three-run home run by KU first baseman Preston Land in the bottom of the sixth was the big blow for Missouri, as that home run gave Kansas a 5-3 lead they would not relinquish.

Missouri's offense never was able to generate a major scoring rally after the Land home run, as the lineup failed to register neither a hit nor a walk after the Land's blast until a two-out double in the ninth by Ryan Ampleman. The only other baserunner for Missouri after the sixth came on a dropped fly ball in the eighth.

Greg Folgia had two of Missouri's five hits and scored two of team's three runs.
Jayhawks beat Missouri at Kauffman Stadium (Columbia Missourian):
The game didn’t count in the Big 12 conference standings, and that’s something that Jamieson realized and used the chance to get a preview of the Jayhawks while limiting how much the Jayhawks saw of the Tigers.

“The games that matter more are the games we play on the weekend in Columbia,” Jamieson said. “We weren’t too excited to show them a whole lot of things that they’re going to see when they come to Columbia.

“Don’t get me wrong, we wanted to win this game.”
■ Comments from Tigerboard:
KCTiger83: Back from the K. 1) Kyle Mach - great game at 3B. 2) Ummm .. . .
This Tiger team is so friggin anemic offensively that we look like a mediocre 5A high school team.
Who keeps running Andrew Thigpen out to bat in Aaron Senne's jersey?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tastes like chicken

Border war baseball: Mizzou to face Kansas at Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Star):

Missouri baseball coach Tim Jamieson spent a few minutes Monday checking out remaining schedules for all Big 12 teams, and he liked what he saw. Three
series for his club remain, and based on the latest polls, all are against teams unranked by Baseball America. The Tigers have played six conference series —
and in each case the opponent was ranked.

“Every team in this league is good,” Jamieson said. “But the timing is good for us right now.”
Team faces rival in Kauffman Stadium (
The game is intensified because Kansas is playing Missouri. It’s a rivalry that the players relish, and the big stage at Kauffman highlights the rivalry even more.

“I think it just continues to make the rivalry more intense,” Price said. “Until you’ve actually experienced it, you have no idea what it’s like until you’ve been out on the field. I’ve never been a part of anything

Baseball roots run deep for Jayhawks (
Jason Brunansky is one of three players who have close family connections to Major League Baseball. Brunansky is joined by junior relief pitcher Brett Bochy, whose father, Bruce Bochy, is the manager for the San Francisco Giants and senior catcher Buck Afenir, whose uncle, Troy Afenir, played professional baseball for Oakland Athletics for the majority of his short career.
Narodowski powers KU baseball (
Before Tuesday’s game, the junior had no home runs in 149 at-bats. It had
been such a long drought that, for a few seconds, his Jayhawk teammates jokingly
“big-leagued” him: staying in the dugout after his home run instead of going out to congratulate him.

“I’ve always had a few home runs every year — five or six or seven at least,” Narodowski said. “It was just a slow year this year.”
Kansas Baseball Notes , 4/20 (
Should you come out to the game? Of course. By baseball standards this rivalry is ancient. The two teams met for the first time on April 23, 1886. The game ended in a 6-6 tie, which sadly was the highlight of Kansas’ 0-3-1 season that year. KU responded to the humiliation of a winless season by putting together a juggernaut of a team two years later and the Jayhawks blew Baker away 25-13. Since that time the series has been dominated by KU 62-9-1 but Baker pulled a shocking 7-4 upset on April 8, 2003. That was the last time KU lost to a non- NCAA D-I opponent.
(Yes, this was written about KU's HUGE rival and their Tuesday night opponent, Baker University, an NAIA team. KU warmed up for MU by beating the mighty Wildcats 11-2)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tigers & Jayhawks @ the K

■ Missouri and Kansas are scheduled to play a game at Kauffman Stadium this Wednesday, April 22nd. This is considered a non-conference game, since the teams will meet in their usual 3-game Big 12 series later in the season at Simmons Field.

Jayhawks & Tigers to meet at Kauffman Stadium is the headline at The details:

Gates to the ballpark will open at 5:30 p.m. with game time set for 7 p.m. (Some schedules say 6:30, but the official start time is 7)

A number of ticket price points will be offered for the Border Showdown, all good for general admission seating in the lower seating bowl of Kauffman Stadium. There will be no charge for parking at the event. Ticket prices are listed below.

• Royals Season Ticket Holders -- $7
• MU & KU Season Ticket Holders and Alumni -- $7
• Adults -- $10
• Students (with a valid high school or college ID) -- $7
• Children Ages 14 and under -- $5
• Children under 32" in height will be admitted free of charge.
• Groups of 20 or more -- $7

Fans may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-6ROYALS or by visiting the Kauffman Stadium Ticket Windows. General admission tickets for adults and children may also be purchased online at In addition, season ticket holders for the Royals, KU and MU have an opportunity to purchase their specially-priced tickets through an online sale.

Discounted group tickets and Dugout Suites are also available for the game. Fans may call the Royals Group Sales Department at (816) 504-4040 for more information and pricing.

■ The Jayhawks lost 2 of 3 to the Texas Tech Red Raiders this past weekend after winning 9 of their last 11 games. KU's record in Big 12 games has been up and down (like nearly every other Big 12 team this season): 3-0 vs. UT, 0-3 @ A&M, 1-2 vs. BU, 3-0 vs. OSU, 1-2 @ Tech. In mid-week games, KU has won 7 straight against Western Ill, Northern Colorado, Iowa and Creighton.

POW Folgia

Greg Folgia was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week:

Folgia hit .429 in Missouri’s five games, including a .455 average in the Kansas State series. His performance was highlighted by a two home run-game in Saturday’s 11-6 victory over KSU. The North Wales, Pa. native drove in five runs with a two-run homer in the fourth inning and a three-run shot in the eighth. On Wednesday, Folgia was 3-for-5 with three RBI against Indiana State. He had at least one hit in each game. Folgia led the Big 12 in total bases (18) and was tied for the most RBI (10) and doubles (3) in the league last week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Recruits

Brown getting it started, according ot
Normal West senior standout and Missouri recruit Blake Brown certainly has the power to hit third or fourth in Coach Chris Hawkins' batting order. Hawkins, however, has recently made Brown his leadoff man.

"We're trying to get him to utilize his speed a little more," Hawkins said after a 16-11 victory over University High on Friday. "When he bats three or four, he sometimes seems to want to drive the ball instead of go gap to gap, hit it on the ground and utilize his speed. In the leadoff spot, we want to get him on base and let him run a little bit."

Hitting third in the Wildcat order, Drury recruit Colton Moore could pile up the RBIs with Brown batting in front of him.

"It's fine with me," said Moore. "Blake is fast as all get out. He's a great athlete."

Against U High, Brown reached base in all five plate appearances with four walks and a single.

Opel in comfort zone (Edwardsville Intelligencer)

“He’s real comfortable and the biggest thing with him is he’s really focused,” said Funkhouser. “He’s focused in pitch by pitch, at-bat by at-bat. He’s really in tune, focused, and it’s fun to watch our guys compete because I think we’re starting to play at a higher level and that’s what we want to try and do each day.”

Opel is definitely playing at a high level since that April day last year. He finished 2008 hitting safely in his final 18 games and picked it right back up this spring, getting a hit in his first six games to bring his streak to 24 games. During that time the University of Missouri recruit has batted .563, swatted 11 of his career 14 home runs, had 31 RBIs, 34 runs scored, stole seven bases and received eight free passes while only fanning three times.
. . .
Opel is adamant it’s going to take an awfully good offer for him to surpass Mizzou for the draft, where his father Brad played football. But if he remains on his torrid pace they may make him an offer he can’t refuse.

“I’ve been contacted by a couple guys and there’s been guys out to watch me, but alot of stuff has to happen before that whole road happens,” he said of pro ball. “For
now college is definitely my path, but if something else happens I might have to go with it.”

MU 5, KSU 11

Cats salvage final game with Tigers (

Much like Missouri did on Saturday afternoon, Kansas State was able to take advantage its opponent's mishaps all day as the Tigers committed five errors, walked three batters and hit two others, while the Cats tallied double-digit hits for the 27th time this season.

"We really had to play with a sense of urgency today," head coach Brad Hill said. "They made some mistakes that we capitalized on, but that's baseball. That just how it happens at times and we took advantage of it today."
■ Johnny Wholestaff's stats after Saturday's game: 10-3, 3.20 ERA, 118 IP, 108 H, 52 R, 42 ER, 35 BB, 85 SO.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

MU in the Minors: Culp & Broshuis

■ From OurSportsCentral:

[The San Antonio Missions roster includes] six of the Top 30 prospects in what Baseball America considers to be a thin San Diego system. OF Cedric Hunter (#6), 2B Eric Sogard (#17), Inman (#18), RHP Cesar Carrillo (#20), C Mitch Canham (#25), and RHP Ernesto Frieri (#29). Their roster also includes the pitcher with the best control in the organization (LHP Nathan Culp), the best hitter for average (Hunter), the pitcher with the best curveball (Frieri), and the best defensive infielder (SS Jesus Lopez).
Garrett Broshuis's latest Prospect Diary at details his Unexpected Setback:
There's nothing like a firm punch in the stomach to wake you up in the morning, especially when it comes on the last day of spring training.
. . .
Ryan Sadowski and I both clung to the Fresno roster (AAA), while my other roommate, Dave McKae, occupied the Connecticut roster (AA). All of us had survived several rounds of cuts, and each of us hoped our sweaty palms would in
fact remain in these positions.
. . .
I sat down in a chair, surrounded by a roomful of baseball men who possessed more baseball knowledge in their mustaches than I possessed in my entire body. I wasn't expecting the glum news I was about to hear. I would go to neither Fresno nor Connecticut. Instead I would remain in extended spring training. With no room in AAA, they threw me into baseball limbo, waiting for something to open up.
■ has more on Broshuis: Broshius experiences the ups and downs of minor league life:
They told me that they didn't have room for me in Triple-A, and were at this time going another route. They wanted to keep some guys there who have already pitched several years in the big leagues.”

Broshuis says he spent a few unhappy days in Arizona, wondering what would happen next. Then the Giants offered to send him to San Jose.

“I immediately accepted it. In extended spring, players don't earn a paycheck but instead only earn $20 a day. My wife is having hip surgery in one week, and so we need the money.”
. . .
“I obviously feel that I have pitched well enough in Double-A to have earned a chance to pitch in Triple-A, but it is a waiting game for right now. While I wait, it's simply good to be back in a place that I loved pitching in the past, playing in front of an active crowd that loves baseball and signing autographs for kids.”

MU 11, KSU 6

Tigers whip Wildcats, 11-6 (
"Like I told the guys, you have to recognize this is about picking each other up," Hill said. "It's about hitters picking up pitchers, pitchers picking up hitters and I thought we really lost our swagger and our body language after (Missouri) scored the five (in the top of the fourth)."

Hill continued that his team simply let the wind be taken out of its sails perhaps a bit too easily.

"We came back and (Dellesega) hit the home run to tie it up and its 0-0, honestly," Hill said. "To me, we had lost, just lost our swagger. We were living in the fact that they came back and tied us up. We lost the focus and offensively, I think we should have scored more runs and picked up our pitchers, but we didn't do that today because I think we put too much stock in the fact they came back and tied us after they had a bad start. That's why you play this game all the way through-we lost our emotional edge."

Missouri takes series with Saturday win (

Missouri’s Greg Folgia homered twice and drove in five runs as the Tigers downed Kansas State, 11-6, Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium. With the loss, the Wildcats fell to 28-11 overall and 7-7 in Big 12 play. Missouri, which took the series with the win, improved to 21-19 overall and 8-9 in conference action.
■ MU's RPI at Boyd's World is now 38th in the country after yesterday's 2nd winn against nationally ranked KSU.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

2009 Draft: MLB's profiles of Coleman, Gibson is starting to accelerate their coverage of the 2009 Draft and selected draft prospects. This week they chose to highlight MU's Trevor Coleman, including a video:
Coleman is a solid defensive catcher coming from a good college program. He's got solid catch-and-throw skills and moves well behind the plate. The biggest question is his bat. He's struggled to find any kind of groove offensively in his junior season and it's therefore difficult to project any production for him with the bat. Defense behind the plate always has some value and it looks like whatever career Coleman might have will be as a backup.

Also check out's previous profile of Kyle Gibson.
Gibson certainly looked the part of a top college starter in the early part of the season. He has three pitches he can throw for strikes in any count and he
shows a lot of poise and a competitive streak on the mound. Scouts love his size at 6-foot-6, though some might worry he's a little too thin. Most look at his combination of stuff, command and mound presence and see a sure-fire first-round pick.

500, .500 and beyond

Jamieson's 500th comes in dramatic fashion (Columbia Daily Tribune)
Trevor Coleman and Kyle Mach hit home runs in the ninth inning as the Missouri baseball team rallied to defeat No. 21 Kansas State 4-3 last night to give Coach Tim Jamieson his 500th career victory.

K-State falls to Mizzou (Topeka Capital-Journal)
Kansas State reliever Thomas Rooke had been mowing down opposing batters pretty easily — until Friday night, that is. Kyle Gibson pitched a complete game and the Tigers homered twice —both off Rooke — in the ninth inning in downing Kansas State 4-3 at Tointon Family Stadium.

Missouri baseball wins third in a row (Columbia Missourian)
Trailing 2-0 to start the inning, junior Aaron Senne led of with a double followed by junior Greg Folgia reaching base on an infield single. Junior Trevor Coleman then slammed his team-leading sixth home run to put the Tigers (21-19, 8-9 Big 12) ahead for good at 3-2 win. Senior Kyle Mach followed by hitting his second home run of the season to give MU a two-run lead.

■ Matt Nestor of the Tribune had an article about Kyle Gibson Keeping it clean:
The 6-foot-6 stature of Missouri pitcher Kyle Gibson is unmistakable, but the first time you see him out there with the grounds crew, you’re sure to do a double-take.

There he is, the ace of the Tigers’ staff and a projected top-10 pick in June’s major league draft, getting his hands dirty. That’s Gibson using an infield tamp — a 48-inch steel pole with a square steel plate at the bottom — to pound the pitcher’s mound back into shape.

“Ever since I was a little kid, my dad always taught me how to work on the mound,” Gibson said, “and told me to take care of the stuff that I messed up.”

■ has a student-athlete profile of Ryan Lollis:
When asked if he feels he has lived up to Frey and Mense of a few years ago, a personal goal of his, Lollis smiled.

“Those are some big shoes to fill. I don't want to say I can fill those shoes, I want to make my own footprints. Just so someone can say the same thing I'm saying about those guys. Hopefully they're going to say that about me when I'm gone. In the end, I'm glad I came here,” said Lollis. “I made a lot of friends and a lot of memories I'll never forget.”

Many will never forget Lollis either. He has led the Tigers in several categories, including at-bats, hits, doubles, stolen bases, and sac flies, just to name a few.
After four unforgettable years, Lollis knows saying “no” isn’t always a bad thing.

“It was a good decision. I've just learned so much in three years and I have no regrets about it. I love this place (Missouri),” he contested. “I'm going to miss it so much when I'm out of here.”

Friday, April 17, 2009

The time is NOW, the 'Cats are next

Kansas State made their first appearance in the national polls and rankings this week:

#21 Baseball America - "The Wildcats won their second straight conference series and took a set from Texas A&M for the first time since 2005. They earned a spot in the top 25 rankings for the first time ever. Jr. RHP A.J. Morris (6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K) became the nation's first nine-game winner in the second game of Friday's doubleheader, tying the school's single-season wins record. He has a 1.19 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 61 innings this season.

#24 : "It's hard to imagine the Wildcats as a ranked team but they have a stud ace in A.J. Morris, a good conference record and a solid postseason resume. "

■ The Kansas City Star says KU, K-State baseball is a double-play success:
Last season, Kansas State reached the title game of the Big 12 tournament for
the first time.

“That was a turning point for us,” K-State coach Brad Hill said. “We’re talking about a program without a lot of success for 100 years and getting a little better each of the last few years.”

Getting plenty better is starting pitcher A.J. Morris, a junior right-hander from Humble, Texas, who leads the nation in victories at 9-0 and has an ERA of 1.19.
Last season, Morris was 4-4 with a 6.04 ERA. What’s changed? First, Morris added 15 pounds from last year and is listed at 6-2 and 200 pounds. But it’s much more.

“Maturity,” Hill said. “He learned how to move on. He has the ability to move past a bad pitch to the next pitch. It had been a 3-4-5 run inning anytime something bad had happened to him.”

K-State also is getting it done at the plate, hitting .322 as a team.
■ has K-State's Morris completing transformation:
"He basically lived in the weight room last summer and now I think his velocity is better maintained later in the game," Hill said. "He's mature. In the past, when adversity would hit I'd already have someone up in the bullpen. He has really grown up in that aspect."

Morris' hard work has paid off in a big way. The Wildcats have a 28-9 record and a 7-5 mark in the Big 12, good enough for fourth place. Though several players have contributed to K-State's success, the rise of Morris laid the foundation to a season that already has surpassed all expectations.

The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. He has struck out 64 and walked only 18, while opponents are hitting him at an anemic .182 clip. Off the field, meanwhile, Morris is taking on a greater leadership role.
■ The Topeka Capital Journal reports that KSU's new hitting coach Andy Sawyers makes the difference:
A year ago, K-State ranked last in the conference in batting average, runs scored, hits and extra base hits. It didn't have a single player on the roster hit over .300 with a minimum of 60 plate appearances.

But 37 games into the 2009 season, the Wildcat offense currently ranks second in the conference with a .321 batting average and third with 403 hits, including 121 extra base hits. With 19 games remaining on the regular season schedule, they need only 21 more runs to surpass the 311 runs scored all of last season.
■ Missouri stands at a crossroads heading into this weekend and the rest of the season. Having reached the .500 mark, they still have time to grab for the brass ring and get a halfway decent seed in the Year of Parity Big 12 Tournament, and earn an invite to the NCAA Regionals. IF they begin to make that move NOW.

According to Boyd's World, a team really needs an RPI in the top 45 in order to feel somewhat comfortable coming selection time. Missouri's current Psueudo-RPI, according to Boyd, is 43rd in the country. In the official NCAA RPI rankings, which have not been updated since Monday, MU is 65th.

Coming up in MU's remaining 19 games are 8 games against teams that are ranked nationally or that have respectable RPIs, against which each win would give a serious boost to the Tigers' ranking. RPIs listed are from the official NCAA 2009 RPI rankings, now available at
• 3 vs. Kansas State: #38 RPI, ranked 21st in Baseball America, 24th in, 29th in NCBWA
• 4 vs. Kansas: #46 RPI, ranked 24th in Baseball America, 30th in NCBWA
• 1 vs. Eastern Illinois: #34 RPI, ranked 29th in Collegiate Baseball Poll
The remaining 12 games are as follows:
• 3 vs. Nebraska: #89 RPI
• 2 vs. Missouri State: #91 RPI
• 3 vs. Texas Tech: #98 RPI
• 3 vs. Cal State Bakersfield: #201 RPI
It all depends on continuing some of the recent upswing in offense and doing it now, starting with the Kansas State series.

■ notes the Tigers begin second half of Big 12 season:
They also boast an outstanding pitcher by the name of A.J. Morris (9-0) who has given up just eight runs in his nine starts.

"Really? Eight runs, huh," Gray said. "I didn't know that, but our offense has swung well the last couple of games, and we got Gibson on Friday, so I don't think anyone is going to be better than him. He is going to give us a shot to win no matter what, and we got to go out there and score some runs for him."

"He has got to lose at some point, right," coach Tim Jamieson said laughing. "The percentages are in our favor. K-State is going to pitch well all weekend, and we are going to have to be opportunistic and get timely hitting, which I thought we did these last couple of days."
■ Tim Jamieson apparently thinks the offense is starting to show signs of getting in gear, according to the Columbia Tribune's Tigers go for quality as well as quantity:
So was yesterday’s 12-2 thrashing of Indiana State on Simmons Field just another

The Tigers don’t think so. Charting at-bats, Coach Tim Jamieson said his Tigers had quality at-bats — which factors in such things as taking a pitcher deep into a count, drawing a walk or hitting a ball hard — in 60 percent of their plate appearances in Tuesday night’s 8-1 win over the Sycamores. He didn’t have numbers yesterday, but he said that it was a higher percentage.

“Two days in a row, that’s the thing that you look at. Two days in a row,” Jamieson said. “You guys had asked before if hitting is contagious, and maybe it’s starting to be that way. We’re getting guys up and down the lineup taking good swings.”
■ In case you missed it, be sure to check out the latest numbers and details on Saturday's probable pitcher, the ubiquitous Johnny Wholestaff.

Mizzou Baseball Recruits update: Hardoin & Brown

■ The Brenham Banner-Press has a great profile of MU recruit Zach Hardoin: Southpaw Hardoin perfect for Bucs in '09:
“He always had good stuff and he always threw strikes but it was teaching him to throw quality strikes, like an 0-2 fastball on the inner half has to be in in, not just a little bit in, and he has learned how to do that. He’s learned how to command both sides of the plate and pitch with a breaking ball. His stuff is about the same but now he’s learned to command the strike zone and throw quality strikes.”
. . .
Hardoin has been so impressive that Missouri signed him, getting the Buccaneer southpaw to choose the Tigers over offers from Texas A&M and Baylor. Missouri had recruited Hardoin out of high school but told him he would be better served developing at a junior college for a few years.

Encouraged by Blinn’s reputation for developing strong pitchers, Hardoin signed with Blinn. Two years later, Missouri was still interested.
Blake Brown had a mixed-bag game for Normal West (IL), according ot the Lincoln Courier:

White also walked No. 3-hitter Colton Moore, setting up a situation with runners on first and third for Normal West star centerfielder Blake Brown.

Brown skied a mile-high pop fly that got the best of Lincoln leftfielder Shelden Tibbs, scoring Camp and moving Moore to third, again setting up runners at first and third with only one out.

. . . The score would remained tied at one until the Railers’ bottom half of the fifth. Dylan Eimer and Fleshman got on base to get a rally going for the Railers and scored, giving Lincoln a 3-1 lead, on a single by Cosby, who took second when Brown misplayed the ball in centerfield. Cosby’s hit was followed by another from Neece, who’s single moved Cosby to third. With Tibbs, Lincoln’s No. 3-hitter at the plate, Neece stole second, putting two runners in scoring position with one out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Recruits: April 2009 Update

Here is an updated list of High School seniors and JuCo players who have signed their National Letter of Intent to join the Missouri Tigers in the Fall of 2009. This is an unofficial list, compiled with the generous help of many readers and followers of MU Baseball.

Eric Anderson, RHP/IF; Highlands Ranch, CO (Mountain Vista HS) profile
Anderson's early success in the 2009 season
• Report from Anderson's high school coach
Google News link to Eric Anderson stories
Aaron Blunt, LHP/1B; Desloge, MO (Mineral Ara College) profile
Google News link to Aaron Blunt stories
Blake Brown, OF/P; Bloomington, IL (Normal West HS) profile feature on Brown
Google News links to Blake Brown stories
Brannon Champagne, OF/C; St. Charles West, MO profile
Warriors get 1 more taste of Champagne (St. Charles Journal)
Google News link to Brannon Champagne stories

Ryan Crowley, LHP/1B; Morton, IL profile says "One of the top pitchers in the state [Illinois] this season is Morton senior Ryan Crowley. "
Google News link to Ryan Crowley stories
Jack Dudenhoeffer, 3B/RHP, Pembroke Hill HS, Kansas City profile
Google News link to Jack Dudenhoeffer stories

Kale Gaden, C/OF; Stillwater, OK profile
Stillwater News-Press on Gaden's signing
Google News link to Kale Gaden stories
Eric Garcia, SS; Pflugerville, TX (Hendrickson HS) profile
The Austin on Garcia's commitment
Google News link to Eric Garcia stories

Zach Hardoin, LHP, Blinn College, Branham, TX (Klein Collins HS, Spring, TX) profile
• Brenham Banner profile: Southpaw Hardoin perfect for Bucs in '09
Blinn Collin Baseball news updates and 2009 stats
Google News link for Zach Hardoin stories

Andy Heifner, 3B/RHP; St. Charles West HS, MO profile
St. Charles Journal article about Heifner and fellow recruit Brannon
Google News link to Andy Heifner stories (will also bring up stories about his
father, who is a coach on the same baseball team)

Cody King, RHP/SS; Kirksville, MO profile
Cody King story with video
Google News link to Cody King stories

Brett Nicholas profile
College Baseball Blog on Nicholas
Google News link to Brett Nicholas stories

Dane Opel, OF; Edwardsville, IL profile has frequent stories on Dane Opel
Google News link to Dane Opel stories

Jeff Scardino, OF/RHP; Eastern Oklahoma State College profile
Google link to Jeff Scardino stories

Scott Sommerfeld, OF, 1B, C; Manchester, MO; Parkway South HS profile
Google link to Scott Sommersfeld stories

If you know of other recruits not listed, or if you have information about these recruits, please contact me at

March MVPs & Dissecting Johnny Wholestaff

■ Voting has concluded in our You Make the Call poll for Feb-March MVPs. Ryan Lollis took the lead early for the position player voting, and he never gave up that lead. Kyle Gibson and the ubiquitous Johnny Wholestaff ran a neck-and-neck race for a while, but the singular Gibson won out in the end.

Johnny Wholestaff, our runner-up for pitching MVP, has become the talk of the Mizzou Baseball fan base - and the talk of college baseball watchers nationwide as well.

And no wonder. After Wednesday's 12-2 victory over Indiana State, Johnny Wholestaff is now 9-3. The detailed stats: 109 IP, 97 H, 46 R, 36 ER, 2.97 ERA, 33 BB, 81 SO.

JW has averaged 8.08 hits per game, 3.83 runs, only 2.75 BB, 6.74 SO and 127.08 pitches thrown.

But Johnny Wholestaff does not exist (disregarding the photo we posted of him earlier). He is actually a combination of individual pitchers. How have those individual participants distinguished themselves in JW's 12 games?

■ Most JW games started: 6, Ian Berger

■ Most JW games as closer: 6, Brad Buehler

■ Most innings pitched in JW games: 11, Kelly Fick & Tyler Clark

■ Least pitches per inning in JW games: 11, Nick Tepesch (2 IP); 12, Ryan Allen (2-1/3 IP); 12.37, Buehler (10-2/3 IP); Most pitches per inning: 35. Gibson (1 inning), 18.92, Andrew Mueller (4-1/3 IP), 18.52, Folgia (7-2/3 IP)

■ Least hits surrendered per inning in JW games: .47, Buehler; Most hits per
inning: 4, Gibson (1 IP); 1.88, Brian Carr (2-2/3 IP)

■ Best ERA in JW games: 0.00, Kelly Fick (11 scoreless innings, 1 at a time); Worst ERA: Gibson, 35 (1 IP)

■ Least walks per inning: 0, Nick Tepesch (2 innings), .09, Ryan Gargano (10-2/3
IP); Most walks per inning: 0.92, Andrew Mueller (4-1/3 IP)

■ Most Strikeouts per inning: 3, Gibson (1 inning), 1.08, Phil McCormick (8-1/3 IP)

■ Most consistently appearing in the same inning: Ryan Clubb, 5th inning, 8 times in a row

MU in the Minors & Majors

Brock Bond was put on the 7-day disabled list by the Connecticut Defenders

Ian Kinsler 6-for-6 as he hits for the cycle (
Ian Kinsler, who had already hit for the cycle, doubled in the eighth to become the second player in Rangers history with six hits in a game.

Kinsler led off the first with a double, hit his third homer of the season in the third and then had two singles in the Rangers' eight-run fourth. His triple in the sixth into the right-center gap made him the fourth player in team history to hit for the cycle.

MU 12, ISU 2

Mizzou Tigers defeat ISU for series win, according to
Once again, Tim Jamieson’s team used the “Johnny Wholestaff” approach and, once again, it worked. The ten pitchers that made up “Johnny Wholestaff” were Phil McCormick, Kelly Fick, Nick Tepesch, Ian Berger, Ryan Gargano, Tyler Clark, Jeff Emens, Brian Carr, Ryan Allen, and Brad Buehler. The only pitcher to give up any runs was Allen, who gave up 2 in his 1 inning of work.

“[Johnny Wholestaff] has been pretty consistent all year,” Jamieson said.
■ The Columbia Missourian's Andrew Dewitt says With little time left, Tiger baseball fighting for NCAA bid:
"I really think if we finish .500 and near .500 in the league we'll get in because our schedule and conference is so good," Tigers coach Tim Jamieson said. "There's several teams ahead of us that are ranked. We just have to take care of business these last four weekends."
■ In Joining the Clubb, The Columbia Tribune's Matt Nestor looks at the Johnny Wholestaff approach from a different angle:
The Missouri baseball team’s Johnny Wholestaff approach to pitching this season can serve as an audition. It’s a chance for a pitcher or two to show he deserves a chance to do more.
. . .
“I’ve started since I was a little kid, so I definitely looked forward to this,” Clubb said. “I was definitely nervous — first collegiate start. It was a lot of fun. I just threw like I know how to throw.”

Jamieson said he’d like at least one more starter to emerge through the last half of the season, but he said he’s not certain Clubb would be considered for the still vacant Saturday slot just yet

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Destinations: Mizzou, Wichita, Kauffman Stadium

■ During Tuesday's MU Athletic Department news conference about Basketball Coach Mike Anderson's new contract, Mike Alden said some things that relate to MU Baseball (and other sports as well). From the Kansas City Star:

“In the past, I’m not sure if we really talked about Mizzou as a destination place,” Alden told reporters in Columbia.

“But I look at Tim Jamieson (baseball), I look at Brian Smith (wrestling), at Brian Blitz (women’s soccer), Mike Anderson, Gary Pinkel (football), Ehren Earlywine (women’s softball).

“All these people have had a lot of big-time schools that have tried to attract them, tried to draw them away. But they’ve all chosen to stay at Mizzou.

“It is developing Mizzou into a destination place, and that’s pretty satisfying to me.”
■ Wichita State back on MU's schedule? The Kansas City Star reports:
Missouri and WSU are talking about resuming their series next season, WSU
assistant coach Brent Kemnitz said. The schools last met in the regular season in 2001.
Jayhawks & Tigers to meet at Kauffman Stadium is the headline at The details:

Gates to the ballpark will open at 5:30 p.m. with game time set for 7 p.m.

A number of ticket price points will be offered for the Border Showdown, all good for general admission seating in the lower seating bowl of Kauffman Stadium. There will be no charge for parking at the event. Ticket prices are listed

• Royals Season Ticket Holders -- $7
• University of Kansas Season Ticket Holders and Alumni -- $7
• University of Missouri Season Ticket Holders and Alumni -- $7
• Adults -- $10
• Students (with a valid high school or college ID) -- $7
• Children Ages 14 and under -- $5 (Children under 32" in height will be admitted free of charge.
• Groups of 20 or more -- $7

Fans may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-6ROYALS or by visiting the Kauffman Stadium Ticket Windows. General admission tickets for adults and children may also be purchased online at In addition, season ticket holders for the Royals, KU and MU have an opportunity to purchase their specially-priced tickets through an online sale.

Discounted group tickets and Dugout Suites are also available for the game. Fans may call the Royals Group Sales Department at (816) 504-4040 for more information and pricing.

MU in the Majors & Minors: April 2009 Summary

Things are finally starting to shake out and settle down for roster assignments in the various minor league levels, so it's time to look at where the various former Tiger players are starting their seasons.


Ian Kinsler (03): Texas Rangers. Starting 2nd baseman; American League All-Star in 2008

Max Scherzer (04-06): Arizona Diamondbacks. Currently slated to pitch as a fifth starter and occasional reliever. He will be on a pitch count and brought along slowly for a while, as he recovers from some shoulder stiffness.


Doug Mathis (05): Oklahoma City Redhawks, Texas Rangers organization (Pacific Coast League) Mathis spent a good part of 2008 with the MLB Texas Rangers, but is starting 2009 at AAA.


Andrew Johnston (05): Colorado Rockies organization Tulsa Drillers (Texas League)

Evan Frey (05-07): Mobile BayBears , Arizona Diamondbacks organization (Southern League). Frey tore up Single-A last season and caught the attention of the Diamondbacks' management in spring training. Frey was invited to the major league spring training camp and got lots of playing time, partially because of the absence of regulars gone to the World Baseball Classic.

Brock Bond (06-07): Connecticut Defenders, SF Giants organizations (Eastern League)

James Boone (03-05): Altoona Curve, Pittsburgh Pirates organization (Eastern League)

Nathan Culp (04-06): San Antonio Missions, San Diego Padres organization (Texas League)


Garrett Broshuis (02-04): San Jose Giants (California League). Brosh writes a regular Prospect Diary blog for Baseball America.

Hunter Mense (04-06): Jupiter Hammerheads, Florida Marlins organization (Florida State League)


Rick Zagone (06-07): Delmarva Shorebirds, Baltimore Orioles organization (South Atlantic League)


Aaron Crow (06-07): Fort Worth Cats, American Association
Crow will likely get 4 or 5 starts with the Cats in May-June of 2009 before the June MLB Draft, where he is expected once again to be a first round draft pick. Crow was selected by the Washington Nationals with the ninth overall pick in the 2008 MLB June draft, but was unable to reach an agreement with the Nationals.
■ Taylor Parker (03-06): Fort Worth Cats, Texas League. Listed as signed by Fort Worth on March 25, 2009, but is not listed on the current roster online.

Cody Ehlers (01-04): Winnipeg Goldeyes, Northern League
Signed on January 8, Cody makes his indy debut following five years in the Yankees system. Helped lead Trenton to consecutive league titles. Earned league MVP honours in 2006 after leading the circuit in five offensive categories, including runs batted in and extra base hits. Led all first basemen with a .994 (1169/1176) fielding percentage. Is a career .991 (3792/3827) at first. Signed with New York following his senior year, where he led Missouri to the Arkansas Regional after hitting a school-best .364 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs. Played all four years of college ball for the Tigers.
Andy Shipman (03): Kansas City T-Bones, Northern League

Justin James ( ): Kansas City T-Bones, Northern League

Garrett Bauer (01): Sioux City Explorers, American Association


Torre Tyson (95-98): Head Coach, Charleston Riverdogs, Class-A NY Yankees organization (South Atlantic League)

Jon Williams (98-01): Hitting Coach, Idaho Falls Chukars, KC Royals organization.

Jayce Tingler (00-03): Head Coach, Texas Rangers' Dominican Summer League


Not yet assigned, or status unknown:

Kurt Calvert (04-07)
Lee Fischer (06-07)
Travis Wendte (02-06)
Erik Dessau (04-05)

■ Justin James (02-03) was released by the Cincinnati Reds organization.

■ Jacob Priday (05-07) has retired from his baseball career.

If you have further information about any of these players, especially the ones listed as not yet assigned or status unknown, please e-mail me at

MU 8, ISU 1; Max goes 5

Coleman helps freshman through first start with Missouri baseball team, says the Missourian:

"He gets in trouble when he cuts it off and chokes the grip a bit," Coleman said of freshman pitcher Ryan Clubb's change-up pitch.

Besides catching on Tuesday night, Coleman hit a home run and an RBI double and drew three walks in five plate appearances in the Tigers' 8-1 win over the Indiana State Sycamores.

Coleman also said Clubb is more successful pitching from the arm slot that he throws his change-up from. He talks about how to get hitters out and how if you're going to throw a lot of fastballs that in college you have to locate your fastball or it's going to get hit all over the ballpark.

■ Max Scherzer lasted 5 innings in his first 2009 start for the Diamondbacks against the Cardinals. His Diamondbacks won the game, but Max got no decision. AZSnakepit sums up his outing:

Lost in all the kerfuffle was a decent performance by Max Scherzer, who pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks - albeit with only one strikeout. He did lose it somewhat in the fourth frame, giving the Cardinals three extra-base hits, but all told, he looked pretty impressive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sycamores & other oddities

Indiana State Sycamores: 20-11 (5-2 midweek games)

• .311 Batting Average
• 5.87 ERA

■ The Sycamores' freshman backup catcher, Joe Meggs is Jmizzle on MySpace:

• "It's not the weight of the load, its how u carry it"
■ Wondering why the team's mascot is a tree? tells why. Sort of:

The problem has been that a Sycamore is a tree and does not lend itself very well to creation of a mascot. Athletic teams have been known in the past as “The Fighting Trees,” which was not considered a very glamorous or intimidating a concept. For a period of time in the 1950s and 1960s, there actually was a tree mascot developed, but this posed obvious problems of embarrassment with other mascots, when the University played such schools as the Butler Bulldogs or the Ball State Cardinals.
■ Special events and offers at the ballpark:
• Tuesday, April 14th: All-You-Can-Eat Seats – bleachers down first base line. Wristbands are $5 each (doesn’t include admission to the game) – available for purchase on day of game only at the Taylor Stadium ticket window

• Wednesday, April 15th: All tickets for this afternoon game only $1

• Free Youth Clinic prior to the Mizzou-Texas Tech game on Saturday April 25th, 12:30-1:30 PM. Contact Scott Nielson in the Mizzou Sports Marketing Office with your child’s name, age, grade in school, address, phone number and email. Call 573-882-0362 or email
■ Speaking of odditites, how about this well-informed comment from
Missouri's ace Kyle Gibson threw his third consecutive complete game against Baylor, and suffered another loss in the process

How well do you know Johnny Wholestaff?

I've posted a quiz at Take your best shot at the answers. I'll post the answers and some more details here later this week - at which point I will probably have to update the results, since Johnny Wholestaff will undoubtedly get to pitch one of the Indiana State games.

By the way, Johnny's ERA is now a still respectable 3.15, with a record of 8-3

Monday, April 13, 2009

MU in the Majors & Minors: Culp & Scherzer

Nathan Culp (04-06) notched his first win in Double-A ball, leading the San Antonio Missions to a 10-7 victory over the Tulsa Drillers

Missions starter Nathan Culp turned in five solid innings, scattering seven hits without a walk and allowed just one earned run to pick up the win.
Max Scherzer (04-06) is scheduled to get his first major league start of the season on Tuesday night against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium -- against St. Louis ace Cris Carpenter. AZ Snake Pit has a preview:
Speaking of one-hitters brings us to Tuesday's intriguing match-up, which will see the resurrected Chris Carpenter, who one-hit the Pirates last Thursday. Ok: it's the Pirates, but still... That game will also see the first start of Max Scherzer, so I'm taking the 'over' on strikeouts there.

■ has a video and writeup on Max Scherzer in Rawhide Rehab start:
“Max Scherzer was so smooth. He was up to 97 and 98," reported Lake Elsinore catcher Luis Martinez. "He struck me out the first time and the second time he nailed me with a 95 mph fastball. He is an unbelievable talent. He is one of the better pitchers I have faced in my career.”

MU loses 2 of 3 at Baylor

#7 Baylor Bears baseball grabs a pair from Missouri, the Waco Tribune says:

On military appreciation weekend, the Baylor baseball team rolled out the big
guns and shot down the Missouri Tigers.

Baylor hurlers Aaron Miller and Willie Kempf threw some serious smoke, combining for 22 strikeouts as the seventh-ranked Bears swept a Saturday twinbill to clinch their fourth straight Big 12 series.
■ has a feature on Flexible Folgia:
"He's a freak athlete. It doesn't matter if you put him behind a ping-pong table
or out in the outfield. He's going to give it everything he's got," said Missouri catcher Trevor Coleman.
■ The Maneater reports that Crow visits former baseball team :

"He's put in a lot of work into (his changeup) with others, and the guys catching and hitting against him said they saw a difference," Vitello said. While Crow's slider is a great out-pitch, his changeup could be key in accelerating his progress to the major leagues.

"It's a lot better than it was at the end of last year," Crow said of his changeup. "I'm very confident in all three of my pitches and think they all should be better than where they were last year."
And I can't resist this line, which is written in an odd way:

. . . Missouri's Kyle Gibson, who, along with Missouri reliever Scooter Hicks, picked Crow's brain over some ice cream.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

MU 5, BU 3

Don't forget: The Baylor series schedule has changed. MU will play play BU in a double-header today (Saturday), beginning at 3:00, due to expected inclement weather on Sunday.

Missouri's ace slams door shut on Baylor, according to the Waco Tribune:
Last summer, Missouri’s Kyle Gibson served as the setup man for Baylor’s Kendal
Volz on the USA National Team.

Gibson was his own closer Friday night.
. . .

And a quote from the Bears' Aaron Miller about Johnny Wholestaff (8-2, 2.83 ERA, 89 IP, 79 H, 36 R, 28 ER, 26 BB, 65 SO), expected to start on of Saturday's games:
“Anybody that does that, obviously they’re struggling with their arms,” Miller
said. “We just need to take advantage of it. If we bring our bats tomorrow, I think we’ll be OK.”
Missouri baseball beats Baylor, wins second in a row, according to the Columbia Missourian:
Senne went 2-for-3 on the night with two runs scored and has two hits in each the last four games.
KWTX has a video report of the game, along with a print writeup:
With Friday’s result, Missouri remains the lone Big 12 team Baylor has never
■ The Missourian also has an audio feature: The Beat: Unique playing strategy for Missouri baseball team

Friday, April 10, 2009

MU @ BU schedule change

Due to expected inclement weather Sunday in the Central Texas area, Baylor has announced a change in its weekend Big 12 Conference baseball series against Missouri. The Bears and Tigers will play a doubleheader Saturday at 3 p.m. CDT. The series starts Friday at 6:30 p.m.; all games are at Baylor Ballpark. Tickets for the series finale - originally scheduled for Sunday - will be honored for Saturday's doubleheader. (

Bipolar Bears

The past week has been a wild ride for the Baylor Bears

■ Wednesday, 7/8 - Dallas Baptist rips Baylor baseball, 16-3

After going batty for a couple of games, the Baylor baseball team had to watch an opponent have a crazy good night at the plate on Wednesday.

Dallas Baptist came out swinging for an upset and landed an early knockout blow in
taking out the seventh-ranked Bears, 16-3, at Baylor Ballpark.
■ Tuesday, 4/7 - Bears crush Northwestern State pitching, 18-1 (

After scoring 39 runs in their last two games, the Bears probably believe they could hit Cy Young right now.

“The most important thing you can have at the plate is confidence,” Hansen said. “If you know you’re going to get a hit, then you’re probably get a hit.”

■ Sunday, 4/5 - Baylor baseball rocks Kansas with 8 homers in 21-9 victory (

With its win in the opener Friday against Kansas, Baylor became the first opposing team to win at Hoglund Ballpark this year. But the Bears were even more satisfied to take the series.

“Of course we wanted to sweep,” Hansen said. “But to come out Sunday when it’s freezing cold and get a win, that’s a good thing.”
■ Baylor is ranked #7 by Baseball America:

The Bears won a series at Kansas' Hoglund Park, where the Jayhawks had been a perfect 14-0 heading into the weekend. Baylor scored three in the ninth Friday to make Jr. LHP/OF Aaron Miller (4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) a winner in relief of Jr. RHP Kendal Volz (4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 7 BB, 5 K). The Bears mustered just three hits Saturday as Fr. LHP Logan Verrett (5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER) took his first career loss. Baylor's bats atoned with the wind howling out Sunday, tying a school record with eight home runs, led by Jr. 3B Shaver Hansen (3-for-5, 4 R, 4 RBI), who became the fifth Bear to swat three homers in a game.
■ A profile of Baylor shortstop Shaver Hansen is in the Waco Tribune this morning:
The way that Hansen, who has started the last nine games at shortstop after playing the first 18 at third base, is hitting lately, it would be hard to imagine that he was never anything but a blue-chip, top-rung prospect. Heading into this weekend’s series against Missouri, Hansen is tied with Oklahoma’s J.T. Wise for the Big 12 home run lead with 11, and also leads the seventh-ranked Bears in runs (31), RBIs (31), total bases (83) and slugging percentage (.709).

Hansen comes by his competitive streak naturally. His father is Stan “the Lariat” Hansen, a former professional wrestler who now considers “baseball fan” his full-time job. Shaver’s brother Sam is a senior infielder at Midway.
■ Kyle Mach, quoted in the Columbia Missourian, regarding Baylor:

"It's a team we've always played well against," Mach said. "Hopefully, we can
keep the offense going."
■ Tigers look to keep bats hot against Baylor:
"I think it's a team we have always played well against, and it's a series that our guys will be excited about," coach Tim Jamieson said. We will play our best baseball and find out if we are as good as Baylor. It will be nice to get through this run of ranked teams and play some teams and come back down to earth a little bit."

■ The College Baseball Blog has a preview of the MU-BU series:
Last year, Missouri was enjoying their dominant pitching staff led by 1st round draft pick Aaron Crow, and current starters Kyle gibson and Ian Berger. This year, the're looking back at last year.
■ Look here for a handful of random photos from the Minnesota series.