The Aggies (15-5, 2-1 Big 12) have the second-best ERA in the conference (2.92) and boast three of the top five pitchers in the league. Starter Barret Loux, reliever Michael Wacha and closer John Stilson each boast an ERA under 2.00, have more than 40 strikeouts, single-digit walks and hold their opponents’ batting average under .200.
That’s a far cry from facing North Dakota and UAPB, who faced the Tigers with several of pitchers whose ERAs above 10. Missouri (12-6) is scoring eight runs per game, but nearly half (67 of 143) have come over the last five games.
■ Aggies look to tame Tigers (The Battalion)
“We’re at home and we need to get off to a fast start,” A&M Head Coach Rob Childress said. “We need to be in good shape going on the road in two weeks to Kansas.”
Childress will look to find a defensive alignment and batting order that will produce consistently. He has used different lineups for seven consecutive games, drastically changing defensive positions starting with the Tech series.
In an attempt to reduce the team’s 1.6 errors per game, Childress moved senior outfielder Brodie Greene to short stop, sophomore short stop Adam Smith to the outfield, junior third baseman Kenny Jackson and sophomore Matt Juengel to first, and junior first baseman Caleb Shofner to third.
. . .
“Missouri always plays with a chip on their shoulder,” Childress said. “They play extremely hard. We’ll have our hands full this weekend.”■ Video: MU Tigers at Houston College Classic on YouTube:
■ Mizzou's Senne rebounding (Sporting News)
If he puts together a solid senior year, Senne might just find himself being drafted by the Twins again. He easily could go in the sixth or seventh round, maybe even higher. The two-time academic All-American is hoping a third time with the Twins is a charm.■ In answer to a recent question about NCAA Baseball roster limits, check out The Effect of New Scholarship Rules in Division I Baseball at InformedAthlete.com. Informed Athlete's Rick Allen confirmed to me that there are no changes to the roster limit currently in the works.
"I love the Twins, and hope I get drafted by them again," he said. "It's a much easier choice because you know you're going to have a really good chance of growing up and being brought up through the system. They generally don't trade off all their young talent."
A student-athlete who is receiving an athletic scholarship must be included in the counter limit of 27, and the total roster size of 35, even if they are injured and unable to play. So a walk-on who has been performing well during practice sessions must be aware that they may be cut from the team to make room for an injured player receiving a scholarship because the injured player must be counted among the 27 and 35.
Speaking of which . . .
■ Mules baseball takes pair from UMSL (digitalBurg.com)
Central senior right hander Ryan Allen (MU, 06-07) earned his fourth win of the season in dominating fashion, retiring the first 13 batters he faced before a hit up the middle by UMSL (3-20) bounced off the glove of sophomore second baseman Cory Deedrick in the fifth to end the perfect game bid.
Allen tossed six innings, giving up only three hits and no runs, with six strikeouts.
■ Calallen's Zastryzny fans 13 in shutout win over Flour Bluff (Corpus Christ Caller-Times)
Rob Zastryzny struck out at least one batter in every inning but the seventh, including the side in the third and fifth. The only hit came in the bottom of the fourth when Flour Bluff’s Alex Logamaro smacked a single up the middle.
Zastryzny responded by retiring the next seven batters, including five strikeouts.
“I stayed focused the whole game,” Zastryzny said. “I just came out and tried to throw strikes.”
■ Since the young Tigers are about to experience their first big 12 road series in a hostile environment, here are the All Time Top Heckles from HeckleDepot.com
- How's your Japanese?
- I've seen better arms on a snake
- You couldn't save anything at WalMart!
- You've got less hits than an Amish website!
- Take off your coat, you're inside!
- You couldn't throw a party!
- You couldn't pitch a tent!
- I thought only horses slept standing up!
- How can you eat with those hands?
- I'm gonna break your cane and shoot your dog!
- You've had fewer hits than Vanilla Ice!
- Hey, Dracula, wake up your bat!
- Do you want my autograph?
- Come on Cinderella, get to the ball