Monday, May 31, 2010

Max is Back

Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer figures himself out - at least for one start (Detroit Free Press)
Scherzer entered Sunday's game with a 7.29 ERA, which is two runs north of lousy. He left it to a standing ovation, after striking out 14 Oakland A's.

Scherzer had been sent to Toledo to fix his troubles. He had said the problem was his arm slot, and I think the general reaction from Tigers fans was "Um, OK ... if you say so." Pitchers usually give a reason for their struggles: My arm slot is too high, my arm slot is too low, I'm tipping my pitches, I need to be more aggressive, I'm being too aggressive, I have to throw my curveball more, I have to trust my stuff, etc.
. . .
The Tigers sent him down to Toledo.

He pitched great down there, then came back up and absolutely dominated the A's. After walking Rajai Davis to lead off the game, Scherzer struck out six of the next seven batters.

"From the first pitch on, I could tell," catcher Gerald Laird said.

"He was pounding the zone with his fastball, and his fastball had life. I could tell from the first inning on he would have a good game."
Tigers ,amager Jim Leyland - easy does it for MAx Scherzer (Detroit Free PRess)

"I didn't know what the results would be, but you could see from the start that (his arm) was in a better position. You could tell he was in the slot from the get-go.

"The ball was coming out of his hand so easy."

Especially his fastball. But there's more work to do.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Conference realignment will force a road more travelled for baseball (
"As far as realignment, we're just a mosquito on top of the water, waiting for a fish to grab us,” Texas said Augie Garrido said. "Very few things are done because of baseball. It's about football. So I guess we're going to do what they tell us to do.”
. . .
"I think it would,” said Texas A&M coach Rob Childress. "(Playing in the SEC) sounds like it would be a lot of fun. But when you start talking about our school, joining the SEC would result in a lot of travel.”

While baseball coaches hope they'll be considered during realignment talks, decisions won't be made because of them, or their programs.

"Don't think I haven't thought about it,” admitted Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway. "When I first heard about it, the possibility of Nebraska and Missouri leaving, I started thinking, who could potentially be. ... right then, I stopped. I'm the baseball coach. We understand, we're a baseball program within the athletic department. We're proud of football. It's the program that drives (the athletic department). It's the engine. We understand that.

Big 12 Baseball Q&A: Missouri LF Ryan Gebhart (
What is your favorite non-baseball sport? “Does Ping-Pong count? I really like to play that.

After a tough year, a fun finish (Columbia Tribune)
“I don’t know the exact statistic,” Jamieson said, “but I know at one time we were second in the league in runs scored per game in conference. And if we were to match that up with a quality pitching staff, we wouldn’t be talking about going home right now.”

But they are talking about coming back. The unseen benefit to playing a number of different lineups is that many returning players got experience.

You Make the Call: 2010 MVPs

It's time for our annual "You Make the Call" poll for the 2010 MVPs

I'll let you check out the final season statistics for the nominees at

The nominees for Player of the Year (minimum 1 AB per MU game):

Ryan Ampleman

Blake Brown

Eric Garcia

Ryan Gebhart

Russell Lafleur

Michael Liberto

Conner Mach

Brett Nicholas

Dane Opel

Andreas Plackis

Jesse Santo

Jonah Schmidt

Aaron Senne

■ Andrew Thigpen

The Nominees for Pitcher of the Year:

Eric Anderson

■ Aaron Blunt

■ Brad Buehler

■ Tyler Clark

■ Ryan Clubb

■ Jeff Emens

■ Kelly Fick

■ Zack Hardoin

■ Phil McCormick

■ Jeff Scardino

■ Nick Tepesch
Nominees for the Freshman of the Year

Eric Anderson

■ Blake Brown

■ Kenny Burton

■ Brannon Champagne

■ Eric Garcia

■ Neil Hugenberg

■ Dane Opel

■ Scott Sommerfeld

■ Ben Turner

Voting will continue through June 15

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Big 12 Tournament: All's well that ends well

Missouri baseball ends season with a win (Columbia Tribune)

Brett Nicholas and Ryan Gebhart homered and Zack Hardoin turned in a strong relief performance to lead Missouri to a 7-2 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday on the third day of pool play at the Big 12 Baseball Tournament at Bricktown Ballpark.
Tech squanders possible NCAA berth with 7-2 loss to Missouri (

“It is frustrating but that’s the game,” head coach Dan Spencer said. “If you don’t take care of the outs when they’re presented to you the game has a way of hurting you. We don’t make a throw and then we get a walk and a fly ball the guy lifts out of the park. That was a big blow in that inning.”

Unless the selection committee has mercy on Tech when it announces the field of 64 on Monday, the Red Raiders (28-29) will finish 2010 with its third straight losing season and will be left to ponder all the chances which eluded them the last three weeks of the season.
Rubber Arm (Columbia Tribune)

Missouri reliever Phil McCormick, who worked a third of an inning last night, made his 35th appearance of the season, tying the team’s record.

The mark was first set by Mark Alexander in 2004 and matched by Brad Buehler last year.
MU in the Minors

Miracles' Bullock, Gibson, Lanigan, Solarte selected to FSL All-Star Team (
Florida State League President Chuck Murphy announced selections today for the 49th annual Florida State League All-Star Game. The Fort Myers Miracle were honored with pitchers Billy Bullock, Kyle Gibson, Bobby Lanigan and infielder Yangervis Solarte named to the South Division squad. The All-Star Game will by played at Space Coast Stadium, home of the Brevard County Manatees, on Saturday, June 12 at 7:35 p.m.
. . .
Gibson and Solarte won’t be able to participate after being promoted to Double-A New Britain. Gibson compiled a 4-1 record with a 1.87 ERA prior to his promotion
Loose play dooms GreenJackets (Augusta Chronicle)

Ryan Lollis drove in two runs on a single and a triple to give the GreenJackets the lead.

But Salsbury gave up the advantage in the top of the eighth by allowing two runs on two hits with little help from his defense. Third baseman Chris Dominguez committed a two-out throwing error to keep the inning alive. Then, after a Jake Hanson single, Lollis let a ball get over his head in right field for a Mycal Jones' two-RBI, lead-changing double.

"We were playing no doubles, and I let it get past me," Lollis said. "You can't let those things happen if you expect to win ball games."
■ From

Rick Zagone pitched a complete-game, five hitter Wednesday vs. Wilmington. That was the Keys first complete game since Spoone pitched one on September 1, 2007.
Former Tigers

■ From the e-mail in-box:

Former Tigers Sam Lind and Brian Carr are on the Central Arizona College team that won the Arizona State JUCO tournament and are off to Lamar, Colorado for the Western regional Tournament. If they win there, it’s off to Grand Junction, Colorado for the Nationals. It’s a double elimination tournament where they will have to get by Southern Nevada who Baseball America’s number one player, Bryce Harper is a member of. Earlier this season, Southern Nevada defeated Central AZ. 10-7 and 12-4.

Brian Carr is unable to play due to a non baseball related injury. He has left CAC and is now back on campus at Missouri. Brian has been cleared by the doctors to start resuming workouts in a week or so and should be 100% come time for fall ball.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Big 12 Tournament: It Ain't Over Until . . .

. . . the last game is played.

On the other hand, the Tigers' 7-2 loss to the Aggies last night effectively spelled the end for the Tigers' hopes for a continuation of their 2010 season.

Even if MU wins on Saturday and gains a 2-1 record in pool play, they will be - at best - tied with at least one of the other teams in the pool. And because of the tie-breaking rules in placed for the Big 12 Tournament, the Tigers have no chance at winning the pool and advancing to the Big 12 Championship game.
If teams are tied, head-to-head competition will be used to break the tie. In case the teams are still tied, the highest-seeded team amongst the tied teams advances to the championship.
And in spite of any dreams and imaginations any fans may be harboring, if the Tigers have no shot at the Big 12 Tournament Championship, they have no shot at getting invited to their 8th straight NCAA Regional. The current numbers:
Record: 28-25
RPI Rank: 72nd (
NCAA RPI Rank (5/25): 77th
Yes, there's still one game to be played in the 2010 season. Mizzou plays Texas Tech on Saturday at 9:00 AM. And as I've always said, Every Game Matters.

Ironically, Augie Garrido put it well the other day:
"It [the tournament] matters because we have an opportunity to play, and every time you have an opportunity to play you have an opportunity to get better. And you learn from the good news and the bad news that comes from every game. And when you keep it in a pitch-to-pitch experience, you learn a lot."
And from my perspective, every game is chance to be entertained and enthralled by the greatest game ever invented.

And here on, it's always baseball season.

Coming up in the next 2-3 weeks at

■ Next Week: Our annual You Make the Call poll: Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Newcomer of the Year

■ Our annual "Tip of the Cap" Awards, taking a look back at the 2010 season

■ The 2010 MLB Amateur Draft is coming up, June 7-9. We'll be tracking which Tigers are drafted and which ones sign (and which Tiger recruits are drafted away).

■ Continuing coverage of MU alums in the Minors and Majors throughout the Summer
■ News about Tigers in the summer wood bat leagues (if you have information about where certain players will be playing this summer, send me an e-mail -

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do, I stare out the window and wait for spring." - Rogers Hornsby

Missouri baseball team falls to Texas A&M (Columbia Tribune)
The question was posed specifically to Barret Loux, but the answer pretty much covered the Texas A&M Aggies.

What was working for you tonight?

“Everything,” said Loux, the Aggies’ ace, who retired the first 14 Tigers while leading Texas A&M to a 7-2 victory over Missouri and a spot in Sunday’s championship game last night at the Big 12 Baseball Tournament at Bricktown Ballpark.

A&M defeats Missouri to earn berth (Houston Chronicle)
Texas A&M left fielder Joaquin Hinojosa crashed into a Bricktown Ballpark wall while chasing a foul ball in the sixth inning Thursday night, and limped around for a bit before staying in the game.
A half-inning later, Hinojosa tripled along the right-field line, and even added a headfirst dive into third base for fun. It’s been that kind of week for the Aggies in the Big 12 tournament, because even when things have looked bad, they’ve turned out good for a team that’s peaking at the right time.
Clenching down (Columbia Tribune)
Eight days after suffering a broken jaw during fielding practice, Liberto returned to the lineup for the Tigers’ Big 12 Tournament opener against Texas yesterday at Bricktown Ballpark. Liberto spent most of last weekend’s regular-season-closing series against the Longhorns pacing in the dugout.

“It’s my last shot, my senior year,” said Liberto, jaw still wired shut. “I wanted to get after these guys one more time.”

■ Now that Mizzou has been eliminated from Big 12 title game contention, tomorrow will officially be the last time Aaron Senne and the seniors take the field in a Mizzou uniform. A tip of the cap to all of them. (

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Big 12 Tournament: MU vs. Texas A&M

Thursday's Big 12 Tournament Schedule:
3:00 PM Texas vs. Texas Tech
7:30 PM Texas A&M vs. Missouri
Missouri Tigers pull biggest upset of college baseball tournaments (
The Big 12's player of the year showed why he deserves that honor in the conference's baseball tourney opener on Wednesday. Aaron Senne's two-run double was the key hit, lifting the 8th-seeded Missouri Tigers past the conference champion Texas Longhorns, 7-3.
Former Wildcat pitches Mizzou past Texas (Independence Examiner)
Former Blue Springs High School star Nick Tepesch is heating up at the right time.

The junior right-hander fired his second complete game in his last three starts, leading the University of Missouri baseball team to a 7-3 win over No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Texas Wednesday on the opening day of the Big 12 Championship at Bricktown Ballpark.

Tepesch struck out five and allowed three runs, just two of which were earned, to win his sixth game of the season. It was his second career complete game, with his first coming just two weeks ago in the form of a shutout of Nebraska.

Tepesch was happy to get the complete game to preserve the pitching staff for the remainder of the tournament.

“It was real important to finish the game because it saves everyone else for the games coming up,” Tepesch said. “I felt just as good in the ninth (inning) as I did in the first.”
Aggies Insider: Aggies Idol? Minks, A&M hitting notes (
“That's the most nervous I've been in my life,” said Minks, a senior pitcher from West Columbia. “And there's not a close second.”

Minks has appeared in 55 games, including 21 this season, over a decent A&M career. He's faced hitters from rival Texas and thrown in three NCAA tournament games. That stuff was easy compared to hitting the right notes on a most difficult tune to croon.

“I finally stopped shaking around the middle,” Minks said of belting out the anthem Sunday, before the Aggies defeated Kansas State. “I wasn't worried about remembering the lyrics, as much as my voice cracking.”
A&M aiming for conference tourney title (
Texas A&M's Rob Childress views this week as the beginning of a new season.

The biggest problem is that the same old foe is in the way.

Texas rolled through the Big 12 regular season, setting records for victories (24) and consecutive wins (17). The league gets another shot at the No. 1 team in the nation starting Wednesday at the Big 12 tournament at Oklahoma City's AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.

"I was really proud of the way we finished the regular season, but we leave tomorrow on a business trip and we are going up there to win a championship," Childress said. "Texas won the regular season trophy and regular season ring and we are going up there to win a championship and come home with a trophy and a ring. Anything less will be disappointing."
MU Recruits

Moody baseball is unlike anything else (Lake Travis View)
Lake Travis (28-16) has dealt with Moody’s cross-town rivals Calallen the last two years in the Region IV semifinal, and was exposed to a world of passionate high school baseball fans that follow a storied program. Trojan fans are like Wildcat fans, except there are twice as many and they all drank a case of energy drink before they came to the ballpark. Their Facebook fan page has 1,247 fans and their Twitter feed is followed by 460 people for baseball alone
. . .
The Trojans (34-3) are coming off an incredible 2009 season in which they narrowly lost the state championship to Texas High 4-3. They are led by staff ace and Missouri commit Michael Franco, who is 14-0 this season. With the series going from Wednesday to Saturday, it means both Franco and Lake Travis ace and Baylor commit Brad Kuntz will be available to start both the first and third games if they’re needed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big 12 Tournament: MU 7, UT 3

Missouri takes down Texas, 7-3, in Big 12 Tournament (
Before you freak out, remember Texas started the 2009 Big 12 Tournament with a loss.

The same thing happened Wednesday.

The Longhorns came out flat, made errors and couldn’t touch Missouri pitcher Nick Tepesch in a 7-3 loss at Bricktown Ballpark.

The Longhorns (46-9) still can win the Big 12 tournament. But they’re going to have to play better than they did against the Tigers.
Missouri opens Big 12s with win over Texas (Columbia Tribune)
Nick Tepesch pitched a complete-game and Aaron Senne’s two-run double sparked eighth-seeded Missouri to a 7-3 victory over top-seeded Texas on the opening day of the Big 12 Baseball Tournament at Bricktown Ballpark.

Tepesch scattered 10 hits and struck out five to win his sixth game of the season.
Texas A&M thumps Texas Tech in Big 12 opener (
“I was focused on throwing strikes and letting my defense make plays,” said Wacha, who improved to 8-2 on the season. “But I knew I had some pretty good stuff in the first inning. I just wanted to keep pounding the strike zone.”

Wacha had a perfect game going until Texas Tech's Bonham Hough slammed a solo home run over the right field fence with one out in the fifth inning.

Everyone else swinging for UT (
No. 1 curse: Remarkably, the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament has lost its first-round game against the No. 8 seed in six of the last dozen seasons, including four of the last six. Three times since 2002, UT has dropped its opening tournament game as a No. 1 seed, including last year’s loss to No. 8 Baylor. An opening-round defeat can be overcome, but it doesn’t make things easy.

MU in the Minors

The best pitcher you've never heard of (DugoutCentral)
Kyle Gibson already ranks as the third best prospect in the Twins system, behind five tool outfielder Aaron Hicks and the soon to be departed Wilson Ramos. He began his pro career for the Twin’s Class A Fort Myers affiliate in the Florida State League. He made seven starts, going 4-1 with one complete game (a shutout), allowing 33 hits in 43.1 innings while striking out 40 and posting an impressive 3.89 GO/AO* ratio and a .213 OPPBA.

Promoted on May 13th to the Double A Eastern League’s New Britain Rock Cats, Gibson has picked up where he left off in Florida. He’s made two starts, (he’s on the mound tonite), going 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA with sixteen strikeouts in 14.1 innings while allowing 8 hits and a .157 OPPBA
MU Alums

■ Former Tiger Ryan Allen has been pitching all year for the University of Central Missouri Mules, who are now in the D-II World Series. Ryan was the starter on Monday when the #3 Mules lost to #1 UC-San Diego in a marathon 11-inning game. Ryan pitched 5 scoreless innings as the starter.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Big 12 Player of the Year: Aaron Senne

2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Awards announced (
Nick Martini (Kansas State) and Aaron Senne (Missouri) have been named Big 12 Co-Players of the Year, while Cole Green (Texas) has been selected Pitcher of the Year to headline the 2010 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Baseball Awards, announced by the Conference office. Texas A&M’s John Stilson and Texas Tech’s Barrett Barnes are the Newcomer and Freshman of the Year, respectively. Augie Garrido has been tabbed the Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fifth time in league history.
. . .
Senne finished behind Martini in the batting race for overall average, recording a .410 mark through games of May 25. In Big 12 contests, he tallied a league-leading 70 total bases and .686 slugging percentage. Senne, a Rochester, Minn.-native, also is in first-place for overall slugging percentage (.755). In all games played, Senne ranks second in the following statistical categories in the Big 12 home runs (16), doubles (21), on-base percentage (.502) and total bases (151). He broke the school record for career doubles and became Mizzou’s all-time hits leader this season.
Also on the All Big 12 Team:
1st Team: Brett Nicholas, Utility Player

Honorable Mention: Michael Liberto, INF
Superstitious success story (
"I think he has great pleasure in being off on an angle somewhere," Jamieson added.

One example happened during Senne's 17-game hitting streak.

"I had the long shaggy hair going. I was loving it," Senne said.

"I asked him during the streak to get his haircut knowing what the response was going to be," Jamieson explained. "He looked at me and said I'm a little superstitious."

"The lady took one cut and chopped all the wings off," Senne added. "I took one look in the mirror and dropped my head. I was so disappointed."
Nicholas willing to do what it takes to make Missouri baseball successful (
He paused his groundskeeping duties just long enough to meet with a handful of reporters. As the questions started, Nicholas leaned on the rake as if he had been toiling in the fields all day. A teammate who was passing by peered in and asked if Nicholas wanted him to hold the rake while Nicholas held court.

“No, it’s all right,” Nicholas responded. “I never know what to do with my hands.”

Maybe not while talking. But when the game is on, those hands mean a lot.
Seeing a Daniel Boone Little Leaguer grow up to play at MU (
Garrison’s incredible. Every summer he comes out and throws on this field. His parents live right near the fields, so he and his brother — who’s a Division 1 prospect in his own right — come down. His brother’s a catcher; he’s a pitcher.* They come out here and practice and hit in the cages.

I actually came out here one day and Garrison was hitting, but I just saw some kid hitting in the cages. We have a rule that you gotta have a helmet on when you hit, and I didn’t know who it was — I didn’t have my glasses on — and I look over and say, “Hey, you gotta have a helmet on.”

And then I saw who it was, and I said, “You know, Garrison, I think you’re OK. You can hit without a helmet if you want to.”
Big 12 Tournament

■ Big 12 Tournament Day 1
Game 1: No. 4 Texas A&M vs. No. 5 Texas Tech 9:00 a.m.
Game 2: No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 Missouri 12:30 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 6 Baylor 4:00 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Kansas 7:30 p.m.Big 12 Tournament Central, withlive video of all games (
Video Report
Augie Garrido: "It [the tournament] matters because we have an opportunity to play, and every time you have an opportunity to play you have an opportunity to get better. And you learn from the good news and the bad news that comes from every game. And when you keep it in a pitch-to-pitch experience, you learn a lot."
Loy could miss Big 12 tourney with arm injury (
An MRI of Brandon Loy's left shoulder blade showed a bruise, and the Longhorns shortstop might sit out the Big 12 baseball tournament as a precaution, Texas coach Augie Garrido said Monday.

Loy was injured when he was hit by a pitch on May 16 against Louisiana Tech. He returned to play Friday against Missouri, but re-injured his shoulder sliding into second base in the first inning. He didn't play against the Tigers on Saturday or Sunday.

"I slid and I just felt a pop," Loy said. "I could barely move my arm the rest of that game. I had to bunt with two strikes because I couldn't swing."

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Big 12 Tournament

MU enters Big 12 tourney desperate (Columbia Tribune)
In his tenure as one of the most accomplished baseball players in Missouri history, senior Aaron Senne has never found his team in this position.

The Tigers finished second, fourth and third in the Big 12 the past three years and entered the conference tournament confident that they would be playing beyond Memorial Day.

This time — this whole season — it’s different.
Texas, OU head Big 12 Baseball championship field (
All games will be played at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. Tickets for the tournament are priced at $92 to $232 for all-session tickets and $13 to $44 for single-session, available by calling the Oklahoma City RedHawks ticket office at 405-218-1000 or online at
■ Mizzou's record against Big 12 Tournament pool opponents:
  • 0-4 vs. Texas. Lost 8-5 to Texas at the Houston College Classic in March, then swept by UT this past weekend by a combined score of 31-17

  • 1-2 vs. Texas A&M. Lost 3-1 on a Friday night in late March @ College Station, the Aggies came from behind to win 5-4 on Saturday, and then MU won on Sunday, 13-4.

  • 1-2 vs. Texas Tech. Like nearly every other Big 12 team, MU beat the Red Raiders on Friday night (@ Lubbock), 12-8, but then gave up games 2 and 3, 5-4 and 16-15.

NCAA Tournament

■ As a result of being swept 0-3 by Texas this weekend, Missouri's RPI ranking moved from 8st up to 77th (Boyd's World)

Examining the college baseball "bubble" with one week to go (The Sports Arsenal)
I decided to break down the potential field and see what teams are in, what teams are out, and what teams have work to do. Admittedly, I’m not the only person who does this — you can read fine efforts from the folks at Baseball America and Yahoo! Sports, just to name two — but I’m the only person who will do it on this blog. So there.

I’m going to approach this from the point of view of a fan of a “bubble” team who wants to know the ideal scenario by which his team can make the field, by the way.
Summer Ball

Oilers fill out roster (
The Peninsula Oilers recently announced that Jeff Popick, Ryan Gebhart, Nate Theunissen, Stephen Piscotty and Tyler Grimes are joining the team.
. . .
Gebhart should be familiar to Alaska Baseball League fans because he played with Athletes in Action last summer. He hit .288 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and was 12-of-14 on stolen bases. Gebhart is an outfielder at the University of Missouri, where he hit .370 this season.

Monday, May 24, 2010

#8 MU to play #1 UT Wednesday @ 12:30 PM

Big 12 Tournament

■ Complete Big 12 Tournament Schedule (with final rankings)

Wednesday, May 26
Game 1: No. 4 Texas A&M vs. No. 5 Texas Tech 9:00 a.m.
Game 2: No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 Missouri 12:30 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 6 Baylor 4:00 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Kansas 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 27
Game 5: No. 1 Texas vs. No. 5 Texas Tech 3:00 p.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Texas A&M vs. No. 8 Missouri 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 28
Game 7: No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 7 Kansas 3:00 p.m.
Game 8: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Baylor 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 29
Game 9: No. 5 Texas Tech vs. No. 8 Missouri 9:00 a.m.
Game 10: No. 1 Texas vs. No. 4 Texas A&M 12:30 p.m.
Game 11: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Kansas State 4:00 p.m.
Game 12: No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 7 Kansas 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 30
Game 13: Division 1 Champion vs. Division 2 Champion {FSN} 1:00 p.m.
The event is in a two-division, pool play format, in which each of the squads competing is guaranteed a minimum of three games. The winners of each pool meet in the championship game on Sunday. The tournament winner receives the Big 12’s automatic berth into the NCAA Baseball Championship.

Live action from the Championship will be video streamed free on the Big 12 Conference’s official Web site, for the fourth year in a row. Audio from the webcast will also be broadcast on Sirius XM Radio (Sirius 217-best of XM/XM 231), a Big 12 corporate partner.

More details at

Sunday, UT 20, MU 11

UT sets home run record, routs Missouri (
Missouri (27-25, 10-16) trailed 14-0 after five innings against Longhorn starter Brandon Workman (11-1).

Then the Tigers had eight hits in the last four innings, including two home runs by Aaron Senne and one by Eric Garcia. Senne has 16 for the season.

Workman allowed five hits and four runs in six innings. Senne hit one of his home runs off Workman. Garcia's home run also was against Workman.

"It was a very courageous comeback on their part," Garrido said.

Saturday, UT 6, MU 4

Close but not quite for Tigers . . . again (Columbia Tribune)
Despite dropping the first two games of the series, Missouri found comfort in going toe to toe with one of the best teams in the nation. Jamieson told the team afterward that it was the first time in a long time he felt the Tigers were all fighting for the same thing.

“I almost wish we would’ve played these guys earlier in the year, so they had an opportunity to experience what it’s like to fight for something that everybody believes in,” Jamieson said. “Hopefully, however many games we have remaining, we can use this in a real positive way.”

“I just really liked the way we came out,” said Nicholas, who hammered his 11th home run over the video board in left-center field. “We had a little chip on our shoulder today, played with some fire in us.”

MU-UT Saturday photos

Texas rallies for 6-4 baseball victory over Missouri (
Texas had 11 hits Saturday, but none during its most successful inning.

Instead, the second-ranked Longhorns capitalized on Missouri's mistakes and used their own resourcefulness to produce two runs in the ninth inning, for a 6-4 victory Saturday.

Big plays help and haunt Missouri baseball team (Columbia Missourian)
For the Missouri baseball team in its game against Texas on Saturday at Taylor Stadium, it was all about big catches and big non-catches.

Saturday, UT 5, MU 2

Jungmann stays strong for victory over Missouri (
Taylor Jungmann has produced better pitching performances than the one on Friday night.

And yet his coach, Augie Garrido, could not have been more impressed with the way the sophomore worked his way through seven innings while allowing nine hits during the Longhorns' 5-2 victory at Missouri.

"Taylor Jungmann pitched the most courageous game of his career at the University of Texas," Garrido said. "They hit him hard. They hit him often. He was in trouble almost every inning but one, and he battled his way out."
Missouri baseball loses first game without starting shortstop (Columbia Missourian)
At a practice earlier this week, while taking infield drills, Liberto's jaw broke when he was hit by a line drive. The ball wasn’t hit hard, but it hit him in the wrong spot.

Liberto’s jaw is wired shut, and coach Tim Jamieson said it is doubtful that he will return.

“The doctor says he can play, but he can’t even eat,” Jamieson said. “It’s just unfortunate for Mike. It’s his senior year and to not be able to finish it on the field, that’s unfortunate for him. The team will respond, but I feel really bad for him.”

■ And finally, congratulations to the Missouri Softball team for their win at the Columbia NCAA Regional. The Tigers will be hosting the Super Regional next weekend.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Game Day: Craziest baseball game I have ever seen

Baseball returns to Missouri with a different outlook (
“We threw everyone we had out there, and nothing worked,” Texas pitcher Cole Green says. “It was just a weird deal -- the craziest baseball game I have ever seen.”

In a lighthearted effort to exorcise the demons affecting them that night, members of the team, including Workman, wrote the final score on a baseball and buried it in the visiting team dugout. The ploy had no effect that Saturday though, as the Longhorns fell behind 7-1 in the fourth and never recovered, losing 13-2.
Horns ready to dig up memory of 31-run debacle (News8Austin)
Video story
Think of the baseball as a time capsule from the past - you bury it, and then later on you want to come back and dig it up. So that's the team plan, to back to Missouri, get down and dirty in the bullpen, and dig the thing up.

Problem is, Brandon Workman says, they're not exactly sure where the ball is.
■ From
We still owe the Tigers for that horrible butt whipping they applied two years ago. They routed us, scoring over 30 on Friday night. We need to avenge this disgraceful defeat.

We will bury them. We will come out with fire in our eyes, we will eat their young, we will get them in a clinch and bite their ears off.
Horns have learned their chemistry since 2008 flop (
The Longhorns made history the last time they traveled to Columbia, Mo., to face the Tigers in baseball. And it wasn't the good kind .

In 2008, Texas gave up 31 runs in a Friday night loss and followed that up Saturday by getting blown out 13-2. The 44 runs allowed in those two losses — combined with a 9-2 Texas victory on Sunday — tied a school record for runs allowed in a three-game series.

Two years later, though, the Longhorns believe positives came out of that morbid debacle.

"You better learn from your mistakes," Texas coach Augie Garrido said. "And we made plenty in that series."
. . .
"We took our lumps a couple years ago," Green said. "Some of the biggest lumps came at Missouri. They whooped us. I remember sitting (in the dugout) wondering how we could give up so many runs. Every ball they hit seemed to leave the park."

So what did the Longhorn hurlers take from that weekend?

"The biggest lesson I learned about that weekend was making excuses," Green said. "I remember so many people complaining. It was really cold. It was windy. The umpires were bad. And I remember hearing excuse after excuse. There were so many reasons given (for) why we lost."

Texas Baseball (Hook'em Report)
Baseball isn’t as emotional as football, and that game was two years ago, and in the world of college baseball most of the members of the 2008 team are not here anymore, but still. I would like that memory erased. That was a lovely Friday night. It was nice outside, spring was in the air and the weather had finally turned warm for the first time all spring. We had friends over, hanging outside, etc. And our night was ruined because of the Missouri Tigers. Probably. I don’t completely remember because it was two years ago, but I’m pretty sure it was terrible.
MU Recruits

Moody keeps rolling (Corpus Christi Caller-Times)
It was a much different scenario than the last time the two teams met in the postseason. Two years ago, Alice knocked off Moody 9-6 in a one-game regional quarterfinal playoff in Alice when the Trojans were ranked third and the defending state champions.

“It was my sophomore year and I was playing third base. We just came out flat that game,” Michael Franco said. “I didn’t want a repeat. I came out here with some revenge. I did it for my team in ’08 and I did it for them tonight.”

Franco struck out 13 and walked one, throwing 61 of his 89 pitches for strikes. No Alice runner made it past second base.
. . .
It was all Franco after that. He set down 11 of the final 12 Alice batters he faced. The only real threat the 17-16 Coyotes posed was in the second when A.J. Perez reached on an infield single. He made it to second when Franco uncorked a wild pickoff throw but Perez never slowed rounding the bag and was thrown out at third by Perales.

“It seemed like he got better as the game went on,” Alice coach Victor Escamilla said of Franco. “He’s a veteran pitcher, a confident pitcher. Solid defense behind him. We went up there and battled. We had that one three-run inning. We got the leadoff out and that ball found the gap in the 2-hole. They’re not No. 2 for nothing.”
TX Stat Stars (ESPN Rise)
Rob Zastryzny, Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas)

For the fourth year in a row, the Wildcats captured the District 31-4A championship as he pitched a complete-game shutout allowing just three hits while having two hits of his own in a 16-0 five-inning win over Tuloso-Midway. Despite the game being just five innings, he recorded 11 strikeouts while improving to 11-0 this year on the mound with eight shutouts.
Athletes of the Week (ESPN Rise, May 7)
Rob Zastryzny, Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas)

For the fourth year in a row, the FAB 50-ranked Wildcats captured the District 31-4A championship as Zastryzny pitched a complete-game shutout. He allowed just three hits while having two hits of his own in a 16-0 five-inning win over Tuloso-Midway (Corpus Christi, Texas). Despite the game being just five innings, he recorded 11 strikeouts while improving to 11-0 this year on the mound with eight shutouts. Last season as a junior, he was 9-4 with a 2.25 ERA. Zastryzny continued a trend of Calallen's top pitchers going to Big 12 schools as he has signed to play at the University of Missouri.
Calallen tops Ray, 12-1 (Corpus christi Caller-Times)
Zastryzny (12-0) was able to close out his 10th complete game of the season just a week after feeling ill and sitting out the one-game bi-district playoff against Mission Veterans Memorial. He looked fine Friday, striking out nine, not allowing a baserunner until the third inning and not giving up a hit until Matthew Garcia’s solo home run in the fourth.

“I’m fully better. I’m back 100 percent,” Zastryzny said.

"It was pretty hot, really humid. A lot of pressure. I was getting a little tired at the end. I'm not sure why. I haven't been running as much."

Game Day: Texas Longhorns @ Simmons Field

Mizzou has won 9 of the last 14 meetings with Texas. UT beat MU 3 of 4 times in 2009, after Mizzou took 3 of 4 in 2008.

The Tigers have played the Longhorns very well at Simmons Field since 2004, going 7-2.

Texas Longhorns by the numbers:
Horns eye another deep postseason baseball run (
Through 49 games, the Longhorns' pitching staff has an ERA of 2.14. In 2009, Texas finished with a 2.95 ERA.

This season the Longhorns have a fielding percentage of 97.9. In 2009, it was 96.7.

They have a batting average of .288, the same average they finished with in 2009.
. . .
The biggest difference this year is the power numbers. The Longhorns have 62 home runs. They had 53 in 67 games last season.

"I don't think that we have more ways to beat you, I just think that our lineup from top to bottom is better than it was last season," Loy said. "We don't have the highest batting average. Our team average is still below .300, but we have a lot of power."
. . .
"It's not a big deal, and I think we all know that," Shepherd said. "We have bigger goals here than winning the Big 12 or winning the conference tournament. We take it one game at a time, but the goal is always to get to Omaha and win the College World Series."

Five pressing questions for UT Baseball (
The Longhorns ace hasn't been bad. In fact, he's been really good. He has the 23rd-best ERA in the country. He just hasn't been as dominant as he was in Game 2 of the College World Series finals against LSU.

The reason for that is Jungmann (4-2) is trying to be too careful. He's a step behind the Longhorns' Saturday starter, Cole Green, who's learned that it's OK if he gives up hits or batters make contact.

Jungmann's not behind Green in terms of his ability or the quality of his pitches. It's just his approach. He's trying to be too fine, too perfect, trying to paint the corner just right.

Jungmann has a 2.36 ERA this season, and opponents are hitting just .206 against him. Those are great numbers. But he's walked 32, and he's hit seven more.
. . .
The biggest worry is that the offense could revert to its beginning-of-the-season form.

With a less talented pitching staff, Texas probably would have had five or six more losses early this season. Looking ahead, if the offense continues to score four to six runs per game, the Longhorns should be fine.

Longhorn baseball wins Big 12 title (Barking Carnival)
We took 2 of 3 from Purple Kryptonite, secured a Big 12 Title that Augie will shrug about and probably use the trophy as a place to hang his car keys (our 6th Big 12 title in 14 years)
. . .
Texas lost the opener 2-1 with flaccid offense and an inability to string together hits. Stranding eleven runners on base won’t get it done. It happens. Jungmann had control issues, but wasn’t hittable (he pitched a one hitter with 7 walks, a wild pitch, and a hit batter – a young Nolan Ryan stat line). It felt like a game that we should have won 5-1, but we lacked sufficient team Wa and the baseball gods punished us for our impertinence.
. . .
Overall, the diffused power of our line-up continues to hold (our 7 most prolific HR hitters go: 11, 9, 8, 8, 7, 7, 6) and though our bats do go cold, we’ve got seven guys in the line-up at any given time who can deposit the ball in the cheap seats if you make a pitching mistake. Not a bad thing to pair with an elite pitching staff.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes has some great photos from the MU-NU series

■ Mizzou is featured in UnderArmour's throwback baseball uniforms look like flannel without sacrificing performance ( Page 2), including a great composite shot of Brett Nicholas that I'm sure he (and his family) will be saving and setting as their desktop wallpaper.
This all might seem like a lot of fuss over a gray fabric, but Missouri baseball coach Tim Jamieson says people have noticed. "Very seldom do you have other coaches comment on your uniforms, but each coach we've played has said something about this one," he says. "They want to feel it, they want to see what it's all about. It's amazing, because from a distance it looks like my old Little League uniform, or what major league teams wore in the 1960s."
MU in the Majors>Minors

Tigers demote struggling Max Scherzer (Detroit News)
The Tigers made two rather surprising moves following Saturday night's 7-6, 12-inning victory over the Red Sox: Starting pitcher Max Scherzer and second baseman Scott Sizemore were demoted to Triple-A Toledo.
Both figured to be big keys to the Tigers this season, and both have struggled mightily.
Scherzer, the hard-throwing right-hander acquired in the December trade with the Diamondbacks, is 1-4 with a 7.29 ERA and has been absolutely rocked in his last four starts.

Tigers' coaches go to work on Max Scherzer's faulty arm (Detroit News)
A.J. Sager, the Toledo pitching coach, as well as Jon Matlack, the Tigers' roving minor-league pitching coach, will try in step with the Tigers' staff to fix Scherzer's arm slot, put more velocity on his fastball, and develop a slider that can be something other than Scherzer's third pitch.
That's at first blush a heavy project. What works in the Tigers' and Scherzer's favor is that his arm is so strong. But you wonder how rapidly Scherzer can glue together so many necessary pieces.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes: Good News and . . .

Nick Tepesch named Big XII Pitcher of the Week (
Tepesch recorded his first career shutout as Missouri defeated Nebraska, 2-0, on Friday in the opener of the three-game series. He was perfect through the first 4.1 innings, retiring the first 13 Nebraska batters before giving up a single in the top of the fifth inning. Tepesch struck out a season-high nine and surrendered just five hits to move to 5-5 on the season. The Blue Springs, Mo. hurler retired the side in order in five innings.
2010 Academic All Big 12 Baseball Team announced (
The Big 12 Conference has named 69 student-athletes to the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Baseball Team, the league office announced.

The First team included senior Aaron Senne in his third time on the list, junior Phil McCormick, sophomores Ryan Ampleman and Russell LaFleur and redshirt freshman Andreas Plackis. It was the second Academic All-Conference honor for McCormick and Ampleman. Juniors Nick Tepesch and Andrew Thigpen and sophomore Ryan Clubb were named to the second team.

■ Sources online and offline tell me that Tiger SS Mike Liberto broke his jaw during practice this week and will be unavailable for awhile.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes: Tigers past and present

Breathing easier after sweep (Columbia Tribune)
If the games were of less import, yesterday’s contest might have been called.

How bad were the conditions?

“Not too bad,” senior first baseman Aaron Senne said after MU’s 6-5 victory. “Dry for the most part. A little humid.”

Obviously, not a meteorology major.

“I did take the class,” he said.

■ Heard at the Ballpark this weekend and at
"Gaden gone. When I did not see Gaden and Garcia there on Saturday I asked someone at the game and they told me Garcia was sick and that Gaden had left the team on his own after finals."

Gaden, Kale: .200 avg; 25 GP; 17 GS; 60 AB; 12 R; 12 H; 3 2B; 1 3B; 1 HR; 8 RBI; 7 BB; 1 HBP; 21 SO; 1/1 SB; 1 E; .964 Fld %

Big 12: .083 avg; 8 GP; 8 GS; 24 AB; 3 R; 2 H
Tigers have few choices for Scherzer (
Max Scherzer (04-06) enters his Friday start against the Red Sox with a 1-3 record and a bulky 6.81 ERA. He’s also been a major contributor to the number of innings the Tigers bullpen has pitched in the first six weeks of the season: Scherzer averages barely five innings of work.
. . .
The Tigers are enchanted with Scherzer’s potential -- after all, he was taken by the Diamondbacks with the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft -- and are likely to let pitching coach Rick Knapp tinker with him and hope things click as they have for Verlander, Porcello and, just maybe, Bonderman.
Gibson dominates in Double-A debut (
Four days after he was promoted to the Eastern League, the University of Missouri product did not miss a beat. He gave up leadoff singles in three of the first four innings but allowed just one baserunner to reach third.

"Kyle's the type of kid you get excited watching, even if he's throwing batting practice to the hitters," Rock Cats manager Jeff Smith told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg. "And he's a true professional in every sense of the word. ... He's just a great kid."
Minnesota Twins prospect Kyle Gibson (07-09) very impressive in Double-A debut (
He spent the offseason rehabbing, and now all he's done is begin his professional career with a 5-1 record and 1.60 ERA through eight starts, including Saturday night's gem for New Britain in his Class AA debut, a 6-0 victory over Harrisburg at Metro Bank Park.
. . .
Instead he'll utilize his lean frame and make opponents look silly, as he did with 10 strikeouts against just one walk vs. the Senators, a team that scored nine runs on 14 hits a day earlier.

Mixing dynamic offspeed pitches (slider and changeup mostly) with a solid fastball, Gibson is an imposing presence on the mound.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Will there be a post-season for MU?

Is Mizzou guaranteed a spot in the Big 12 Tournament?

Current Big 12 Standings
  1. UT: 21-3; 0.875 (@ MU)

  2. KSU: 13-10; 0.565 (@ A&M)

  3. OU: 12-10; 0.545 (@ KU)

  4. TT: 13-11; 0.542 (@ NU)

  5. A&M: 12-11; 0.522 (KSU)

  6. KU: 11-12; 0.478 (OU)

  7. MU: 10-13; 0.435 (UT)

  8. BU: 9-13; 0.409 (OSU)

  9. OSU: 8-16; 0.333 (@BU)

  10. NU: 7-17; 0.292 (OU)
Only the top 8 finishers qualify for the Big 12 Tournament. Nebraska is the only team that is absolutely eliminated from the tournament.

Mizzou currently sits at 7th. Baylor and Oklahoma State are both within statistical striking distance of passing the Tigers. The good news for MU, though, is that BU and OSU are playing each other in this coming weekend's final 3-game series, which means either of those teams could pass MU, bumping the Tigers to 8th place, but it is not statistically possible for both of them to pass MU. The success of one automatically is the failure of the other.

If the Tigers win one game from the Longhorns, they will be out of reach of OSU. Missouri needs to win one more game next weekend than Baylor to stay out ahead of the Bears.

So the Tigers are indeed guaranteed a slot in the Tournament. Staying out of 8th place would mean MU doesn't have to face Texas in the first game of the tourney.

The Longhorns are way out in front of the pack, and will still have a comfortable cushion in 1st place even if the Tigers were to sweep them. But with three conference games remaining, the next 6 teams, from Kansas State to Missouri, are separated by a mere 3 wins/losses. Which means MU, with the upset of the decade against UT, could finish just about anywhere from 3rd on down.

Can Mizzou beat Texas this coming weekend?
Mizzou has won 9 of the last 14 meetings with Texas. UT beat MU 3 of 4 times in 2009, after Mizzou took 3 of 4 in 2008.

The Tigers have played the Longhorns very well at Simmons Field since 2004, going 7-2.

Augie Garrido has historically said the Big 12 Tournament doesn't matter much. His whole focus is on the NCAA Tournament. Because of this attitude, he will be managing his team with an eye toward the Regionals, and his players will be picking up on his approach as well

Dixie: Am I the only person who thinks Missouri could sweep Texas next weekend? . . . Texas has absolutely nothing to play for next weekend. I mean, they'll try to win, but they won't strain themselves to do it. If they get swept, it does not matter one iota.

Mizzou Astro: They're still playing for seeding in the Tourney, but they would still be a top 8 seed if they got swept. The one thing they won't do is extend pitchers needlessly.
Does Mizzou have a shot at a bid to the NCAA Regionals?

The Tigers and the Longhorns are the only Big 12 teams to make the Regionals over the last seven consecutive seasons. But with an RPI ranking in the high 80's, MU will not even get consideration by the selection committee since, with all the automatic bids from lower level conferences, only the top 45 teams will make it.

Unless . . .
  1. Missouri wins the Big 12 Tournament, earning the automatic conference bid

  2. Or, Missouri manages to take 2 or 3 from Texas this next weekend (boosting their RPI and their visibility) and then makes a run all the way to the championship game of the Big 12 tournament (again boosting both RPI and the "Wow" factor.

Tigers sweep eliminates NU's Big 12 Tourney hopes (
The Tigers (27-22, 10-13) solidified their position for the conference tournament. They scored five runs to unlock a 1-1 game in the seventh inning against Nebraska relievers Casey Hauptman, Jordan Roualdes and Sean Yost.
Roualdes walked Brett Nicholas with the bases loaded to give Mizzou the lead for good. Andreas Plackis followed with a sacrifice fly before Jonah Schmidt doubled with two outs to make it 4-1 and Conner Mach scored two more with a single.
“That was the key inning,” Anderson said.

Huskers drop finale to Missouri (Grand Island Independent)
With two outs and a runner on first, Cody Asche and Kale Kiser were hit by pitches by MU reliever Phil McCormick, loading the bases and putting the tying run in scoring position. Brad Buehler was summoned from the bullpen and hit Josh Scheffert to make it a one-run game, but Burleson, who had two hits and drove a career-high three runs on Sunday, could not complete the rally and struck out end the game. Buehler earned his first save of the season and dashed Nebraska’s hopes to make the Big 12 Tournament in two weeks.

Huskers fall short, swept by Missouri (
“Extremely disappointed on the weekend and today,” Anderson said. “Glad we fought back and put ourselves in a position to win the game, but we didn’t execute in getting the final run across in the ninth.”

With the sweep, Missouri extended its streak against NU to nine straight wins.
Outfielder shows power in Missouri baseball sweep of Nebraska (Columbia Missourian)
“You never want to aim for the fences,” Schmidt said. “You just want to square balls up. I went through a little period in there where I was getting my hands underneath the ball and not staying on top. I think making that adjustment has really helped me in the last couple of weeks.”

MU coach Tim Jamieson said he thinks Schmidt is becoming a more complete hitter. Rather than trying to hit the ball to left field during every at-bat, he is sending balls to all fields and just trying to make solid contact.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Missouri sweeps Nebraska

Sunday: MU 6, NU 5

Huskers can't tie the score..Missouri 6, Nebraska 5 (Husker_Baseball on

Saturday: MU 12, NU 7

Lefty Fick comes through for Tigers (Columbia Tribune)
Needing a series victory to stay alive for the postseason, the Tigers handed the ball to the junior left-hander who had pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this season. Missouri didn’t need a masterful outing from Fick, just a serviceable one. And that he delivered in a 12-7 victory on Simmons Field.

“He’s been really good in his” bullpen “role, and this was a move out of necessity more than anything else,” Jamieson said. “I thought he did fine. I thought Nebraska had a pretty good approach against him, but we scored some runs, which made it easier for him.”
Nebraska falls at Missouri (Grand Island Independent)

Missouri hammers NU pitchers for 12-7 win (

“We just kept giving free bases,” NU coach Mike Anderson said. “Only two extra-base hits, and those really didn’t hurt us. It was just the free bases. ... They scored three runs late there without swinging the bats.”

Nebraska was down just 3-2 after two innings, but the Tigers took control with a five-run third against four pitchers. Thereafter, they never led by fewer than three runs.
Friday: MU 2, NU 0

Tigers blank Huskers as Tepesch delivers first career shutout (Columbia Tribune)

Tepesch was an escape artist in the few innings Nebraska put together a threat. But he spent much of the night making the Cornhuskers hitters disappear.

Junior catcher Brett Nicholas wondered what else Tepesch had.

“I could’ve called a magical pitch, and he would have been able to throw it and he would’ve been able to hit his spot tonight,” Nicholas said. “I mean, that’s a once-in-a-season performance. That was just unbelievable.”
Tigers snap three-game losing streak ( - VIDEO)

Missouri tops Huskers (Grand Island Independent)

On a night where Michael Mariot was sharp, Missouri’s Nick Tepesch was superb, tossing a five-hit shutout, as the Tigers topped the Huskers, 2-0, Friday evening.

Tepesch (5-5) fired the first complete-game effort of his career, striking out a season-high nine Huskers, as Missouri (25-22, 8-13 Big 12) took the first game of an important three-game series for both teams. The junior right-hander retired the first 13 Huskers he faced and worked out of a trio of jams in the final four innings in snapping the Huskers’ four-game win streak.
Double play helps Tigers shut out NU (
“I really thought it came down to two pitches,” NU coach Mike Anderson said. “The sacrifice fly that they put into play and scored a run, we were trying to get a double play, obviously, in that situation; and Michael got a pitch up that they got a run on.

“In that identical situation with a left-handed hitter up, they were looking for a double play and they got it. It came down to the same exact pitch. They executed it with the fly ball and we hit into a ground ball double play. … It came down to executing one pitch for them and one pitch for us, and it cost us a game.”
Pitcher throws shutout in Missouri baseball victory (
Former Missouri wrestler Max Askren was one of those fans watching the game. Askren won the national title in the 184-pound weight class in March and was there to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Askren admitted to not knowing a lot about the traditions of baseball and when asked if he knew what Tepesch was doing, he gave his honest answer.

“I don’t know,” Askren said. “What’s he doing?”

Coach Tim Jamieson, a believer in the tradition of keeping your mouth shut and your mind occupied in these situations, was satisfied with Askren’s answer.

“That’s the right attitude,” Jamieson said with a chuckle.
Missouri enters final stretch short on arms (Columbia Tribune)
Season-ending injuries to Eric Anderson and Aaron Blunt meant more than a shuffle of the rotation. The newcomers were expected to earn starting spots — and eat up innings — in conference games before turning contests over to what was thought to be a deep bullpen.

“They were two of our conference guys at the beginning of the year, and they’re done,” Jamieson said May 4 after a win over Missouri State. “So we’ve got to find a way to fight with other guys.”

With Anderson and Blunt and their 14 combined starts shelved, the Tigers didn’t have a lot of good options for replacements. Missouri has used nine different starters this season, including six in Big 12 games.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Schedule change

Mizzou Baseball schedule has changed due to weather. Saturday's game will start @ 5:00 PM. Sunday's game to start @ 11 AM

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nebraska @ Simmons Field: Crunch time in the Big 12

■ Survival of the fittest: MU-NU by the numbers
• NU: 23-24 (7-14; 10th Big 12); MU: 24-22 (7-13; 9th Big 12)

NCAA RPI: NU: 63rd, MU 98th

• RPI (Boyd's World): NU 63rd, MU 96th

• ISR (Boyd's World): NU 66th, MU 87th
■ Big 12 teams currently guaranteed a top 8 conference finish and a slot in the Big 12 Tournament: Only Texas, at 21-3 in the conference. Just 5 wins separate #2 Texas Tech from #10 Nebraska, with 6 conference games left in the season for most of the teams (OU and UT play non-conference series this weekend). Big 12 Standings

Big 12 stock report (
It’s been rough, too, on Tigers coach Tim Jamieson, who has used 45 different lineups in 46 games.
Crunch time for OSU Cowboys baseball team (
But with only two weeks and six conference games remaining in the regular season, the Cowboys — and the rest of the teams fighting for a spot in the Big 12 Championship — know the days of losing series are over.

At least if you still want to be playing in three weeks.

“We know these next two weekends will make or break us,” OSU second baseman Davis Duren said. “There’s no speeches needed. We know what we have to do.”

Okay, here's the deal for Nebraska baseball coach Mike Anderson and his boys of summer (York New-Times). . .
and it's fairly simple for the last place Huskers. Win or sweep the three-game set at Missouri, there is still life and a chance to obtain a berth at the Big 12 Conference tourney at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.. Lose two or more this weekend, there is virtually no tomorrow-
Huskers keep up hope for turnaround (
A win Friday night at Missouri, along with wins by Texas A&M (at Oklahoma State) and second-place Texas Tech (against Baylor), would leave NU in seventh place.

Granted, seldom have things fallen in place so neatly for Mike Anderson’s eighth squad. But at least the Huskers carry the longest active winning streak in the Big 12 at four games.

“There’s good spirit,” Anderson said of the mood that’s come from last weekend’s sweep of Southeast Missouri State that followed a 1-0, series-finale win against A&M. “You revisit goals and you reset them.

“In a strange way, we kind of hold our own destiny for the Big 12 Tournament still, so, bottom line, let’s talk about Oklahoma City. We’ve got some kids that need to experience that.”

Fans losing patience with NU (
What they’ve seen this year is a team hitting .270 in Big 12 play, with a 5.86 ERA.

It’s the latter number — compiled by a 16-member staff that has 10 first-year Huskers — that’s accounted for the brunt of the criticism. But is it fair to say that area of the game is primarily responsible for the team’s pitfalls?

It is to third-year pitching coach Eric Newman.

“Baseball is about pitching — always has been, always will be. I’ll never change my feeling on that,” Newman said after watching four of the five pitchers he sent out Saturday get tagged for runs. “As a head coach, as a pitching coach, I’ve always believed a team feeds off the courage that he shows.

“It shouldn’t be hard. We need to have some pride in this program. Some days we come out here and show courage to do it. Some days we don’t act like we want to be out here. ... I thought this pitching staff would be better than this, based on what I saw in the fall and preseason. I’ve got to keep trying to find ways to get more out of them.”

2-sport athlete Khiry Cooper learning as he goes (
Mostly, the patience concerns his offense, because the 6-foot-3 and 197-pound sophomore tracks down balls in the outfield with ease. His arm strength’s also improved.

Cooper, though, is 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts against Big 12 Conference pitching. Last year in the league, he was 5-for-24 (.208) with two walks and eight strikeouts.

Kiser has given NU a big lift this year (, April 23)
Usually playing designated hitter and batting in the No. 2 spot, Kiser has a .373 average that is 11th in the Big 12 Conference. He’s seventh in runs (39), but most impressive is his on-base percentage of .507 — third-best in the league and tops at Nebraska since Alex Gordon’s .518 mark in 2005.

To put that in better perspective, Gordon was only the third Husker since 2000 to have an on-base percentage of .500 or better. So for Kiser to be in that territory, well, consider that last season he had to get whatever at-bats he could while playing behind senior second baseman Jeff Tezak.
Bailey has become a force at the plate (, April 16)
No wonder Bailey chuckles when asked it he’s always been a home-run hitter.

“I just started taking lifting serious and I was told I have pretty quick hands, so I’m trying to use those,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.

Last season, Bailey led the Huskers with 12 homers. But after hitting his ninth in a win at Arkansas on March 18, he went 27 games until hitting his 10th and 11th.

Admittedly, Bailey started thinking how cool it was to be a power hitter and “sometimes I wasn’t thinking the right things,” he said. “The thing I think of most (now) is ‘Don’t hit home runs,’ because home runs get into your head.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Not So Great Expectations

Jamieson in need of a good laugh (Columbia Tribune)
Now in his 16th season as the Tigers’ skipper, Jamieson can take comfort in knowing he’s earned the right to return for No. 17 next year. Otherwise, that about does it for comfort here lately. Scattered injuries, inexperience and uncharacteristic struggles on the mound have contributed to a rare rocky season for what might have been the school’s most consistently excellent team in recent years.

But after seven straight years of 35 wins or more, the Tigers are just 24-22 with two weekend series left in the regular season. With an RPI of No. 98, it goes without saying that Missouri’s chances of qualifying for an eighth consecutive NCAA Regional have been circling the drain for months.

■ Missouri, currently with a 24-22 record, needs to go 2-4 against NU and UT in order to avoid finishing with a losing record for the first time since 2002 (24-29; 9-16, 9th in Big 12; one of only 2 losing seasons under Tim Jamieson)

The Nitty Gritty Report for 2010 NCAA College Men's Baseball ( shows positives and negatives for each D-1 team's postseason outlook. He has Mizzou ranked 98th in RPI, and nothing but black marks (negatives) on the various statistics categories.

■ The Boyd's World RPI Needs Report doesn't look good for the Tigers either. In fact, Missouri has disappeared from the list of potential Regional bids altogether. Boyd also has MU ranked 98th in RPI and 88th in ISR. the official NCAA RPI rankings show MU at 98th.

Baseball America's Week 12 Stock Report lists teams that are solidly in the Regionals, on the bubble (in) and on the bubble (out). Missouri comes up in the discussion only here:
Kansas moves back into the field of 64 after sweeping Missouri. The Jayhawks still are just 56th in the RPI, but Boyd's says a 4-3 finish will boost them into the top 45 (at-large territory). That would mean at least one series win against Kansas State or Oklahoma over the final two weeks, which would also improve Kansas in the Big 12 standings. The Jayhawks remains on very precarious ground, but they needed to sweep Missouri to get back into position to earn an at-large bid, and they did just that.
■ From the opinionators at
• It's all going terribly, terribly wrong...

• What I think it comes down to is the expectations coming in to the year. There were very few, if any, that though we had a good chance at competing for a Big 12 title this year. We knew we had a lot of new faces coming in and that we would experience some growing pains. Although it hurts to watch the team struggle, ultimately, I think this season has ended up just like most people thought it would.

• Sometimes seasons don't go according to plan. . . I chalk this season up to just simply being "one of those years"...nothing went right.

• The BEST part is that a group of freshmen, now know what to expect. They will be bigger, stronger, and most importantly SMARTER next year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Gibby going places

Can Gibson go Garza? (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
On a busy day of minor-league movement in the Twins organization, the biggest piece of news to come out yesterday was that 2009 first-round pick Kyle Gibson has been promoted to Class-AA New Britain. Less than a year after being drafted out of the University of Missouri, the right-hander finds himself at the second-highest level of minor-league competition.
. . .
The fast start and quick promotion are sure to remind many fans of Matt Garza, who was drafted in 2005 and was pitching for the Twins in 2006. Certainly, the two players have their similarities. Both were polished right-handed starters drafted in the first round out of college. Both possessed very good command. Both entered their first full seasons at the age of 22. And neither one spent a whole lot of time in Ft. Myers.
. . .
Much will depend on whether Gibson can keep whiffing batters at a solid rate while forcing tons of grounders at the next level. This will certainly be something worth keeping an eye on.
Gibson's great start (
Gibson is a prototypical Twins draftee, as he combines solid sinker-slider (and an improved changeup) stuff with fantastic command. He has walked 2.5 batters per nine so far this season, but should be capable of even better numbers than that down the road. But where the Twins have usually found success with flyball pitchers in the past — Baker, Slowey, Garza, etc. — Gibson promises to throw an arm into the Minnesota rotation capable of a 50% groundball rate. I say this with confidence both due to the scouting reports on the tilt he gets from a 6-6 frame, his command, and two starts this season

Ace's Miracle days over (Fort Meyers News-Press)
He struck out 40 batters and walked just 12 and tossed a one-hitter against Jupiter in late April.

"He's excited," said Miracle manager Jake Mauer. "I'm sure he is looking forward to the new challenge. He'll be facing some hitters that are older and more experienced up there."
Cats welcome Gibson (
“I’ve seen him just enough in spring training to state that he’s got an ideal frame (6-foot-5, 208 pounds), a very efficient mechanical delivery that he repeats and he throws a lot of strikes with three different pitches,” said Terry Ryan, the Twins former general manager presently in New Britain in his role as special adviser to current GM Bill Smith.

Ryan said Gibson was projected to go higher in the draft but his stock dropped when he sustained a stress fracture in his right forearm.

“He’s going to surface at Double-A, which bodes well for us and him,” Ryan said. “I think he’s one of those fast-track type pitchers. ‘Here it is, go ahead and try to hit it.’ But he locates pretty well.”
Gibson stays grounded in minors (Masters of War)
Even though I’m a White Sox fan, I’m really rooting for Gibson to make it to the majors quickly and have success when he does make it. I’ve covered the Missouri baseball team the last two seasons, and I can say without a doubt Kyle Gibson was the best interview I’ve had over the last two years.

Professional, mature, cordial, informative, knowledgeable, witty, pick an adjective. I always enjoyed Gibson starts not just because I got to see him pitch, but because it meant I had the pleasure of talking to him after the game. Heck, even when I didn’t do a story about Gibson, I still tried to interview him because he always had great things to say.

So here’s hoping Gibson makes it to the bigs quickly. I may be rooting for a division rival, but I’ll always root for Kyle Gibson.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

MU in the Minors

■ Twins pitching prospect Kyle Gibson (07-09) has been promoted to AA after destroying the FSL. 4-1, 1.87ERA, 43.1IP, 12BB, 40K for Ft. Myers (twitter, by way of RockMNation)
Gibson will be with the New Britain Rock Cats of the Eastern League.
Mobile's Roemer, Frey named pitcher, player of the month (
Mobile outfielder Evan Frey (05-08) and starting pitcher Wes Roemer had hot starts to the season and were recently recognized by the Arizona Diamondbacks as the organizational player and pitcher of the month.

Frey, in his second season with the BayBears, reached base at a solid .396 clip in the season's first month while pacing the BayBears with a .337 average. Among the team leaders in stolen bases, Frey swiped five bags in April while cracking four doubles and three triples.

Playing center and right fields, Frey, a former Missouri standout, went without an error in the first month and recorded two outfield assists.
Augusta's closer shuts the door (Augusta Chronicle)
The Suns hurt themselves later in the game when the GreenJackets attempted a double steal with Juan Martinez at first and Ryan Lollis (06-09) at second and one out in the bottom of the sixth.

After Evan Crawford struck out swinging, Suns catcher Adrian Neito fired toward second base for a potential inning-ending double play but instead threw the ball into center field to allow Lollis to score.

Martinez also scored when center fielder Eury Perez bobbled the ball for two runs on two errors in one play.

Sharlon Schoop and Lollis, who both turned in two-hit efforts, delivered back-to-back extra-base hits in the bottom of the seventh inning for the difference-making runs.

[Featured photo of Ryan Lollis]
Andrew Johnston (05) is putting up some impressive numbers with the Triple-A Colorado SpringsSky Sox bullpen:
10 Games, 11 IP, 3 BB, 6 SO, ERA of 0.00
Hudson hacks in 7-2 win (
LF Kyle Hudson had three hits, 3B Billy Rowell drove home three runs and starter Rick Zagone (06-08) picked up a well deserved first win as the Keys defeated Salem 7-2 on Monday night at Lewis-Gale Field.
. . .
Zagone worked through trouble retiring the clean-up hitter Will Middlebrooks with two-on and two-out in a 5-2 game in the fifth inning to write his name in the win column.
■ Contrary to reports during the off-season, Greg Folgia (07-09) is apparently NOT being used a catcher in the Cleveland Indians' minor league organization. His stats for 2010 show him primarily playing Left Field.

High Desert powers past Giants, 15-3 (
The Mavericks quickly jumped in front with four runs in the top of the second inning against King. Poythress led off with a double to the fence in center field before Scott Savastano was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Denny Almonte delivered an RBI single and then Trevor Coleman (07-09) ripped a double to deep left center field to bring home two more runs. After Diaz struck out, Kyle Saeger came through with a run-scoring double to make it 4-0.
. . .
High Desert kept the pressure on in the top of the sixth sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs on seven hits - including six runs before an out was recorded. Seager brought home the first run of the inning with an RBI double off of Odle before consecutive RBI singles from Colina and Tenbrink. Poythress then stepped to the plate and belted a three-run homer to right field off of Quinowski to extend the lead to 14-1. Then with two outs, Coleman came through with an RBI double to score the Mavericks' 15th and final run of the night.
■ Grizzlies catcher Buster Posey, infielder Brock Bond(06-07) and outfielder Joe Borchard also had superb weeks. (, 5/10)
Bond batted .406 (13-for-32) and is in the midst of a team-high 16-game on-base streak.
Hammerheads get extra help from bullpen in 12 inning win (
Daniel Pertusati grounded out to the right side of the infield, moving Ontiveros to third. That brought Hunter Mense (04-06) to the plate, looking to add to a night in which he had reached base with a double, a walk, and by being hit by a pitch. This time, Mense drove the ball through the hole on the left side, scoring Ontiveros and starting the celebration on the field.
Minor League Roundup: San Diego Padres (
Starting pitcher Nathan Culp (04-06) was hit hard in two starts, prompting a demotion to AA, where he has struggled in three more starts for a total ERA of over six.
■ The Stats page and the Transactions page at the Augusta Green Jackets website show Kyle Mach (06-09) has been moved on and off the GreenJackets roster and in and out of Extended Spring Training over the past month. He has managed to compile a .250 batting average in 8 AB with Augusta.

Monday in the Minors (Kansas City Star)
Aaron Crow (06-08) was roughed up Sunday to the tune of seven earned runs in five innings in a 9-0 loss at Tulsa.

Kevin Goldstein, who covers the minors for Baseball Prospectus, may have set some fans into a panic when he tweeted this Sunday:

“How does #Royals RHP Aaron Crow face 26 Double-A batters with that stuff and not strike one out? #hebafflesme”

Crow’s raw numbers aren’t outstanding. He has a 4.54 ERA in seven starts with 21 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings.

MU in the Independent Leagues
Erik Dessau (04-05) is on the roster of the Calgary Vipers of the Golden League

Justin James (02-03) is on the pitching for the Kansas City T-Bones of the Northern League

Andy Shipman (03) is on the roster of the Gary Southshore Rail Cats of the Northern League

MU in the Majors

Mathis delivers special gift on Mother's Day (
There was a moment in Sunday's game when Rangers reliever Doug Mathis (05) had to step off the mound and compose himself.

Maybe it was the pink bats that Royals hitters were using against him at home plate or just the whole Mother's Day atmosphere.

But when your mother calls you the day before and tells you she is cancer-free on the seventh anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer, well ...

"My mother has been through a lot," Mathis said. "This is the day where everybody wears pink so it was hard to get her off my mind,"
. . .
"It's always good to get a win in the big leagues but Mother's Day is special," Mathis said. "I'm always thinking of her but especially on days like today when we're wearing the pink ribbons and they're using the pink bats."

Jan Mathis was first diagnosed when Doug was a freshman in college back in 2003. The cancer stayed in remission for three years but then she had a flare-up during Spring Training in 2007. She went through another round of treatment and so far so good.

"She's completely healthy," Mathis said. "She beat it again. She called me [Saturday] and told me it's been seven years and she is healthy. That's great news."
Kinsler talks his way into the lineup (
Manager Ron Washington wanted to give Ian Kinsler (03) a day off on Wednesday. But Kinsler, who was activated off the disabled list on Friday, talked his way into the lineup.

"I just kept pushing back," Kinsler said. "He told me I was going to get the first day off in Oakland and I asked if we could push it back to [Wednesday]. He said yes. Last night I said could we talk about it and he said yes. We talked about it and I said I was fine."

Washington said he'll try to get Kinsler a game off in the upcoming homestand. The idea is to keep Kinsler fresh and healthy for the entire season. He missed the first four weeks of the season with a sprained right ankle.
Scherzer takes loss vs. Indians (
Max Scherzer (04-06) was handed a loss on Sunday after yielding five runs in five innings against the Indians.

Scherzer struck out four in the contest, but he also walked three, threw a wild pitch, and gave up nine hits. Three awful outings in a row have ballooned Scherzer's ERA to 6.81, and he can't be trusted in any format at the moment. Watch closely to see how he does against the Red Sox later in the week to determine if he should be left active for the following week's games.
MU in the Coaching ranks

Former River Dogs manager Torre Tyson mentioned (
Take a rare glimpse behind the curtain, inside a batting cage near Pujols' home outside St. Louis. Early on a January morning, he arrives with a quarter-size blister on his right hand, yet he pulls on a batting glove and begins hitting. After a few swings, his batting practice pitcher, Yankees Class-A manager Torre Tyson (95-98), who lives near St. Louis and whose father, Mike, played for the Cardinals, notices blood seeping through the glove. Pujols takes it off, wraps the hand in athletic tape and pulls on a new glove. Within a few swings, there is more blood.

It is not Tyson's job to offer opinions. His instructions are to throw the ball hard, down the middle, for as many swings as Pujols needs. He feeds Albert roughly 125 pitches every morning but Sunday. Tyson has been doing this for three winters, since he and Pujols met at the public facility, and the two have developed an easy familiarity. So after two blood-soaked batting gloves and a roll of athletic tape, Tyson speaks up. "Albert, you know you don't have to keep hitting," he says. "We can stop now."

Pujols fixes him with one of his more serious stares and replies, "You know what I'm going to say, don't you?" Tyson knows. It's the same thing Pujols says every time a teammate or Tyson suffers a minor injury or faces some other bit of unpleasantness. He says it when Tyson shows up at 7 in the morning and says his arm is hanging like a snapped branch, and he says it this time: "Would you play if it were the seventh game of the World Series?"

"But, Albert," Tyson continues, stretching the limits of his job description, "it's a Monday in January. It's not the seventh game of the World Series."

In response, Pujols pulls off the bloody batting glove and the bloody tape. He rewraps the hand, puts on another glove and gets back into the cage. Tyson shrugs and goes back to throwing, hard and down the middle.