Friday, March 25, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Home Game

Mizzou opened its Big 12 season with a hastily convened double-header on Friday afternoon-evening-into-night. The abrupt schedule change did not affect my plans in the least, since I've been stranded at home feeling sick since getting back from Wednesday's game.

The Physics of Baseball are driven by several unchangeable principles. Two that came into play tonight:

  • The best games take place when you're stuck at home
  • The likelihood of extra innings increases in direct proportion to the lousiness of the weather.
The first game was a great one - except for the errors. But the second game had everything a true fan could want. Great pitching on both sides, extra innings, cliff-hanger innings.

Listening to the game while sick at home reminded me of an Easter weekend game back in the mid-90s when MU and Okie State traded win-blown homeruns for a long 9 innings, the Tigers winning mostly because they got to hit last. The final score was something like 25-23. It killed me to not be there.

I remember, though, hearing over the radio, in the background behind Tex Little, the clear and loud voice of Larry Wyatt, stirring up the fans and the team.

On this Friday night, it was the other Okies at Simmons Field, but I could still hear Larry yelling over the radio. It's about time, if you ask me. The Superfan (he hates that title) has been a bit subdued so far this season. I'm glad he was there tonight to get his competitive juices flowing.

Sitting at home also afforded me the opportunity to listen to the duo of Tex Little and Hunter Mense describing the game. I chuckled when Tex referred to Kevin Seitzer coming up to bat and later announcing that OU head coach Larry Cochell was heading to the mound. I can almost hear Hunter forcing himself not to laugh whenever he corrects Tex, thus fulfilling the most important task of every color guy who has ever shared the booth with Tex.

By the way, have you noticed that Tex is doing a great job of pronouncing Zastryzny, but stumbles more often over the seemingly simple Stites? Gotta love him.

The Tex-and-Hunter show is a real treat. Tex's down-home enthusiastic play-by-play is perfectly accompanied by Hunter's laid back delivery and knowledge of the players, the coaches and the game of baseball.

Oh, and the Tigers won the 2nd game, 2-1, over the Sooners who were #2 in the nation just a couple of weeks ago. Tiger Baseball fans will remember this weekend not just for the absurdity of yet another snowstorm this winter (excuse me, it's SPRING!), but for the way this team battled the weather, battled their fears and battled the Sooners for 20 innings and came away with a win that will surely be a pivotal point of the 2011 season.

There's no game Saturday, due to the impending 30-inch blizzard. But the Tigers and "Broken Schooners" (Larry's pet name for OU) will be back at it on Sunday, in a game scheduled to be broadcast on the Mizzou Sports Network. Chris Gervino and Gene McArtor will have the call of the game on TV.

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