Friday, April 15, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Kansas Jayhawks

■ The numbers (from, 4/14)

  • Record: MU 13-20 (1-7 Big 12); KU 16-17 (6-6)

  • Current RPI: MU 136th, KU 59th

  • Current ISR: MU159th, KU 89th

  • Strength of Schedule: MU 50th, KU 26th
There are still only 6 wins/losses separating the #1 teams in the Big 12 (Texas and Texas A&M, 9-3) and the #10 team (MU, 1-7), with 18 Big 12 games left to play for MU. Other than Texas A&M, MU's remaining opponents are 5th through 9th ranked teams. The Tigers reached 1-7 playing the current #1, #3 and #4 teams. ■ Baseball America Weekend Preview: Slumpin' (
"I'm not making any excuses: The bottom line is we're playing well enough to stay close, not well enough to win," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "The common denominator in those games is we've gotten good starting pitching, but absolutely no timely hitting. All those games we had either bases loaded or second-and-third situations late in the game, and all we needed was a hit, and we didn't get any hits. We just have not gotten that from this year's club.
Baseball turning the season around (
The Jayhawks’ youth and inexperience often led to underwhelming results when they first traveled away from their cozy nest at Hoglund Ballpark, going 3-10 on the road during the first two months of the season. But things have been different in April. Their slumping bats almost brought an end to the heartbeat of the Jayhawks’ season before it even began, and now, after being shocked by a defibrillator and brought back to life, the pulse of the lineup is beating stronger than ever. Senior outfield Jimmy Waters played a major role in the team’s turnaround. Waters has been on a roll since Big 12 play began, boasting the fifth best batting average in the conference at .378. “He is the heart and soul of the team,” Price said. “He made some really good adjustments about three weeks ago, and all of his hard work has paid off for him.”
Jayhawks break record for most hits and runs of the season (
The Jayhawks first hit in Tuesday evening’s game against Iowa flew over the left field fence, and junior first baseman Zac Elgie proceeded to take a lap around the bases. Elgie’s solo shot to leadoff the second inning gave Kansas a 1-0 lead to open the inning, and the Jayhawks ran away with the lead from there. The Kansas baseball team now sits just one game shy of .500, at 16-17, after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 12-4 in Iowa City. The 12-run, 13-hit performance marked the most runs and hits the Jayhawks have had in a game all season. . . . The win continues to add to the momentum that the Jayhawks have recently gathered in Big 12 play. Kansas has won three of the four Big 12 series they’ve played this season, and this win marks their second road victory of the season. The Jayhawks hope to take their added momentum to Columbia this weekend, when they take on rival Missouri. “The win sets up the weekend to be really special,” Price said. “It’s rivalry week, and it’s going to be a really exciting weekend in Columbia.”
Former SF Prep star thriving during his first season with Kansas (
In 14 appearances in relief this season, Frank Duncan has a team-best 1.19 ERA, only allowing three runs while striking out 23. This all coming from a guy who was largely overlooked by Division I schools. “It’s something that I never would have thought I would be doing, but here I am and I’m enjoying it,” Duncan said. “He’s been an impact guy for us as a freshman, which is really rare in our conference,” Kansas coach Ritch Price said. . . . “Coach Price took the chance on a small-school kid with 37 kids in his graduating class, which was another thing that I really liked,” Duncan said of his choice to attend Kansas. Duncan hasn’t let his new coach down. “When he got to our place in the fall, he was only throwing about 82 miles an hour,” Price said. “Now he’s throwing 88, touching 90 now, too. He’s made remarkable progress in one year.” Price sees Duncan as his go-to closer next year. He said if Duncan continues improving, he may break into the team’s starting rotation, a move that could force MLB to take notice. “I think he has a chance to make it to the big leagues if he continues his development,” Price said.
Tigers drop 8th straight (Columbia Tribune)
The base paths: Where Tigers go to die. . . . Since 2003, the Tigers have regularly ranked among the top half of the Big 12 in runs scored despite languishing in the bottom half in team average. The Tigers have totaled 150 runs this season, ranked ahead of only Kansas in the conference.
MU SOFTBALL Along with the baseball games and the Black & Gold Football game this weekend, be sure to wander across the Taylor Stadium "back yard" to University Field and join in on the excitement as MU Softball plays in front of the TV cameras. ■ Missouri softball enjoying sudden surge in popularity (Columbia Tribune)
Overflow crowds. ESPN cameras. Gary Pinkel throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Are college softball games officially becoming an event in Columbia? As No. 9 Missouri prepares for one of its biggest home series in history this weekend against preseason Big 12 favorite Oklahoma, the local — and national — spotlight has again gravitated to University Field.

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