♦ Big 12 Player of the Week (big12sports.com)
Opel hit .500 (6-for-12) with four RBI, two home runs,12 total bases and a pair of runs as Mizzou won its season-opening series at Auburn over the weekend. The junior opened the series by posting two hits in four at-bats on Friday. He followed that performance by going 3-for-4 with four RBI and two home runs in a 6-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday. With the pair of home runs, he became the first Tiger since Eric Garcia to hit two long balls in a game (March 30, 2010). Opel also drove in four runs in the contest, scored twice and drew a walk, reaching base safely in four of his five plate appearances. He closed out his weekend with a base knock in MU's 5-4 win in game two.
POLLS & RANKINGS
♦ Mizzou is ranked 43rd in the Perfect Game Top 25
♦ Mizzou gets a mention in ESPN.com's Weekend Wrap-up/Rankings:
Biggest disappointment: State of AlabamaMIZZOUTUBE
Not only did Alabama lose all three games at home to Florida Atlantic (more on that below), but future SEC member Missouri took two of three games at Auburn . . .
♦ Tim Jamieson is on the Mizzou Network , talking about the Tigers' series win against Auburn.
- "We won 2 out of 3 at an SEC school and we played far from out best baseball, so there's room for improvement."
- "The University of San Francisco has a #1 pitcher who's going to be a first round pick in the draft."
♦ Whole new ballgame (Charleston Gazette)
On Monday, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck visited Charleston, home to one of the nation's finest small baseball parks.♦ WVU wants to use tax increment plan for new baseball stadium (Charleston Daily Mail)
And he revealed he's working on getting one of those parks for WVU and Morgantown.
"We have a number of challenges [moving to the Big 12]," Luck told a rather large Rotary Club of Charleston gathering. "There are some very good sports in the Big 12 and one of the sports we have to massively upgrade is baseball.
"We've had a relatively modest record of success with our baseball program. I don't need to tell baseball fans how good Big 12 baseball is. We have to massively upgrade our baseball program and that includes our infrastructure."
Hawley Field currently seats about 1,500 people. The field also does not have locker rooms and the visiting teams typically have to suit up at the hotel, Luck said. This is not the first impression Mountaineers are hoping to make on Big 12 baseball teams visiting the Mountain State for the first time, he said.SOUTHERN EXPOSURE
Therefore, the developer of the property is hoping to raise funds through the creation of both a sales tax increment financing district set up at the University Town Center complex and a property tax increment financing district, said Jason Donahue, owner of FEOH Reality.
♦ Nine Innings: Gators and Titans (sebaseball.rivals.com)
Folks, Friday evening the Florida fans did their baseball program proud. They drew 5,336 decked in blue and orange - and unlike other large crowds that were packed with fans from nearby opponents or football rivals, this was all Gators. While the crowds dwindled as the weekend continued, Florida drew a respectable three-day attendance of 14,389.
Fans in Columbia, Fayetteville, or Baton Rouge may scoff, but the number one ranked Gators finally had a crowd worthy of a top-ranked club.
There is a baseball buzz in Gainesville this Spring. Many long-time observers say they have not seen anything similar. Maybe it was last season's postseason run or all the preseason pub. Others deadpanned it was all the money the fans saved ignoring a football bowl trip.