Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Game Day: Meet me in St. Louis

Let's try this post again, this time with actual information . . .

Mizzou vs. Illinois, 6:30 PM at Busch Stadium.  Ticket details HERE

♦ I'm guessing the headline writer didn't read the actual article very carefully: Missouri baseball game at Busch Stadium to prepare team for SEC (Columbia Missourian)
For its game against Illinois on Wednesday night, the Missouri baseball team will leave the familiar confines of Taylor Stadium to play at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As it prepares for its jump to the Southeastern Conference next year, Missouri will need to get used to playing in larger stadiums.
. . .
"It's not the stadiums, it's the people in the stadiums," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "I think it'll be interesting."
. . .
"We've played in that atmosphere, we just don't play in it every weekend like I think we're going to do in the SEC," he said. "If we have the right mentality, it should be a whole lot of fun."

♦ Illinois is 18-12 on the season, 3-3 in the Big 10.

♦ Illinois' team batting average is an impressive .306; their team ERA 4.93.

♦ Illinois' losses have come to some pretty good teams:  Notre Dame, Louisville, Gonzaga, Coastal Carolina, Oregon State; but also to some more middle of the pack teams:  Northern Illinois, Nebraska, Bradley, Indiana.

♦ Illinois is just 2-2 in mid-week games.  Those two losses were by the scores of 16-7 and 12-3, so apparently their midweek pitching isn't deep.

♦ Illinois played and won a game yesterday against Eastern Illinois, so they'll be 5-deep into their starting pitching staff, as will the Tigers.  Illinois is unlikely to do a switch-up and throw one of their weekend starters against MU, because their upcoming weekend series is against Purdue, this year's Big 10 leader.

Illini hit record five triples in victory (
Willie Argo was a part of Illinois baseball history once again Friday, and this time it had nothing to do with swiping a base.

Three days after setting an Illini record for career stolen bases, the senior center fielder put his speed to use in legging out two triples during a 15-6 home-opening victory against Mississippi Valley State at Illinois Field.

So did fleet-footed Thomas Lindauer, whose second triple of the game during an eight-run fifth inning was the Illini's fifth three-bagger against the Delta Devils. That total broke the previous Illinois Field single-game record of four, which before Friday had been achieved twice previously at the 25-year-old facility.

"Any time you break a record, it's pretty cool," Argo said. "Great to be a part of it. I guess it's happened to me a lot lately."

The Davenport, Iowa, native was referring, of course, to his historic 84th career steal Tuesday at Illinois State, which broke a program record that had stood for 30 years.
♦ Two Illini were named Big 10 Pitcher and Freshman of the Week for their performance against Indiana this past weekend.
Illinois junior Matt Milroy was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week and redshirt-freshman second baseman/pitcher Reid Roper was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week for their performances in the Illini's series victory over Indiana this weekend, the conference office announced Monday.

Milroy struck out a career-high 10 in five innings of scoreless relief on Sunday, while Roper hit .455 in the series. It is the first career weekly honor for both players, Illinois' second Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award this season and the team's third Freshman of the Week honor in 2012. Milroy shares the honor with Purdue's Joe Haase, while Roper shares his honor with Ohio State's Patrick Porter. Iowa's Phil Keppler was named Big Ten Player of the Week.

Milroy was phenomenal in lifting the Illini to the series victory on Sunday, striking out 10 of the 21 Hoosiers he faced over five innings of relief, the most strikeouts by a single pitcher at Illinois Field since 2004. He struck out the side in both the third and sixth innings, and fanned five straight Indiana hitters across the fifth and sixth. He gave up just one hit to a right-handed batter (1-for-8) and allowed the Hoosiers to hit only .176 against him. He didn't allow a hit with two outs (0-for-5) and only gave up one hit with men on base (1-for-10).

Roper has heated up recently, hitting .455 (5-for-11) during the Indiana series and adding a 2-for-4 effort against Bradley on April 3 to hit .467 on the week. He drove in three runs and scored twice over the course of the week, and added a double and a triple for a .667 slugging percentage. He recorded three multiple-hit games and pitched a perfect ninth inning on Sunday to seal the Illini series victory. He also was clutch, going 3-for-4 with runners and scoring position and 3-for-4 with two outs over the weekend.

Missouri baseball snaps losing streak against Arkansas-Little Rock (Columbia Missourian)
Missouri shortstop Eric Garcia said the successful rally was a result of a number of factors coming together.

"We just got to the next person," he said. "We got pitches to hit, we took advantage of it. We got walks in key situations. We just all came together and kind of just believed in the next guy."

Missouri baseball gets back on track, tops Arkansas-Little Rock 10-5 (The Maneater)
Senior third baseman Conner Mach said the team brought an extra level of energy to this contest.

“We’ve been beat by teams like this before where we come out flat and we don’t have enough energy," Mach said. "That was something we talked about before the game. If we just played good fundamental baseball and have some good at bats at the plate then it was more than likely a game we could win.”

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