♦ New Masked Rider Takes First Ride Friday (TexasTech.com)
Prior to the start of the Texas Tech and Missouri Big 12 baseball series this weekend, there will be a special ceremony for the annual "transfer of the reins" for new Masked Rider Ashley Wenzel on Friday, April 27 at 6:15 p.m. at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The ceremony will begin at 6:15 p.m. with Ashley's first ride scheduled at 6:25 p.m. Bradley Skinner, the Masked Rider for the 2011-12 year, will be transferring the reins to Ashley, who will take her first ride aboard Midnight Matador.
Wenzel, daughter of Gary and Theresa Wenzel, accepted the reins to Midnight Matador on Friday, April 20, becoming the 51st Texas Tech student to don the mascot mask and cape.
♦ Red Raiders in desperate need of wins (redraiders.com)
It’s in league games where the Red Raiders have struggled the most, hitting just .238 with a Big 12-worst 45 runs scored.
Missouri, however, has struggled on the mound when away from the friendly confines of Taylor Stadium. The Tigers are giving up more than six runs per game in road conference games and are just 1-5 in those games.
Starting pitchers Rob Zastryzny, Blake Holvach and Brett Graves have combined to allow 23 earned runs (24 total) on 38 hits over 271/3 innings in six Big 12 road games against Texas A&M and Oklahoma, which equates to a 7.67 ERA.
♦ Tech takes on Mizzou for final time in conference play (Daily Toreador)
von Schamann — who was recently added to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List — will, once again, be making a Saturday start after Spencer shook up the starting lineup a bit. He ranks second in the Big 12 with a 1.84 ERA, and first among starters, as the only person above him is Texas reliever Corey Knebel who has a 1.27 ERA.
Two Tech players who started out the season in the bullpen will round out the starting rotation for Tech, as John Neely will make the Friday start and Trey Masek will be on the bump Sunday.
With the season about to wrap up, von Schamann said he still thinks the team has what it takes to compete and get into the postseason.
“I mean coming down to the end of the year, this is pretty much as big as it gets,” he said, “you know, we need everyone we can get. I know we’ve got a lot of talent on this team, and we’re still hoping to do something in the postseason, so these games are really, really big for us and everyone knows that.”
♦ Missouri infielder works through injury setback after earning starting spot (Columbia Missourian)
McGraw partially tore a ligament in his left thumb during practice April 19, one day before the Tigers opened a three-game series against Kansas State.
He had just locked up the first base starting job after coach Tim Jamieson's first three choices for the position failed to produce offensively.
The Newman, Ga., native grew into the role quickly. In his seven games at first base, McGraw hit .370 with six RBIs. Now, he will be in a cast for two weeks before moving forward with rehab.
. . .
Next year, McGraw could potentially take over third base, a position currently handled by senior Conner Mach. In the meantime, he has worked with his teammates to adapt to the other side of the diamond.
MU IN THE MINORS
♦ Gibson could return in august (Greenfield Reporter)
Greenfield-Central graduate and Minnesota Twins minor league pitcher Kyle Gibson could return to the mound in game action as early as August, he told the Daily Reporter Thursday.
Gibson, the Twins’ 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, underwent Tommy John surgery September 7 of last year to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow after being put on the disabled list at Triple-A Rochester (N.Y.).
“I am throwing from back at 120 feet and I feel great,” Gibson said of his current rehabilitation. “I’ll throw off a mound for the first time June 5 and the plan is to (return to the mound in a game) in August.”
Gibson, 24, isn’t sure with which level of the minor league system he’ll begin his return to game action.
♦ Pelicans use big fourth inning to beat Keys (scnow.com)
The fourth inning offense was all Pelicans starter Nick Tepesch needed, firing his first quality start and earning his first win of 2012. Tepesch struggled in the first, matching his previous season total with two walks. He coasted after that, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts.