Monday, April 23, 2012

HI NOTES: Sweep and other weekend clean up


Mizzou completes sweep of Kansas State with shutout (KBIA Sports Extra)
“I think they recognize that there’s still a lot of baseball to be played,” Jamieson said. “You can’t get it all back in one game or one weekend.”

Pitcher Brett Graves helped to get at least one back for the Tigers. The freshman allowed no runs in six and two-thirds innings.

Graves led the Tigers defense allowing four hits on 94 pitches. After struggling early, he settled in and took control from the mound.

“I was getting behind a couple guys, and I had to trust the defense,” Graves said. “As the game went on, I got more comfortable with the curveball and threw a couple of changeups.”
Missouri baseball team completes sweep of Kansas State (Columbia Missourian)
For the first time since early March, the Missouri baseball team has a definite No. 3 starting pitcher.

Since an injury to Eric Anderson's throwing arm on March 9, the Tigers have shuffled their Sunday starts between several pitchers, none of whom have proven to be a long-term solution.

On Sunday, freshman Brett Graves made his case in his third Big 12 Conference start by holding Kansas State scoreless over 6 2/3 innings. Behind his performance, the Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the Wildcats with a 7-0 win.

♦ Missouri completes sweep of Kansas State with 7-0 shutout (The Maneater)
“Just getting a sweep under our belts for the first time this season is huge,” junior right fielder Blake Brown said.

The sweep was the Tigers’ first in Big 12 play since they took three of three from Nebraska in 2010, a stat that came as a surprise to junior left fielder Dane Opel.

“It’s been a really long time, and it just feels good to put three consistent games together,” Opel said. “I feel like everyone on the team, one through nine, everyone on the mound, they all did their job.”

To cap off the series, Missouri put together what could perhaps be described as a complete team performance.

Mizzou Baseball Links (RockMNation)
Since I'm mourning close losses with the softball team, it makes sense to do the same here: Mizzou is 3-7 in games decided by two runs or less in conference play. Just a 5-5 record would have them alone in fourth place and, at 23-15, looking pretty good for an NCAA Tournament bid. Alas.
Mizzou baseball walks to victory against Kansas State (KBIA Sports Extra)
Jamieson stuck to a “one game at a time” mantra heading into Sunday’s series finale.

“It’s not so much the sweep. It’s just one more win in the win column. You’re 5-9 in the league. You’re trying to get closer to .500,” Jamieson said. “Every game you lose it’s two more games you got to win.”
A Champagne toast for Tigers (Columbia Tribune)
"The energy in the dugout was awesome," outfielder Blake Brown said. "It wasn't like we were out there getting blown away at the plate. We were putting the bat on the ball."
Tigers walk off in 4-3 victory over Kansas State (The Maneater)
Coach Tim Jamieson reiterated Champagne, saying the Missouri victory would not have been possible had it not been for the crowd’s involvement.

“They’ve got a freshman pitcher on the mound, nervous,” Jamieson said. “He had to step off because it was so loud. That’s something that we’ll hopefully continue to have. (The crowd) deserves as much credit as our players for that last run.”
♦ The double play


♦ Who Aaron Crow is and how the Royals are wasting him ( talks a lot about Crow's "speech" at Mizzou's First Pitch Celebration
Talking to Crow is like playing pinball with an unlimited amount of quarters. You rattle around on one topic, scoring points and laughs, not really knowing where you’re going, until for some reason the ball falls and misses the paddles completely. No worries though, you get another try. And another. He is The Dude minus the hair and beer belly, a vessel of nonchalantness. 
In between stories of life on the road, buddying up with first baseman Eric Hosmer and tweeting at starter Bruce Chen, Crow finally gets nostalgic. He stops for a second and takes a looks around. One of Missouri’s freshman catchers, who caught a Crow bullpen earlier in the day, walks up to him gleaming with pride. “It was an honor to catch you today,” he says. “Thanks man,” Crow responds. He’s still distracted, looking out into the Missouri night. “I used to live right there, man,” he says finally. “Right there. Urgh, what I’d do to be back here.”
. . .
Kansas City would be smart to make Crow the closer or throw him in the starting rotation. He’s a top young arm with three plus pitches, including a fastball that gets up to 98. Ned Yost called Crow a “bullpen guy” in March, telling, “He’s more valuable, more important to us on an everyday basis in the ‘pen.” It’s baffling to think why he would regulate such electric stuff to toil in the middle innings when Royal starters boasted a 4.82 ERA last year and are led by the softest-tossing lefty this side of Jamie Moyer. In the closer’s role Soria was so unreliable in 2011 that he lost his job temporarily. Broxton could barely lift his arm all summer.

The Royals are wasting Crow on match-ups and blowouts when they could be getting real value from their former first round pick. But hey, whatever they decide to do with him, I’m sure he won’t mind.

♦ Left on base: Despite efforts to bring baseball back to Syracuse, obstacles prevent real progress (Daily Orange)
When the Orange officially joins the Atlantic Coast Conference — right now set for the 2014-15 athletic season — it will be the only school in the 14-team league without a baseball program. Regardless of the ACC’s proud tradition and reputation as a national powerhouse on the diamond, though, SU will only be required by the ACC to field a football, men’s and women’s basketball, and either a women’s soccer or women’s volleyball team, an ACC spokeswoman said.
. . .
Syracuse University discontinued its baseball program in 1972. The school’s first interscholastic sport lasted 94 years before budgetary restrictions and a change in the academic calendar doomed America’s pastime at the university for the last 40 years.

Money and Title IX are among the main reasons baseball remains in Syracuse’s past. The cost to start a program that will likely lose money is too steep, and SU must keep an even balance of athletic scholarships for men and women. If the university adds a men’s sport, it would probably have to add a women’s sport. . .

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