Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mizzou Baseball Diaspora: B²

D-Braves' Brown relaxes at the plate, cuts down on strikeouts (
The outfielder had to change something and it was something as simple as beginning to relax at the plate instead of pressing to impress his new team.

In the past two games, Brown cut down on his strikeouts and hit in second home run of the season in the Braves’ 5-2 loss Thursday at Greeneville.

“For some people they’re not power hitters, some people aren’t speed guys; for me, it’s just trying to hit the ball hard and after that, I can’t control what happens,” Brown said prior to Wednesday’s home game. “I’m not trying to do too much with the ball, not trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark, just trying to hit gaps and hit hard line drives.”

Farewell Big 12. Farewell Kansas. Thanks for all the laughs.

♦ Click and read. Whatever you were doing will wait. Go ahead click Lessons in Hate: Kansas edition. With special guest ZouDave from Rock M Nation (
The people of the university claim they are "Harvard on the Kaw" (the Kaw being a river in the area). I...don't think they have much in common with Harvard, other than they claim their school colors are "crimson and blue". Just because you call it "crimson" doesn't make it not "red", you pretentious jerks.

Plus, it just smells bad over there.
The Big 12 Is Better Without Missouri And Texas A&M (
Seeing West Virginia and TCU on the schedule this fall first struck me as a novelty. Now I believe we may have created a monster. This isn’t going to be business as usual in the Big XII. An in depth examination of past performance points towards a clear prediction of the future: WVU and TCU are going to be a lot harder to beat in football than Mizzou and A&M were.

Our new teams are good, with a long history of success on the national stage and winning conference championships. Thank you to Missouri and A&M for stepping aside to make room at the table for two historic winners. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun season.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mizzou Diaspora: On the move

INF Michael Liberto joins Naturals (
The Naturals' parent club, the Kansas City Royals announced several transactions on Wednesday affecting the Northwest Arkansas roster. Infielder Michael Liberto has been transferred to the Naturals from the Blue Rocks. . . . Liberto appeared in six games this season for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The native of Harahan, Louisiana hit .286 (4-for-14) in those contests and scored a run. He split the 2011 season between Rookie level Idaho Falls, Class-A Kane County and Wilmington. The infielder appeared in 55 games hitting .301 while driving in 13 runs. Liberto was originally a 21st round pick by the Royals in the 2010 draft out of the University of Missouri. . . . Liberto will wear number 24 for the Naturals. The Naturals roster is now at the Texas League's limit of 25 players. The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale.
Ian Kinsler takes unusual trip around bases (
One of the most unusual sequences was Ian Kinsler's trip around the bases in the eighth inning that produced an insurance run after the Tigers had scored four in the top of the inning to pull within 11-9.

Mizzou Baseball 2012: Big 12 Champions

Big 12 Tournament Champions

Ben Turner and Blake Brown

2012 Seniors
LHP Rob Zastryzny
Head Coach Tim Jamieson

2 Days

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mizzou Baseball Diaspora

Mike McGraw has left the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League and is returning to CoMo.  Apparently his short stint in summer ball was aggravating the hand injury that limited his playing time in the 2012 season and the doctors are recommending he rest it rather than play more ball this summer. has their first Mizzou Baseball Summer Update: Week 1 Highlights:
Dillon Everett (San Diego Force, Western Baseball Association)

Everett has developed a reputation for great defensive play with Mizzou, but he has shined at the plate so far in San Diego. The second baseman is batting .318 with seven RBI and four runs scored in seven appearances. Everett also has a stolen base and claims a .718 OPS.

Sal Belfonte (San Diego Force, Western Baseball Association)

Belfonte has racked up an impressive .350 batting average through seven appearances, and he has scored nine runs for the Force. He has one RBI and has an on base percentage of .538. He is a perfect 4-for-4 in steal attempts on the season.

Amaro Working To Sign Draft Picks (PhillySports24x7)
Alec Rash is the only draft pick that the Phillies are yet to reach terms with and the sooner they do the better. The 6-5 righty has a blazing fastball that topped out at 95 this spring and a sharp breaking ball to go along with it.

He is committed to play college ball at Missouri and was a second Team All-American this past season. Rash inched his way up the rankings as his season edged further and was under a lot of attention as the draft neared. He was the final selection of the 2nd round and the 95th overall pick.

His electric fastball has scouts in awe and he should continue to develop into a great starting pitcher. Through his senior year Rash has two wins with an ERA under .93.

With two power pitches already fooling batters, the Phillies need to sign Rash before every other general manager realizes how much potential the Iowa hurler has.
♦ From the Baseball America Draft Database, 8 AM 6/28:

  • Alec Rash was the 95th overall selection in the 2012 Draft
  • Slottted Bonus Pool Amt: $500,000
  • Pool Limit (the amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick): $693,100
  • Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty (The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks): $934,028

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heavy-hearted Scherzer discusses brother's death

♦ Be sure to take a moment and read Heavy-hearted Scherzer discusses brother's death (
The statement Max Scherzer read about his late brother, Alex Scherzer, on Tuesday seemed almost as difficult for him to get through as the pitching performance he made last Saturday, two days after his brother passed away.

In both cases, he felt like it was something he had to do, no matter how agonizing it was. In the case of the statement, he had a little bit of time to put down his thoughts, which he wanted to do before making a public comment.

Tim Jamieson talks Stadium Upgrade

Mizzou Network has a video interview with Coach Tim Jamieson about the expansion plans.  Check out the video  . . . and check out Tim Jamieson's personal renovation in preparation for the SEC, growing what appears to be a Colonel Sanders beard and mustache.

Mizzou Baseball 1979: Big 8 Champions

Coach Gene McArtor

Tom Heckman
Phil Bradley
MU Pitcher Ron Mathis

MU Pitcher Steve Southerland
Photos from Savitar and from MU Baseball Media Guides

4 Days

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Taylor Stadium renovation pics

Artist's sketch of planned Taylor Stadium renovations

Master Plan for Sports Parks at Mizzou renovations

Facilities Improvement Plan for Baseball

♦ The Columbia Tribune reports on MU facility improvements specified in document
The University of Missouri will request approval of $72 million worth of athletic facility improvements at tomorrow's meeting of the UM Board of Curators in Columbia.

The article includes a link to the actual MU Facility Improvement document. Here are the sections of that document speaking directly about Taylor Stadium renovations:
The University of Missouri-Columbia requests approval of Bond Financed Intercollegiate Athletics Projects totaling $72 million and Architect Selection for the Memorial Stadium East Side Addition and the West Side Press Box Renovation. The $72 million in debt financing will fund the Memorial Stadium Est Side Addition, the Memorial Stadium West Side Press Box Renovation and six small projects and are described below in three sections.
. . .
Section 3 of the Document: There are six other projects, each less than $5 million project cost funded by the remaining $16,175in revenue bonds:

Taylor Stadium Renovation will include the addition of team lockers-players' lounge, toilets-showers-sinks, additional storage and three coaches' offices to the McArtor Baseball Facility. Spectator field boxes are planned to be added along the third base line.

Trrip Note:  I don't see anything in that document about my personal renovation priority: replacing the saggy collection of torn and dilapidated black fishnet that has served as the backstop since the stadium was built. There are places that are not safe to sit because of the condition of the net.

Mizzou Diaspora: Pitchers & Catchers Report

Tepesch shines in first two double-A starts (Columbia Tribune)
With his bullpen depleted at the time, that showing was exactly what Frisco Manager Steve Buechele needed from his newest starter. It was also what he expected after hearing rave reviews about how well Tepesch had pitched in the Carolina League before his promotion.

"He's lived up to everything that I've heard. He pitched a game for us in Midland when we needed innings, got us into the eighth inning and pretty much dominated the game," Buechele said. "He's come as advertised. He's a great kid, fits in well with the guys. He's a hard worker. I do know that. He's certainly well thought of and has a great future."

Tepesch excelling in Double-A stint (
Tepesch allowed just two runs in seven innings that night and left with the score tied at 2-all in his first start as a RoughRider.

“When I left the game,” Tepesch said, “I was watching the game on the locker room TV, doing my normal postgame routine, when I found out that if we win, we’d clinch the first-half championship.”

Missouri pitchers hone craft in collegiate league (Columbia Tribune)
John Miles is the most experienced of the Tigers trio, having pitched 491/3 innings in his first collegiate season. But after a couple strong late-season starts, Miles' innings dissipated down the stretch. Platts worked just seven innings, while Thomas pitched one. So for all of them, getting work is essential.

"Just getting innings for me right now is big — a big confidence-booster," said Thomas, who is sporting a 4.10 ERA through 132/3 innings in Sedalia. "Intersquad only does so much. Bullpen only does so much. Game situation, base runners, competitive adrenaline pumping, that's what pitching's about."
Also some good ink in that article about former MU pitcher Brian Carr.

P Gerrion Grim, sr., Fort Zumwalt South (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
The Gateway North Conference player of the year, Gerrion Grim was a two-way threat — on the mound and at the plate — for the district champion Bulldogs. The Mizzou signee had a hard-luck 3-5 record with two saves and a 2.90 ERA in 72 1/3 innings over 13 appearances (11 starts). He struck out 94, walked 46 and held opponents to a .219 average. He hit .423 with four home runs, 33 RBI, 26 runs and .529 OBP.
Westerners rally for win in 11th inning (
Catcher Jake Ivory provided the earlier heroics by launching a game-tying home run well over the left-center field fence in the ninth inning, paving the way for Danbury's third win in its last four games.

"Ivory hitting that two-run homer was huge for us," Shevchik said. "Up to that point, the crowd was stale, the bench was stale. It was almost like we were in cruise control, and he put a spark up and got these guys going ... It's exactly what we needed at the perfect time."

>The MLB Academy Barons scored four runs in the fourth inning and made it stand up in a 4-3 win over the San Luis Obispo Blues at SLO Stadium.

Trey Porter was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, and Patrick Quintanilla was 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Blues (15-6, 10-4 California Collegiate League).

Pelicans' bats come alive in win over Hillcats (
So it was a refreshing change Sunday for Pelicans pitcher Randol Rojas to be able to throw with a lead. His offensive provided the boost, scoring four times in the first inning of a 5-1 victory over the Hillcats at City Stadium. Catcher Brett Nicholas chipped in with a big blow, a three-run home run to gave the Pelicans a 4-0 lead.

“It was a great feeling,” Nicholas said. “The starting staff has done an unbelievable job for us all year. We just knew coming into the second half, we were going to have to make adjustments offensively. We’ve started to. Lynchburg’s a great team. Luckily, we were able to get a couple of runs early and take the wind out of their sails.”

♦ A great piece by Bernie Miklasz -- you'll want to click the link and read the whole article:

Scherzer shows uncommon courage (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
Some background: I don't know Max well, but for more than a decade I've exchanged emails with his father, Brad. I always enjoy hearing from Brad Scherzer, who is a kind, thoughtful and intelligent man.

Through the many emails, Brad never once bragged about Max, never talked him up. Obviously Brad and wife Jan are very proud of Max, as they should be. But Mr. Scherzer is such a dignified gentleman, he doesn't have it in him to boast of his son's pitching accomplishments. So in our emails, we'd talk baseball — but rarely did we talk about Max.

Because of Brad, my email buddy, I discard all pretense of objectivity when Max pitches. I'm an unabashed fan on those days. Saturday, I don't think I've ever rooted for an athlete harder than I rooted for Max.

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Mizzou Recruit: OF/IF Logan Pearson

Logan Pearson
Logan Pearson, OF/IF
5'11", 185 lb, L/R
Crowder College / Benton, AR

2012 Stats: .313 BA, 217 AB,47 R, 41 RBI,  68 H, 19 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 34 BB, 2 HBP, 2 SF, .408 OBP, 14/18 SB

2011 Stats: .459 BA, 61 G, 62B, 6 3B, 7 HR, 36 R, 36 RBI

♦ Pearson is playing summer ball with the Sedalia Bombers of the MINK League, along with current Missouri Tigers John Miles, Brandon Platts, Brett Thomas, and former Tiger Brian Carr.

Pearson Powers Tigers (, 4/9/11)
Logan Pearson found a little extra pop in his bat Friday night, and the rest of Bentonville’s baseball team followed suit.
Status Update – Logan Pearson (
My biggest skill to offer would be my versatility. I’m confident in my glove and strong arm at whatever position I play and feel like I can hit wherever in the lineup and come in with clutch hits.

Mizzou Baseball 1964: Big 8 Champs, Best pitching staff ever

1964 Tigers

Dennis Musgrave, Keith Weber, Jack Stroud and Jim Nelson
led the 1964 pitching staff that set an NCAA record
with a team ERA of 0.65, which still stands today

John Sevcik

Gary Woods
1964 Tigers

Photos from the Savitar

6 Days

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Will Alec Rash be a Missouri Tiger?

Me and the family at the Twins Phillies game
(@alecrash19 on twitter, 6/14)
Alec Rash, a RHP from Adel, IA, signed a National Letter of Intent to be a Missouri Tiger back in November of 2011.

On June 5th of 2012 Rash was drafted late in the 2nd round by the Philadelphia Phillies.  That was about 20 days ago.  There are about 20 days left until the signing deadline, July 13th.

The question remains unanswered:  Will Alec Rash spend the next 3 or 4 years playing for Mizzou in the SEC?  Or will he begin his professional career this summer playing for the Williamsport Crosscutters in the New York-Penn League?

According to the Baseball America Draft Database, the Phillies have signed 14 of their top 16 draft picks, and are $218,100 under budget.

Under the new bonus slotting rules, if a player in the top 10 rounds is signed for more than 5% above the assigned slot, the team starts paying penalties and loses future draft picks.

Alec Rash, as the 95th overall pick, is slotted for a $500,000 bonus.  Not chump change, to be sure, but possibly not as much as a player who had been projected as a possible 1st round pick (with a $940,200 slot), had been hoping for.  However, even though the Phillies have an extra $218,100 to play with, if they exceed a bonus of $525,000, the penalties start kicking in.

According to Phillies blogger @Free_AEC on Twitter:
Jim Callis [of Baseball America] says #Phillies won't pay Alec #Rash even though they have the money available. David #Montgomery wants to be Selig's boy.
Translated, that means the Phillies ownership is fairly conservative and don't want to buck the new system and make MLB Comissioner and the other MLB owners mad by stepping too far out of the slot for an unproven 18-year-old draft pick.

That's the theory, anyway.

We all sit and wait.  And we wish Alec Rash all the best, no matter which direction he chooses to go.

But he'd look a lot better in the new Nike MU Baseball unis than in those Phillies pinstripes.  Just sayin'.

Memorial details for Alex Scherzer

Memoriam page for Alex Scherzer and Guest Book (Schrader Funeral Home)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sad news for the Mizzou Baseball family

Our prayers go out to the Scherzer family upon learning of the death of Alex Scherzer this week.

Heavy-hearted Max Scherzer pitches well two days after brother's death
How he pushed through the day, much less endured a baseball game, was known only to Max Scherzer.

But he pitched Saturday at PNC Park, and pitched well, two days after his brother, Alex, died.

Scherzer technically was the loser in a 4-1 Pirates victory over the Tigers as 38,734 watched, most of them unaware Detroit's man on the mound was dealing with personal grief on an extraordinary level.

"It's a situation where I don't think anyone can understand it unless you've gone through it," said Tigers catcher Alex Avila, aware of how close Scherzer was to his younger brother, 24, who died from causes not officially disclosed.

Alex Scherzer had a degree in economics, as well as a masters in business administration, each from the University of Missouri. He worked for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Much in the fashion of his brother, a business finance major broker when Max was at Missouri, Alex was known as a statistics wizard.

Max Scherzer returns to pitch for Tigers after his brother's death (Detroit News)

Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila on Max Scherzer: 'He definitely is one of the toughest guys I know' (

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mizzou Baseball 1954: Big 7 Champs, National Champs

Bob Schoonmaker holds the ball
that won the Big 7 Championship
Coach Hi Simmons
1954 Team

Mizzou Baseball at Rollins Field
Norm Stewart

Hi Simmons and Dick Dickinson
with the Championship trophy
John Hi Simmons wins the 1954
NCAA Baseball Coach of the Year

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mizzou Diaspora: Ruthian Blast, Grinding, Summerball

Danville Starts Season Off Right, Wins 7-5 (
After going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, RF Blake Brown, the highest selection assigned to Danville (5th round, 179 overall), sent an eighth-inning Ruthian Blast over the left field wall. The bottom part of the Danville batting order was very productive. De Santiago, Marte, and Garcia combined for 6 of the teams 10 hits.
Mike Liberto had a good day off the bench for the Wilmington Blue Sox

♦ Former Tiger second baseman Torre Tyson, now Defensive Coordinator for the Yankke's farm system, talks about a hot prospect in Post and Courier.

Ian Kinsler had two hits and went 4 for 9 the last two games after an 0-for-14 stretch. He began the day hitting .227 in his previous 18 games.

"You have to keep grinding, keep putting the pressure on them and something good happens," Washington said. "Today it was Kinsler. You just have to keep grinding." (TSN)

Max Scherzer fans 12 Rockies over 8 dominant innings (ESPN)
Scherzer (6-4) fanned every Rockies starter other than Marco Scutaro in his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season. He gave up seven hits and didn't walk a batter while throwing 122 pitches.

"He really overmatched them, to be honest," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He attacked the strike zone with outstanding stuff. He was throwing 97-98 (mph) with a good slider, changeup and command of the strike zone."

♦ Summerfeld in Summerball


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mizzou Baseball shines in Academic Progress Rate among SEC baseball programs

The NCAA has released the Academic Progress Rates for the 2010-2011 season, and numbers are looking generally good, according to Most Division I teams deliver top grades (

There's an APR search tool HERE that lets you see the progress for any school or conference in any specific sport. MU Baseball continues to improve, going from a 941 APR in the 2004-2005 school year and steadily rising to a 987 APR in 2010-2011. And you can also compare MU Baseball to all the baseball programs in the SEC. Here are the APRs for 2010-2011 for the SEC schools (plus A&M and MU):

  • 996 Vanderbilt
  • 987 LSU
  • 987 Missouri
  • 980 Alabama
  • 971 Texas A&M
  • 976 Ole Miss
  • 975 Florida
  • 975 Kentucky
  • 972 Arkansas
  • 955 Georgia
  • 953 Mississippi State
  • 953 South Carolina
  • 943 Auburn
  • 943 Tennessee
A hearty Tip of the Cap to the Mizzou Total Person Program and to the scholar-athletes of Mizzou Baseball.

2012 Mizzou Recruit: C Eric Kroupa

C Eric Kroupa
Eric Kroupa, C
6'0", 180 lb, L/R
Parkway South HS, StL

@EricKroupa profile info on Twitter:
psouth alum, Mizzou baseball player and pre-journalism major..

2012: .461 BA, 76 AB, 35 H, 10 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 26 R, 20 RBI, 14 BB, 45 TB, .592 SLG, .564 OBP, 4 HBP, 0/0 SB

2011: .353 BA, .511 OBP, .382 SLG, 34 AB, 10 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 3 SB

Perfect Game profile (subscribers)

Mizzou Baseball 1942: Big 6 Champions

Coach Hi Simmons
1942 Tigers

Frank Graham, Hi Simmons, Bill Spencer

Buck Nevins, OF

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mizzou Diaspora: Hunting , Coaching, Chasing the Dream

♦ The following link has some great info about a Mizzou signee. But I've learned that Paxton Delagarza will apparently NOT be coming to Mizzou in the fall. He will instead be going the JuCo route, heading to Weatherford College.
“Paxton De La Garza is one of the best infielders I’ve ever had,” Hix said. “He makes plays that help his team win defensively as well as offensively.”
♦ I'm scratching my head at this headline, but T-Bones sign former Oakland A’s prospect (
The Kansas City T-Bones have announced the signing of Hunter Mense, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound outfielder from Liberty, Mo.

The Florida Marlins drafted Mense in the 17th round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Missouri. He played for three of the organization’s teams between 2006 and 2009, advancing from A- ball to A+ as he played a season with Jamestown, two seasons with Greensboro and one with Jupiter.

In 2010 Mense played for four different teams. His only stint in independent baseball came at the beginning of the year, with none other than the Kansas City T-Bones. After nine games Mense was back in affiliated ball, where he advanced as high as the Marlins’ AAA club in New Orleans. Overall, he saw action in 74 games that year.

To make room for Mense, who will wear number 9, the T-Bones placed infielder Bridger Hunt on irrevocable waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

♦ Speaking of Mizzou coaches, Travis Wendte is in Dallas, working with Dallas Patriots.
Travis comes to the Patriots after spending three years as an assistant coach at The University of Missouri. Prior to Travis’s return to Mizzou, he spent a year as an assistant coach at Texarkana College. As a player, Travis was a member of the bullpen for four NCAA tournament teams and one Super Regional team at the University of Missouri. Travis was named a Louisville Slugger All-American in 2002 and was selected to the All-Academic Big XII team three times. In 2006, Travis was a 24th round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers. In his first full season Travis was selected to the South Atlantic League All-Star Team. Travis holds a bachelors degree in communications and an MBA from the University of Missouri.
♦ Mizzou recruit Ryan Phillips is included in The Columbia Tribune's 2012 All-Area Baseball Team
Rock Bridge’s Ryan Phillips hit .394 and went 7-3 on the mound as a senior. He is the school’s career leader in hits, pitching wins and strikeouts and is a three-time Tribune all-area pick.

Check out the great photo of Phillips
♦ And from @kgib44 on Twitter:
uality long toss today back to 190' and it felt great! 30 pitches at 75% tom. Preparing for 1 inning July 10th in GCL! 1 step at a time!

Tigers in Summer Ball

The following is the list I've been able to put together so far from various sources.

Updated 6/18

Be sure to check out CollegeSummer
, a good blog that keeps track of the latest news about the summer leagues

E-mail me at if you have additional information.

California Collegiate League
  • SLO Blues (Head Coach is former MU assistant Chal Fanning)
    • Patrick Quintanilla
Colorado Collegiate Baseball League
Coastal Plain League
Midwest Collegiate League
MINK Collegiate League
New England Collegiate Baseball League
Northwoods League
Prospect League
  • Quincy Gems
    • Nick Moore
    • Tyler House
    • Jake Walsh
    • Drew Carlile
Western Baseball Association

Mizzou Baseball at the founding of the Big 6: 1928

1928 Missouri Tigers
Jack Crangle, Coach
Catcher and Batsman, 1928

Ball Game 1928

Henry Feldcamp
MU's One-armed Pitcher 1928

Photos from the Savitar Yearbook

13 days

2013 Roster: An Early Look

Updated 7/18/12

This is my best projection at this point of the Fall Roster for the Missouri Tigers, based on those remaining on the roster after Senior and Draftee departures, plus the list of recruits we have at this point.

Three recruits were drafted this week. At this point we still don't know whether any or all of those three will go pro or come to Mizzou.  [Trrip note, 6/13/12:  Bralin Jackson and Hunter Haynes have both signed pro contracts] They are marked with an asterisk on the list below.  Blake Brown, Eric Garcia and Blake Holovach were all drafted and all have signed pro contracts.

For more information about the incoming recruits, see our posts labeled Recruiting.

As happens every year, some players will not be returning to the Tigers next year. I'm told that list this year includes Landon Lucansky, Drew Carlile, Jeff Cline and Brett Thomas .

[Trrip note, 6/15/12:  I've learned that IF Paxton Delagarza has chosen to go the JuCo route and will not be coming to Mizzou]

Also there will undoubtedly be additional newcomers that I don't know about yet, or who haven't even been signed yet. There are always a few.

And if I've left somebody off (I about always do), please send me an e-mail and let me know:

Newcomers are in BOLD

Alphabetical List
Sr. RHP Eric Anderson
Sr. LHP Kyle Barbeck
Jr. OF Sal Belfonte
Jr. LHP Kenny Burton
Sr. C Justin Byrd
Sr. OF Brannon Champagne
Fr. IF Paxton De La Garza
Jr. IF Dillon Everett
Fr. RHP Peter Fairbanks
Fr. RHP Matt Garringer
Fr. RHP Gerrion Grim
So. RHP Brett Graves
Jr. LHP Dane Gronewald
Fr. LHP Hunter Haynes *
So. LHP Tyler House
So. C/OF Jake Ivory
Fr. OF Bralin Jackson *
Fr. C Eric Kroupa
Jr. IF Mike McGraw
So. RHP John Miles
So. IF Nick Moore
So. IF Case Munson
Sr. OF Dane Opel
Fr. RHP Ryan Phillips
So. RHP Brandon Platts
So. C Patrick Quintanilla
Fr. RHP Alec Rash
Jr. IF Shane Segovia
Sr. C/1B Scott Sommerfeld
Sr. IF Gavin Stark
Jr. RHP/1B Keaton Steele
Fr. LHP Austin Tribby
Fr. OF Sean Ullrich
Jr. LHP Jake Walsh
So. RHP Ryan Yuengel
Jr. LHP Rob Zastryzny

By Position
Sr. RHP Eric Anderson
Fr. RHP Peter Fairbanks
Fr. RHP Matt Garringer
Fr. RHP Gerrion Grim
So. RHP Brett Graves
So. RHP John Miles
Fr. RHP Ryan Phillips
So. RHP Brandon Platts
Fr. RHP Alec Rash
Jr. RHP Keaton Steele
So. RHP Ryan Yuengel

Sr. LHP Kyle Barbeck
Jr. LHP Kenny Burton
Jr. LHP Dane Gronewald
Fr. LHP Hunter Haynes *
So. LHP Tyler House
Fr. LHP Austin Tribby
Jr. LHP Jake Walsh
Jr. LHP Rob Zastryzny

Sr. C Justin Byrd
So. C/OF Jake Ivory
Fr. C Eric Kroupa
So. C Patrick Quintanilla
Sr. C/1B Scott Sommerfeld

Fr. IF Paxton De La Garza
Jr. IF Dillon Everett
Jr. IF Mike McGraw
So. IF Nick Moore
So. IF Case Munson
Jr. IF Shane Segovia
Sr. C/1B Scott Sommerfeld
Sr. IF Gavin Stark
Jr. 1B Keaton Steele

Jr. OF Sal Belfonte
Sr. OF Brannon Champagne
So. C/OF Jake Ivory
Fr. OF Bralin Jackson *
Sr. OF Dane Opel
Fr. OF Sean Ullrich
Possible starting line-up (based on 2012 playing time and performance)

C Patrick Quintanilla
1B Mike McGraw
2B Nick Moore
SS Dillon Everett
3B Case Munson
LF Dane Opel
CF Brannon Champagne
RF Sal Belfonte
DH Scott Sommerfeld

Weekend rotation:
LHP Rob Zastryzny
RHP John Miles
RHP Brett Graves

LHP Jake Walsh

Of course, it won't end up that way.  The Tigers have lost their starting catcher, first baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and an outfielder, plus one of their weekend starters and a long reliever and closer.  Lots of open positions with plenty of candidates fighting to earn the starting jobs.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mizzou Baseball Diaspora: Hunter Talks, Brock Shines, Doug Dug

A conversation with Hunter Mense (VOX Magazine)
Have you noticed anything different about the team now?

Coach Jamieson is really the same guy as when I was here. The way he coaches is really positive, and he gets the most out of his guys. That’s something we always prided ourselves on when I was here — being able to play hard and giving it your best effort every time out. The team this year has been up and down, but as of late they’ve been just as good as the teams that I played on when I was here. They won the Big XII championship, and it’s the first time he (Coach Jamieson) has ever won it.
Digging Doug (Hyde's Inside Pitch)
Mathis struggled out of the blocks in April. He is a veteran and talked about the psychology of not letting it get to him and snowball. “Obviously, you want to get off to a fast start, but you realize as you get older, it isn’t always how you start, it’s how you finish. I would rather be a guy that finishes strong than start strong and fade down the stretch. The first couple of weeks, I was terrible. I’ve been working hard, working with Rich (Sauveur). It’s all you can do to try to get back into it.”
Grizzlies Report for Friday, June 15 (Fresno Bee)
Hitting shoes: Brock Bond went 4 for 4 to pace an 18-hit attack as the Fresno Grizzlies pounded the Salt Lake Bees 8-5 on Friday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Former MU baseball star returns after injury (Columbia Tribune)
Bond hit just .171 through 11 games in April, not nearly the numbers he expected.

"I'm thinking, 'Maybe my concussion hasn't healed yet,' " Bond said. "Then May hit, and something kind of clicked. I got one hit after another."
That's a great article on Brock Bond. Be sure to click and read.

Mizzou Baseball Diaspora: Tepesch Up, Lollis Nuts, EG Brave & Tony V

Former Mizzou Pitcher Nick Tepesch Promoted to Double-A (
Former Mizzou pitcher Nick Tepesch was pormoted to the Texas Rangers Double-A affliate in Frisco, Texas on Thursday. Tepesch pitched for the Single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans this season.

He has a 2.89 ERA in 12 starts this season but in his last fives starts he has a 4-0 record with an ERA of 0.75.
In his first outing with Frisco last night Tepesch pitched 8 innings and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits, for the win.

Houston Christian HS grad Ryan Lollis drives Modesto nuts (Houston Chronicle)
Houston Christian High School graduate Ryan Lollis helped lead the San Jose Giants past the Modesto Nuts, 6-5, in minor league baseball action Thursday, June 14.

Lollis went 2-for-4, with a double and a run scored.

On the season, Lollis, an outfielder, is batting .307, with two home runs and 25 RBI. Lollis is a 2005 graduate of Houston Christian and a 20th-round selection (601st overall) of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2005 Major League Baseball draft.

Q&A with Braves 20th Round Pick Eric Garcia (Atlanta Dugout - SUBSCRIPTION ONLY)
The Braves selected shortstop Eric Garcia in the 20th round out of the University of Missouri. He sat down with us for a Q&A session to talk about being drafted by the Braves, who he would compare his game to at the big league level, and more.

TCU Hires New Pitching Coach, Former Astro Kirk Saarloos (
Tony Vitello will be promoted to Assistant Head Coach, handling the hitters while coordinating the Frogs recruiting efforts.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Compliance: Rule Changes Today

NCAA Rule Changes Effective June 2012 (
Informed Athlete is a consulting company run by Rick Allen, a parent of former Mizzou pitcher Ryan Allen. His company exists to "educate, advise and assist families of high school and college student-athletes on issues related to athletic recruiting, academic eligibility, transfer isues and financial aid rules so that they are able to make informed decisions that are in their best interest."

In today's article he shares details of NCAA rules changes taking effect today.

A Tip of the Cap 2012: And the Winner is . . .

On the final day of our 2012 Tip of the Cap series, we take note of some of the special achievements by players, fans and others involved with the Tigers' 2012 season.

The Ian Kinsler Base Cadet Award
The nimble Ben Turner

For the first time in years there was no one player who stands out in my mind as being a true "base cadet" on the basepaths.  Sure, there were players who got caught between bases, but you never really know whether that was their fault or if the batter didn't come through on a called play.  Even the time Jake Ivory was inserted as a pinch runner and almost immediately got himself caught in a rundown between first and third - even that wasn't extraordinary.

And while the biggest base running blunder of the year was probably the full-speed-ahead charge toward home by Andreas Plackis in the season's final game, I think I'd have to give that award to Coach J.

So this year we're awarding the coveted honor to the Tiger who was without a doubt the most entertaining base-runner on the team:  Ben Turner.  The 6'4" catcher runs somewhat better than most catchers, but the sight of him lumbering around the bases at full speed would be enough to make any infielder or catcher think twice about getting in his way.  Kind of like trying to reason with a stampeding rhinoceros.

So here's a tip of the cap to "Big Ben", less of a Porsche and more of a Hummer on the basepaths.

Black & Gold Glove

I could go the easy route and pick Blake Brown for this one: 1 error in 59 games.  He's surely deserving.

But I doubt even Blake will blame me for choosing instead the player who is now playing with him in the Atlanta Braves organization:  Eric Garcia. The Tiger player with the most errors on the season: 22.

Garcia started at shortstop in every game of the season from Auburn through Tucson.  In the first 22 games, he piled up an incredible 13 errors.  Much of that was played out during the long March home stand, in front of the home town crowd.  That fumbling streak stuck in the minds of many fans, who remember only the missed grounders, the overthrown balls past first base.

But starting with the two games against Central Arkansas, and carrying on through the bulk of the Big 12 season, Garcia was a different man.  (See Garcia uses glove, bat to lead MU Baseball, Columbia Tribune)  He made some amazing plays so deep you'd have thought he was the left fielder.  And no one who was at the 2nd game of the Tigers' sweep of Kansas State will forget the incredible grab-and-flip play behind second base (see video below).

He did make another 9 errors . . . in 39 games.  But for a college shortstop and the most demanding position on the field, that's a great achievement.

Garcia's glove work in the Big 12 Tournament was as impressive as his .500 batting average, and probably went a long way to getting the attention of the scouts and boosting his draft ranking a bit higher.

So here's a Tip of the Cap and a Black & Gold Glove to Eric Garcia, the Tiger player with the most errors.

Jay Bell Award

This award is given annually to the player who achieves the greatest success against the Kansas Jayhawks, named in honor a former Tiger pitcher who mowed down the KU batters during a mid-week game back in the 90s.

Dane Opel (#47) and teammates
The final conference match-up between Missouri and Kansas turned into a depressing experience for the first two games, as the Mizzou offense picked a poor time to be "off again" rather than "on again".  They did salvage Game 3, though, which was billed as the final match-up between the two Big 12 rivals.

Except it wasn't.  MU and KU met again in the semi-final game of the Big 12 Tournament.  OF Dane Opel led the Tigers' charge, going 3-for-5 with 5 RBI and 3 runs scored.  He lacked just a home run in a shot at hitting for the cycle.

Dane earned the Jay Bell Award for that performance, but especially for driving the nail in the coffin of the rivalry, scoring the final run that put the Tigers up 12-2, run-ruling the Jayhawks.

John McKee HBP Award

Dillon Everett got himself hit 15 times in 2012, accounting for over 17% of the team's 86 HBPs.   Missouri led the Big 12 in offensive HBPs.

An example of the value of an HBP came in the March 9th game against Charlotte, when the Tigers racked up 5 HBP.   In the second inning, Dillon Everett reached base with one out after getting hit by a pitch, then stole second on the following pitch. Everett reached third on Brown's groundout to the left side, and Champagne walked to put runners on the corners with two outs. Mach's single to center scored Everett

Mark Alexander Phoenix Award

A year ago in my 2011 Tip of the Cap series, Jake Walsh's picture was prominently featured, sitting with some of his fellow former Tiger players, holding up the tradition of the "Simmons Savages" heckling group. Apparently, between opportunities to sit in Taylor Stadium's Section B and laugh at the Tiers' opponents, Walsh was dominating opponents as a member of the Missouri Club Team.  So much so that when he convinced Tim Jamieson and the MU coaching staff to give him a tryout, they were impressed by his newfound discipline and improved "stuff".

Walsh went on to post the third best ERA on the team, 3.44, and led the team in appearances on the way to a  2-3 record with 8 saves.  He had the 2nd best opponents' batting average at .240.

Read the details of Jake's comeback at Missouri Student Athlete Spotlight: Jake Walsh (

Here's a hearty tip of the cap to the Cinderella Man, Jake Walsh.

Stand By Your Son Award

I have to tip my cap to all the parents of the Tiger ballplayers.  They go to the games, they support their sons, they talk proudly about them with a light in their eyes that has been burning for 18+ years.    Dave and Regina Mach have been driving to Columbia and following their sons, Kyle and Conner, around the country for more than half a decade.  Elwood and Robin Brown, along with others, have been organizing tailgates and picnics and other events to support not only their son, but the Mizzou Baseball program.

But the parents who stand out in my mind are Tim and Sheryl Clubb.  They've been showing up at Ryan's ballgames for four years now, faithfully.  Even over the past two years, when they knew very well that it was a near certainty that their son would not be playing, they have been there week after week, supporting him and cheering on his team.

Here's a Tip if the Cap to the Clubbs, and to all the parents who have given so much to their sons.

Superfan Award

Brandon Weiss and Gracie Duggan, spurred on by Baseball SID Shawn Davis, created a new student fan group for MU Baseball, Tigers on Deck.  Here's a tip of the cap for their efforts and strong hopes taht they will continue to develop the program leading up to the Tigers' first SEC season.

"by a landslide"
The day after the final home game, Brandon tweeted the following "Non-Important Baseball Team Superlatives":

Best walk-up (batters): 1) Scott Sommerfeld 2) Blake Brown 3) Ben Turner

Best walk-up (pitchers): 1) Jake Walsh 2) John Miles 3) Dusty Ross 4) Jeff Emens 5) Rob Z. Solid showing from pitching staff.

Worst walk-up (batters): 1) Patrick Quintanilla 2) Dane Opel 3) Decades Weekend (all of them were bad, considering what could have been)

Worst walk-up (pitchers): All solid, but have to go with Ryan Yuengel for a two-year-old song that lacks creativity.

Worst Headshot: 1) Ben Turner (by a landslide), 2) Nick Moore. Everyone else looked like a real headshot.

Most Memorable Game
I already talked about the run-rule drubbing of the Jayhawks above, so instead I'll recall a game much earlier in the season that had all the drama, action, and occasional slapstick humor that any sports fan could ask for. 
The Charlotte 49ers came to Taylor Stadium on a chilly Friday night (March 9th).  The Tigers were ready to avenge the arrogant running up of the score by the 49ers a year ago.

Eric Anderson started the game, but he left in 5th with an elbow problem (the beginning of the end for EA's season).

Jeff Emens took over, pitched through to the 9th, giving up just 4 hits and a single run.  At one point a ball was hit like rocket back to the mound.  Emens dropped his glove hand down behind him and the ball hit the glove and dropped to the mound.  Emens calmly picked it up and threw the runner out at 1st.

The whole game was a comedy of errors by the 49ers (4 official, several more not classified as an error).  More than one 49er ended up on the ground due to collisions or missteps on the basepaths.

Ben Turner had a memorable, albeit painful, game.  At one point a batter hits a short dink in front of the plate and runs into Ben Turner, the immovable force. Turner threw out the runer going from 1st to 2nd, and the ump called out the batter for interfering with Ben's right to field and throw the ball.

Another batter overswung (overswang?  overswinged?) and lost hold of the bat, which went spinning into Turner, hitting him in the face and body.  Ben shook it off and got back behind the plate.

Just a minute or so later, a runner coming from third came in hard to the plate and bowled Turner over.  Ben tagged him out.

The Tigers won, 10-4, and went on to sweep the series.

Most Memorable Defensive Play
Many of the Tigers made great plays in 2012 (see Eric Garcia's above), but only one of them ended up on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays.   First baseman Gavin Stark, in the seventh inning of the Tigers' 4-1 victory over Oklahoma State, chased after a foul ball into foul territory and flipped head over heels into the dugout while making the catch for the out. That earned him the No. 5 spot on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays that night.
TAKE TWO: MU first baseman earns his 15 minutes of fame (Columbia Tribune)

"We were all going crazy. I was on the phone with my mom," Stark said. "The first thing she asked was if my teeth were OK."

Roommate Turner was not among the crowd.

"I went to bed," the senior said. "He said, 'Dude, I'm going to be on "SportsCenter." ' I was like, 'I'm going to bed, dude.' "

Junior outfielder Brannon Champagne got his own dig in.

"I said, 'Way to make "SportsCenter." Way to make the Top 10. But you didn't have to jump.' It was awesome, though," he said.
Michael Wacha, Texas A&M's #1 pitcher, was drafted by the At. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round, the 19th overall pick.  It's a good pick for the Cards.  Wacha had an impressive 2.06 ERA on the season. 

On the other hand, in the two times Wacha faced the the Tigers, back on March 30th for 6.1 innings and then again at the Big 12 Tournament for 7 innings, he limped away with a 5.50 ERA
Worst Ballpark
It's a toss-up between the second place the Tigers played in 2012 vs. the last place they played.

Back on the second weekend of the year, the Tigers traveled to the University of San Francisco and Benedetti Diamond, a ballpark without field lights, with an off-center press box, and with the surrounding neighborhood so close the entire field was surrounded with high fences like acage match.  See some pictures HERE.

But that ballpark seemed absolutely hospitable compared to the brand spanking new Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, with a playing surface as hard as rock.  The Arizona Wildcats had spent all season long getting used to the heat and to the playing surface, learning to take advantage of the hard earth in the infield to deliver multiple Baltimore chops bouncing over the heads of the fielders.  Dan Pietroburgo's tweet while watching the Tucson Super Regional says it all:

"Hi Corbett strikes again... #worstfieldever #joke #waterplease"
Mizzou '39 Award

Andreas Plackis
Mizzou first baseman Andreas Plackis was the recipient of the 2012 Mizzou `39 Award, an award given to 39 seniors at the University of Missouri based on their outstanding service, academic achievement and leadership.  By the end of the season his teammates and the fans were calling him "Doc" and "Doctor Plackis", after he let it be known he would forego playing baseball next year in his final season of eligibility, in order to devote himself fully to Medical school.

Great Ballpark Conversations

  1. Tim Wolfe, University of Missouri President
  2. Frank Graham, former Tiger pitcher (1940-1942)
  3. Robert J. Lipscomb, Kansas State Superfan:  I sat near Robert during the Sunday K-State game and asked him about the teams, players and coaches he'd seen.  He declared Mizzou's Mike Kelly "the best radio announcer in the conference."
  4. A family from Iowa, here with their son on an official recruiting visit, who asked a lot of questions about Mizzou Baseball, and told me a lot about the unusual summer schedule of high school baseball in Iowa.
  5. The Tri- Delta sorority, the whole lot of them, who showed up for a mid-week game en masse and chose to fill Section E - except for my seat and the seat next to me.  Heard and participated in some unexpected ballpark conversations while I tried to keep my allergies from going crazy amid the excess of perfume.
  6. Flavio Garcia, Tim Clubb, Elwood Brown, and many other family members of the ballplayers.
  7. Tyler McSparran, the Mizzou student from San Diego who I catapulted into his 15 minutes of fame as a new MU Baseball recruit last November.  We laughed, we talked about how crazy it all was, we went back to watching the game.
  8. The Tigerboard All Sports guys in Section B - "where everybody knows your name, but not your real name"
  9. Larry Wyatt II - a true Mizzou Baseball treasure, and a true friend.  Always good for a chat about the team, or whatever else is on his mind.  And always enthusiastic about the Missouri Baseball Tigers.

That's it for the 2012 season.

Bring on the SEC.

Bring on some fresh faces and another shot at living the dream.