Friday, June 1, 2012

Tucson Regional: Hot Tigers in the Desert

The Tucson Regional begins tonight, with Misouri Baseball's first game at 10PM CT (8PM Tucson time). The games will be on TV on ESPNU and on radio/streaming at KTGR.

Also, The Mizzou baseball NCAA Regional game against Arizona tonight will be broadcast on three additional Tiger Radio Network affiliates. In addition to airing on both Zimmer Radio stations in Columbia, the broadcast can be heard on KTRS (St. Louis), KASR-FM (Conway, Ark.) and KYMO-FM (East Prairie, Mo./Cape Girardeau area) beginning at 9:30 p.m. (CT) tonight.

The weather forecast (see below right) shows the temps in the 100's.  But good news:  the forecast for game time this evening is for a temp of "only" 97.  And if the Mizzou Tigers keep winning, they keep getting that late game time in the "cool" of the evening for Saturday's game.
Tucson Weather
Friday 108 / Sunny
Saturday 105 / Sunny
Sunday 102 / Sunny


Good time for Missouri baseball team to get hot (Columbia Missourian)
Also, no Tiger pitcher had an ERA over 4.50 last week, and the staff allowed just 11 earned runs over four games.

Friday will be an exciting day for Missouri.

"This program has always taken pride in what it can do in the postseason," Jamieson said Sunday. "I thought we played like a regional team all week."

Still, the Tigers are far removed from the conversation about a possible NCAA Tournament winner.

Garcia uses glove, bat to lead MU baseball (Columbia Tribune)
Just 22 games into the season, Garcia had already made 13 errors and had a head-scratching .881 fielding percentage.

"I let my feet get lazy early in the season," Garcia said. "Heard it from Coach" Evan "Pratt a little bit. Gotta keep my feet moving. We worked on it a lot in practice.

"Being able to know I did wrong and to adjust for my mistakes is kind of the bigger thing."

He shored it up quickly. Since March 27, Garcia has a .957 fielding percentage with just eight errors in 179 chances in 36 games.
New program helps Missouri's pitchers with recovery (Columbia Tribune)
So the Tigers go through what they call a flush: A workout designed to keep the pitchers fresh and healthy over the course of a season.

"The main idea is to maintain and help work out soreness," trainer Matt Long said. "You want to speed up recovery and get them ready for the next outing."

The idea of a flush is not original to Missouri, but this season's program was designed and installed by Long, who has culled ideas from other collegiate programs as well as former Tigers now pitching for professional organizations

Newnan's McGraw helps lead Mizzou to NCAAs (Newman Times-Herald)
By the final inning of Missouri’s Big 12 conference championship game against Oklahoma, Newnan junior Michael McGraw was beginning to think he was becoming a bit of a curse for his baseball teams.

Twice before as a high school sophomore and junior, McGraw had played in state championship games with The Heritage School only to come up short in both. Now the junior college transfer, who had been a two-year standout for Bossier Parrish (La.) and had helped put the Tigers in the title game with 3 RBIs during a semifinal win over Kansas, watched as a designated hitter from the bench as Oklahoma pulled within one run after Missouri built a 7-2 lead.

”It seemed to take forever for that final out. After two state championship games that same feeling sort of came over me a little bit. I wondered if I was putting a curse on the team,” he said.
Mizzou Network miked up Tim Jamieson during MU Baseball practice a the Tucson Regional


Tim Jamieson previews the Tucson Regional on Mizzou Network
"They've already played in tougher tournament than they'll play in this weekend."
BA's Aaron Fitt provides a very detailed - and worth clicking and reading - 2012 Tucson Regional Preview (Baseball America)
Coach Andy Lopez usually builds his teams around shut-down bullpens, but this year's bullpen has been inconsistent and lacks a true stopper.
♦ PG's Kendall Rogers delivers a stats-heavy (and stats-reliant) Preview: Chapel Hill/Tucson (Perfect Game)
Even with an RPI in the 80s entering the NCAA postseason, the Tigers definitely are an interesting team to watch this weekend. With their season on the line in Oklahoma City last week, the Tigers played an outstanding brand of baseball. Missouri enters the weekend hitting .274 with some solid hitters to watch, such as Scott Sommerfield, Blake Brown and Ben Turner.
♦ Not to be outdone, College Baseball Daily presents an even longer and more detailed 2012 NCAA Regional Preview: Tucson Regional
Getting on the board first will be vitally important to Missouri as they’re 20-6 when they score first but just 12-20 when their opponent scores first. The score after six innings will also be an important number to watch as Arizona is just 2-11 when trailing after six inning but is 32-5 when leading after six innings.

♦ Distiller's Dozen:  64 teams hope they don't fall into a guetapens (College Baseball Today)
Most Dangerous 4-seeds:

Missouri. The Tigers have put it together here in the late stretches of the season, completing a Big 12 title run last weekend. Beware Arizona.

Safest Bets to Advance:

Arizona. Caveat to the Cats moving on: If they get past Missouri in Round One. Then they should have no probs. And yes, that’s a big if.


Arizona, Missouri baseball take similar paths to NCAA Regional (Arizona Daily Wildcat)
Coming off a run like that to end a season, one would think Arizona has all the momentum heading into tonight’s game. The problem with that theory is that the NCAA sent Missouri, one of the hottest teams in the country to play in Tucson.

Missouri was just one game over .500, 27-26, and just 9-14 in conference play at the start of the Big 12 baseball tournament. Following a sweep of the competition, Missouri enters the Tucson regional as a four seed, but one that has had the same sense of urgency Arizona has in its final games.
The Arizona Daily Star has a great profile of the 'Zona Coach in Andy Lopez found his calling in 'that game'

Three keys for NMSU in this weekend's NCAA Baseball regional (Las Cruces Sun-News)
A new leaf: The Aggies essentially had two seasons - strong at the outset, before tailing off badly down the stretch. But the team seemed to be in good spirits since qualifying for postseason play as an at-large bid, and perhaps will play loose and with a healthy respect for the opposition,now that they have nothing to lose.

♦ There is a continually growing list of College Baseball Coaches who have gotten the pink slip, some of whom will be familiar to MU Tigers fans:

  • Northwestern State - J.P. Davis
  • Ball State - Alex Marconi
  • Duke - Sean McNally
  • Oklahoma State - Frank Anderson
  • UNC Greensboro - Mike Gaski
  • Brigham Young - Vance Law
  • UT-San Antonio - Sherman Corbett
  • Texas Tech - Dan Spencer
  • West Virginia - Greg Van Zant
One name I've heard in the mix for potential head coaching candidates is former MU Baseball Assistant Tony Vitello.


♦ And on a sad note, the Deseret News mourns the passing of a great sports figure: Remote control inventor changed face of sports viewing
But for my money, the person I'll mourn the most is the late, great Eugene Polley.

Now there's a guy who changed life for the better. No, he didn't invent the 24-hour drive-through. He created the remote control.

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