Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mizzou in the MLB Draft

While the Tigers are focused on this weekend's Tucson Regional, there's another event going on after the weekend that might impact several of the Tigers.  19 current Tigers and ALL of Mizzou's incoming recruiting class are eligible for the MLB draft.

The MLB Draft is coming up this week on June 4th, 5th and 6th.
  • June 4, 6 PM CT Round 1
  • June 5, 11 AM CT Rounds 2-15
  • June 6, 11 AM CT Rounds 16-40
All rounds can be followed live on  I will be monitoring the draft and posting Mizzou-related updates here at and on Twitter (follow @trripleplay)

By the rules of the draft, the following players are eligible to be chosen in the draft:
  • High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college;
  • College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old; and
  • Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed
The following current Tiger players are eligible to be drafted:
  • Eric Anderson
  • Kyle Barbeck
  • Blake Brown
  • Kenny Burton
  • Justin Byrd
  • Brannon Champagne
  • Jeff Cline
  • Ryan Clubb
  • Jeff Emens
  • Eric Garcia
  • Blake Holovach
  • Conner Mach
  • Dane Opel
  • Andreas Plackis
  • Dusty Ross
  • Scott Sommerfeld
  • Gavin Stark
  • Ben Turner
  • Jake Walsh
Missouri also has several high school and junior college players who have signed letters of intent to play at Missouri next season. Some of them may, however, be drafted. They will have until July 13th to make up their minds whether to to sign a professional contract or continue on to Mizzou. The following are on the recruits list we have compiled:
  • Paxton De La Garza, SS; Coronado HS, Lubbock, TX

  • Peter Fairbanks, RHP; Webster Groves, MO

  • Matt Garringer, RHP; Surprise, AZ

  • Griffin Goodrich, RHP/OF; Kirkwood, MO

  • Gerrion Grim, RHP/OF: Zumwalt South HS (StL)

  • Dane Gronewald, LHP; Jefferson College (StL); Winfield HS

  • Hunter Haynes, LHP: Mexico, MO

  • Bralin Jackson, OF: Raytown South HS (KC)

  • Ryan Phillips, RHP/SS; Rock Bridge HS (Columbia, MO)

  • Alec Rash, RHP: Adel DSM HS (Adel, IA)

  • Austin Tribby, LHP; Springfield Catholic HS (MO)

  • Sean Ullrich, CF; Marquette HS (St. Louis)
Alec Rash Perfect Game profile
Position: RHP
Height: 6-5
Weight: 200
Bats/Throws: R/R
Birthdate: March 20, 1994
High School: Adel-DeSoto-Minburn (ADM)
City, State: Adel, Iowa
Travel Team: Iowa Select
Commitment: Missouri
Projected Draft Round: 1S, 2

Alec Rash first appeared on the Perfect Game radar as a slender 6-foot-2, 165-pound Des Moines (Iowa) area sophomore throwing up to 87 mph in the 2009 Perfect Game Fall League. At that point Rash threw from an extended over the top release point with a hard downhill angle to the plate, and while he was a primary fastball pitcher, he’d mix in a very occasional downer curveball around 72 mph.
2012 MLB Draft Q&A: Alec Rash (
Rash has been rumored to being moving up on some draft boards and is ranked by Scout's Frankie Piliere as the draft's number 98 prospect.
OF Bralin Jackson (Raytown South HS, MO) is the most prevalent name mentioned in Missouri. Like Ross, Jackson shined at the Area Code Games, where he showcased his plus athleticism and bat speed. Jackson, a Missouri recruit, has the high-end tools to keep him in the mix. (Prep Baseball Report)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

HI NOTES: Mediocre teams need love too

Is Big 12 slump perception or reality? (
For the first time since 1997, only four Big 12 teams will participate in NCAA regionals. And had Missouri not secured an automatic berth by winning the Big 12 tournament, that number could have easily been three.

Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor is one of the eight national seeds. Texas A&M also earned the right to host a regional. And Oklahoma, which lost to Missouri in the conference tournament title game, also advanced to the postseason thanks to its late-season surge.

But the rest of the league will watch the regionals from home, including the Cowboys and Longhorns, who both went two-and-out in the Big 12 tournament to seal their exclusion.

Now it's up to the four in the regionals to prove the Big 12 is still one of college baseball's top conferences.'s Annual NIT Field (
Teams are celebrating all across the nation as they saw their names flashed inside's annual NIT bracket Wednesday.

The teams will meet in the familiar NCAA style format before finally culminating in an eight-team final in Quahog, Rhode Island. Sponsored by the Happy-Go-Lucky Toy Factory and the Pawtucket Brewery, the NIT field has become synonymous with the best of second-tier sporting events like the World Cup, the NBA Finals, and a heavyweight boxing title fight.

To be eligible for the 64 team NIT, teams needed at least a .500 overall record, an impressive resume, and a lack of representation on the NCAA Selection Committee.

HI NOTES: Tucson, Big 12, SEC

Tucson building shaped like a clipper ship.
You won't believe what business is there!
Arizona Daily Star Tucson Oddities

Shawn Davis on Twitter: The @MUTigerBaseball bullpen has a 1.91 ERA over its last 22 games, spanning 89.1 innings. #NotTooShabby

Breaking down NCAA bracket (
Easiest Regional Honorable mention: Tucson

No. 2 seed New Mexico State started 30-11 but struggled down the stretch and gave up 30 runs in its two WAC tournament games. If Missouri stays hot, the Tigers could be the biggest risk to Arizona.
Toughest Regionals:  #3 Tucson (Perfect Game)
The Wildcats were one of the final teams to earn an NCAA Regional host, and as expected, they received a legitimately tough field of teams. The Wildcats will have to get through red-hot Missouri in the first game, while New Mexico State, which is very good offensively and Louisville, which is very balanced, will be waiting in the wings. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the Wildcats get tripped up this weekend.
Aggies baseball lands NCAA at-large bid (Las Cruces Sun-News)
The Aggies enter the NCAA Tournament 5-5 in their last 10 games, but NMSU closed the regular season 5-9.

Yet Ward had a good feeling as the team convened at Las Cruces restaurant The Game on Monday to watch the NCAA Selection Show. That is until the network revealed a list of "Bubble" teams that included New Mexico State in the first segment.

"How can a team be a bubble team if its a No. 2 seed," Ward said. "That was what made me nervous."

In the end, the Aggies' body of work got them in, not to mention their geography in the West.
"I thought we deserved a No. 2 seed but was shocked that they did it," Ward said. "That's important for the psyche of the team that national baseball people did that. They understand how important it is for programs. Baseball is unique in that way."

NMSU was 12-10 this year against NCAA Tournament teams Arizona (Pac 12 champions), New Mexico (Mountain West Tournament champions and co-regular season champion), Sacred Heart (Northeastern Conference Tournament Champion) and Kent State (Mid Atlantic regular season and tournament champion).

The Aggies beat Regional host Arizona twice in March at Hi Corbett Field when the Wildcats were ranked No. 5 in the country.
Arizona Wildcats baseball: Seth Mejias-Brean providing spark at right time (Tucson Citizen)
At 6 feet 2 inches and 210 pounds, the Cienega High graduate fills out a uniform better than anybody on the team. Pro scouts love his projectability, whether it’s at third base, in the outfield or at catcher – a position he’s never played before.

“I mean, look at his body,” shortstop Alex Mejia said. “You can see him playing in the big leagues, like, next year.

“I’ve never seen a player like him. When he hits it, and the ball’s flying out, it’s hit so hard. … Really, it’s almost like the thing is yelling.”
Louisville baseball happy to be back in the NCAA Tournament (Louisville Courier-Journal)
The Cardinals shared the Big East Conference regular-season championship but come into the NCAA off a disappointing showing in the conference tournament. U of L lost twice Friday, finishing the event 1-2 as the top seed.

“We have to get down to business,” Amlung said. “Our showing at the Big East Tournament, that really wasn’t Louisville baseball. We’re working hard, and we’re definitely going to come out this weekend and play good ball.”

U of L, which is 9-6 this season against teams that made the NCAA, is ranked No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and has an RPI of 42.
VIDEO: Watch what Arizona baseball player Bobby Brown says about Pac-12 superiority to the Big 12. (BlubergOTB at


MU athletic director sees big differences between Big 12, SEC (Kansas City Star)
But even though they are the new kids on the block (along with Texas A&M), Alden insists they have already been made to feel welcome. While MU and A&M officials have repeatedly indicated a desire to be seen and not heard — “you don’t want to come right in pounding the table,” joked A&M coach Kevin Sumlin — Alden says he’s already been asked his opinions on certain matters.

“(They) might turn and say ‘Mike, what are your thoughts, what did you experience in the Big 12 that can help us here?’ ” Alden said.

And while some of that surely has to do with the fact Alden has been around a while and worked with several SEC administrators for years — you get to know people if you chair the right committees, he said — there’s one thing about it that gives him faith, that lets him know Missouri’s new conference experience will be a good one, perhaps better than its last.

“That stuff,” Alden said, “happens all the time.”
Mizzou senses more harmony in the SEC (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"In my opinion, it comes from (Commissioner) Mike Slive; I think he's one of the great leaders in college sport, maybe all of sport," said Alden, further noting that Mizzou and A&M are just the third and fourth additions to the SEC since it was founded in 1932. "And nobody's leaving. Nobody's looking to. ...

"What I love about it is these schools, they don't talk about just living in the moment. They talk about what's good for the league a decade from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now.
"And I'm not used to that. We're used to being in reactive mode vs. being in proactive mode. And I don't say that negatively. That's a fact."

BIG 12

Oklahoma State fires Frank Anderson (Baseball America)
Oklahoma State fired coach Frank Anderson on Tuesday after nine seasons. Anderson led the Cowboys to a 329-208 record (123-113 in the Big 12), including a 32-25 mark this season. The Cowboys made regionals in six of his nine seasons, including last season, but a poor Ratings Percentage Index ranking kept them out of the NCAA tournament this season after a fifth-place finish in the Big 12.

♦ For an entertaining read, check out the twitter stream over the lsat few days of @OlsenSection203, the Aggie heckling group that cheered on the Tigers at Bricktown

VIDEO: Best plays from Baseball's Championship (Mzzou Network)

HI NOTES: Tigers look forward to Tucson, Recruit looks forward to SEC

Kudos to Jill Pratte, wife of Mizzou Director of Baseball Operations Evan Pratte, who was named the 2012 NAIA-ATA Athletic Trainer of the Year for her work at Central Methodist University.


Q&A with Mizzou Commit Hunter Haynes from Mexico HS (Prep Baseball Report)
Hunter Haynes from Mexico HS ended his high school career with a bang, living up to the hype and designation as a top D1 level pitcher, a pitcher who will continue his career at Mizzou next season helping make their transition to the SEC.

In his final high school season, Haynes put up some of the top stats of anyone in the state. In forty-seven and a third innings, Haynes struck out eight four batters, while walking only ten. Haynes held batters to a .106 batting average with a microscopic 0.44 ERA.
. . .
PBR: What were the reasons that you ultimately chose Mizzou?

Haynes: I had a developed a good relationship with the coaching staff over my high school years and with the SEC move I wanted to play the best competition in the nation so I can see where I stack up against the best.

PBR: What was the relationship you had with Coach Jamison and the Mizzou staff in the recruitment process?

Haynes: I felt that my relationship with Coach Jamison and the Mizzou staff during the recruiting process was good. I always had a gut feeling that Mizzou was where I would end up even though other schools had expressed interest.


♦ Connections:
  • Mizzou and the Arizona Wildcats
    • Mizzou has played Arizona previously in the first round of an NCAA Regional, in 2005.  Arizona was the 2-seed and Missouri the 3-seed in the Fullerton Regional.  MU went 0-2 in that Regional, the first loss to the Wildcats.
    • Arizona and Missouri were both in the 1954 College World Series, but never played each other.  MU went on to win the national championship.
    • Mizzou is 0-3 all-time against UA

  • Mizzou and the New Mexico State Aggies
    • NMSU's Head Coach is Rocky Ward.  He is the son of his assistant coach, Gary Ward.  The older Ward was the head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys from 1978 to 1996.  At OSU he complied a record of 953-313-1, including 16 straight conference titles, 17 NCAA Regional appearances and 10 trips to the College World Series.  Tim Jamieson and Ward coached against each other for two years.
    • Mizzou is 1-0 all-time against NMSU.  That single game was just two years ago, in February 2010 -- in Tucson.  The Tigers won in the 10th inning.  The description of that 10th inning rally:
    • Freshmen Dane Opel and Kale Gaden each drew a walk to open the bottom of the 10th inning. After two outs were recorded, freshman Brannon Champagne walked to load the bases and sophomore Conner Mach was hit by a pitch to drive in the game-winning run.
  • Mizzou and the Louisville Redbirds
    • Mizzou and Louisville went head-to-head twice in the 2007 Regional held at Taylor Stadium.  The Cardinals won those games and won the Regional, but not before inciting a near riot with the antics of their third baseman, Chris Dominguez.  Of course, only coaches Tim Jamieson, Evan Pratte and Dan Pietroburgo were a part of the Tigers during that Regional.  And of course Louisville's Head Coach Dan McDonnell and most of his coaching staff were part of that Regional.
    • Mizzou is 1-2 all-time against Louisville
An overview of the Arizona Baseball team from a UA fan on

Kurt Heyer is our #1 pitcher. Low ERA, good SO/BB ratio, and a pretty consistent workhorse. Konner Wade is #2. Kind of like a slightly less consistent version of Heyer. Both are very capable of going to the 8th or 9th. #3 is James Farris. He's more of a 5-inning guy. Stephen Manthei is our closer. He's more solid than dominant. Beyond that, it's dicey with freshmen Matt Troupe and lefty Tyler Crawford.


SS Alex Mejia and 3B Seth Mejias-Brean anchor the left side. Both excellent defensively, and they're both dependable hitters. Freshman Trent Gilbert is fine defensively, but he's struggled with the bat. Joe Maggi has taken over first base and done okay, but he often gets replaced in late innings defensively by Brandon Dixon.


Freshman Riley Moore has had to go it alone in his freshman year, after another fine freshman catcher, David Schuknecht, needed surgery. Moore is rangy. Good defensively, and with a good arm. The bat's coming along.


CF Joey Rickard leads off. Good on-base percentage, as you'd expect, and a good base-stealer. LF Johnny Field is kind of short and stocky. He's had a number of big hits this year, including the walk-off game-winner in our last game. RF Robert Refsnyder is the leader of the team. Very mature player and blood and guts going after foul balls, stretching plays with his baserunning, etc.
College baseball is doing more than carving a niche (Independent Mail)
I realize the “Road to Omaha” isn’t quite like the “Road to the Final Four.”

I get that there will never be the same level of interest in the NCAA baseball tournament as there is in January bowl games.

Still, for 64 selected teams full of hard-working student-athletes and coaches, along with their fan bases, Monday was a pretty big day.

College baseball isn’t the attention grabber the other two majors are, but it’s becoming more than just a niche sport, especially around these parts.

“We’re experiencing an era we’ve maybe never experienced across country,” South Carolina veteran coach Ray Tanner said. “I don’t take this for granted.”
Missouri baseball team headed to Tucson for NCAA Tournament (Columbia Missourian)
"We were talking about that in the locker room down in Oklahoma," junior Dane Opel said. "We were celebrating, and I went up to Conner (Mach) and some of the guys and I was like 'I'm just so glad I'm not crying with you guys right now.'"

BIG 12

Kansas baseball season over, trounced by Missouri (
The Kansas baseball season came to a crushing end Saturday afternoon in Oklahoma City. Archrival Missouri run-ruled the Jayhawks in the eighth inning 12-2.
. . .
For Kansas, it was a disappointing way to end the season, trounced by their biggest rivals.

“I grew up as a Buffalo,” Tharp said. “I got here the first year, ever since the first day I’ve been here skip has told me it’s KU vs. MU, K-State was never really a rival for us.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

HI NOTES: A Great Day to be a Tiger

Coach Mac:  Look there! 
We won the Big 12!
Coach Hi:  The Big What???

A great day to be a Tiger (KRCG)
Sunday, however, was a very good day for the Black and Gold.

The Missouri Tigers were the No. 6 seed in the Big 12 baseball tournament, so they figured to go out with a season-ending whimper in the Big 12 before heading to the SEC.

The whimper turned into a See Ya! --- and we'll be taking that trophy on our way out.
MU Tiger Baseball: Road to the Big XII Championship (youtube)
Entertaining video. Be sure to watch it all the way to the guest appearance at the end

While you're sampling videos, check out another video by Tiger Crew member and J-School student Ashley Arp, MU Baseball 2K12, if you haven't seen it before.

Tigers close door on Big 12 era with unlikely first-ever league crown (The Maneater)
A raucous, ecstatic celebration on the field and customary Gatorade shower for coach Tim Jamieson followed. Missouri, which will officially become a member of the Southeastern Conference on July 1, had departed the Big 12 in style.

It was this Missouri team, one that entered the tournament following a tumultuous 27-26 overall record, that would ensure the school’s final Big 12 sporting competition ended with a trophy.

“We got rid of a lot of demons,” Jamieson said in a news release. “Big 12 demons, and then also we’ve had a hard time putting Oklahoma away over the years. It’s a great feeling.”
Missouri goes out a winner in Big 12 (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
The Tigers had been within one strike of winning the Big 12 tournament in 2004 and last season, and Jamieson recalls looking over his shoulder both times to see officials with championship hats and T-shirts waiting to be passed out.

This time, he paced in the dugout when pinch-hitter Chase Simpson got two strikes on him and grabbed a bottle of water and sat down after the next two pitches were balls. He checked twice to see if there was anyone holding championship gear, and didn't see anyone.

After 24 years of trying — six as an assistant coach and 18 as the head coach — he finally got to see his players celebrate with black-and-white caps and bright gold T-shirts stamped "Big 12 Champions."
Coach Tim Jamieson, Missouri baseball leave conference on top (
This was his last chance.

Spanning 18 seasons as the head man in Columbia, from the Big Eight days to the digital age, Jamieson has grown fond of the conference he grew up watching.

But the guy who proudly waves the Big 12 flag is gone, heading to the SEC, just another innocent victim of the realignment mess.

And now, after Sunday's thrilling 8-7 win over Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament Championship, Jamieson leaves on top, with his first conference title coming in his


♦ Take a look at the ISR-Based Probabilities for 2012 NCAA Tournament
Mizzou has the third highes odds of winning their Regional among 4-seeds, but that's only 3.3. MU's odds of winning the Super Regional or CWS are a tidy 0.0.

Then again, I would guess the Tigers' odds of winning the Big 12 Championship were pretty slim.
For UA, what a difference a stadium has made (Fox Sports Arizona)
Andy Lopez knew the first day his Arizona Wildcats stepped into Hi Corbett Field that it would work.

His team's hard-work mentality would fit right in with the history of the facility. And maybe -- hopefully -- the hysteria would ensue.
. . .
Eventually, Arizona's dream team brought out the scream team. UA's three-game series over the weekend against Arizona State was a perfect example. More than 13,000 fans went through the gates, increasing the season total to 86,132 fans, an average of more than 2,400 a game.
Arizona baseball: Relaxed Cats get their guest list (Arizona Daily Star)
• Fourth-seeded Missouri will face the UA at 8 p.m. Friday following a whirlwind few weeks. The Tigers won the Big 12 tournament Sunday in Oklahoma City, then returned to Columbia, Mo., to celebrate. They were rewarded Monday with a 1,361-mile trek to Tucson.

• Third-seeded Louisville traveled to Pittsburgh and Clearwater, Fla. the last two weekends with hopes of landing an at-large bid. They'll travel to Tucson this week, covering 1,700-plus miles by plane.

• Second-seeded New Mexico State spent the month of May shuttling between Las Cruces and Honolulu, Albuquerque, San Jose, Calif., and Mesa. Despite losing in the Western Athletic Conference tournament, the Aggies earned an at-large bid.
UT passed over for spot in NCAA tournament (Austin American Statesman)
"They look at whether you are going in a positive direction at the end of the season or a negative direction," Garrido said. "We lost enough games, and we lost enough people, especially at the end. And with Missouri winning, I think that was the final blow. We gave the committee a lot to work with in leaving us out."

♦ Interesting note: In addition to Missouri, the Arizona Wildcats, Oregon Ducks, Michigan State Spartans are all in the 2012 NCAA Baseball Regionals and also mad eup half of the field of 8 for the 1954 College World Series.

Nine Innings:  Finishing second or next to last (
So, Texas. You think you can push us around? Just jump around flexing your muscle and breaking up conferences. You started your own network. Sure, more people watch the reality show, Physics with Snookie, but the Longhorn Network caused plenty of ruckus.

The Big XII always seemed to get the benefit of some Weise decisions in recent years. Check out that committee list again folks. You think Texas was getting the benefit of the doubt? Payback's a female dog with PMS and thorn in her paw.

It didn't matter that Texas finished third in the Big XII. It didn't matter that they played Stanford, Cal, and the Astros College Classic which should meet the non-conference strength of schedule criteria.

This was about an opportunity. Again, make the decision and then find statistics to justify it. It's not that difficult.
Would Hugh Hefner be proud of these NCAA Selections? (College Baseball Today)
To refresh, while most national writers were lauding the committee with praise last year, I gave the committee got a C- grade. This year is a little bit better. Here’s the break down.

Spreading the regionals: B
Dispersion of teams: B
Treatment of mid-majors: B-
Treatment of undeserving: B-
Choosing of the teams: D
Common sense factor: D+
Overall grade for the selection committee: C+

Mathis rolling in May (Providence Journal)
Nothing felt right for Doug Mathis coming out of spring training.

Because Mathis wasn’t ever really a candidate for the major-league roster, he found himself pitching on an unpredictable schedule so as to make sure the Josh Becketts and Andrew Baileys of the world got consistent work.
. . .
But as Mathis got into a routine and got his legs under him, his results began to improve. Heading into his start against the Norfolk Tides on Monday, Mathis has a 2.86 ERA with just seven walks in 28 1/3 innings pitched in five starts in the month of May.

“My command is a lot better,” he said. “Earlier in the year, I was walking a lot of guys. Now I’m relying on my command and throwing a lot more pitches for strikes, being aggressive with everything. Before, I was nibbling too much. It’s just because I didn’t have confidence in my stuff because it wasn’t as good as it is now. I have a lot more confidence now.”

Monday, May 28, 2012

MizzouTube: Champs


MU's NCAA Regional Destination: Tucson, AZ

By virtue of their victory in the Big 12 Championship game, the Tigers earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Baseball Tournament.  But considering their RPI, MU was bound to be shuffled down near the bottom of the 64-team deck and sent somewhere far beyond the Midwest.

But it did not turn out as bad as it might have.  The Tournament bracket and seedings were announced on ESPNU this morning, and Mizzou is headed to Tucson, AZ.  The seedings:
#1 Arizona (38-17; 14th RPI)
#2 New Mexico State (35-22, 34th RPI)
#3 Louisville (39-20, 42nd RPI)
#4 Missouri (32-26, 74th RPI)
Mizzou will play Arizona on the first round.  Considering there are 16 Regionals and Missouri is being matched up with the 14th-ranked team (in RPI), MU could have done a lot worse.

And Arizona is a familiar place for the Tigers, who have played there many times.  There is a sizeable number of Mizzou alums and Mizzou Baseball fans in Arizona.

Louisville is an interesting match-up for Mizzou. The Tigers played Louisville in the 2007 Regional at CoMo.

If Mizzou should win their Regional, the Super Regional match up would be against the winner in the Chapel Hill Regional
#1 North Carolina (44-14)
#2 East Carolina (35-22-1)
#3 St. John’s (37-21)
#4 Cornell (31-15-1)
Missouri's first game will Friday night at 10:00 PM CT, broadcast on ESPNU

Watch the Mizzou baseball team react as they are seeded 4th in the Tucson Regional (VIDEO)

Your mission, if you choose to accept it . . .

HI NOTES: Big 12 Champs move on to NCAA Regionals


♦ More Big 12 Championship photos
Mizzou takes Big 12 baseball title (Kansas City Star)
Blake Holovach didn’t see it. He was sprinting to back up home plate, a pitcher’s duty on a ball hit to the outfield with a runner at second.

Catcher Ben Turner saw it. “I started freaking out,” Turner said.

Coach Tim Jamieson didn’t see it from the dugout, but once the throw from right fielder Dane Opel got to Turner in time for a tag that would have sealed the deal, Jamieson’s concerns melted away.

The upshot is, Missouri won a baseball game with deep meaning to the program and Jamieson.
Missouri beats Oklahoma to win Big 12 tournament (
The Tigers, in farewell address before exiting for the Southeastern Conference, completed an unlikely run to the title after finishing sixth in the regular-season standings, never losing a game in Oklahoma City. In doing so, they claim the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
. . .
And the Sooners could only watch as the Tigers dogpiled in Oklahoma City.

“We're heartbroken, don't get me wrong,” Golloway said. “I know it's been since 1997. Nobody wanted it more than we did, I promise you. I didn't sleep last night.
Mizzou claims first Big 12 title: Tigers beat Sooners for first conference championship since ‘80 (
The Big 12 Tournament title for the Tigers is their first in the sport and is Mizzou’s first baseball conference title since 1980 when it won the Big 8 Tournament. The Tigers beat a pair of top 25 teams, Texas and their archrival Kansas en-route to winning the championship. The win secures the Tigers an appearance at an NCAA regional for the eighth time in 10 years.
Missouri's last Big 12 game delivers a conference championship (
By winning the Big 12 Baseball Championship, Missouri became only the second team is Big 12 history to win the conference tournament as a six seed.
Post-Game Press Conference Quotes (
Ben Turner, On his final visit to the mound: “I went out there and told Blake, „Look around you. There‟s 8,000 people, and you have a chance to shut them up.‟ It‟s not anything against the fans. It was a great environment. I had so much fun playing in front of those people. All week, all these guys did a great job.”
Mizzou's Post Game Press Converence VIDEO (

Sooners fall to Tigers in conference tournament finals (OU Daily)

Mizzou downs OU, captures first tourney crown since 1980 (Tulsa World)

Mizzou tops Oklahoma 8-7 to win first Big 12 title (Sports Illustrated)

Missouri wins Big 12 baseball crown before leaving for SEC, beating Oklahoma 8-7 (Washington Post)

Kendall Rogers on Twitter: #Missouri takes care of #Oklahoma 8-7 to finish off a magical run, and to take a bubble spot with #Big12 auto. Probably knocks out #Texas.


♦ The Big 12 win awards the Tigers an automatic berth in the NCAA Regionals. The at-large teams, top-eight national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced at noon ET, Monday, May 28. The one-hour program will be shown live on ESPNU.

One surprise among 16 NCAA Regional hosts (Baseball America)
The 64 teams will break down into 16 four-team, double-elimination regional tournaments. Surprisingly, that list did not include Kentucky and instead included Miami, which reached the ACC tournament championship but did not win the league, losing in the title game just after regionals were announced. Here are the 16 regional sites, presented in alphabetical order. All are at campus sites with one exception, Purdue, which will be played at the home park of the Gary Railcats, an independent minor league team

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Big 12 Tournament Championship Photos: The Ultimate Honor

Platts and Clubb give Coach J the
Gatorade Shower

Big 12 Tournament Championship Photos: Trophy

Photos from Twitter and tournament video

Big 12 Tournament Championship Photos: Award Ceremony

Photos from Twitter and tournament video

Big 12 Tournament Championship Photos: Dogpile

Photos from Twitter and tournament video

Big 12 Tournament Championship Photos: Congratulations

Photos from Twitter and tournament video

Big 12 Tournament Championship Photos: Celebration

Ben Turner celebrates the final out

Tigers rush the field
Tigers celebrate

Photos from Twitter and tournament video

Big 12 Tournament: We are the Champions !!!

The Tigers fought a back-and forth battle against the Oklahoma Sooners at Bricktown this afternoon, coming away with an 8-7 victory.

Eric Garcia was named the MVP of the 2012 Big 12 Tournament.  The All-Tournament team included SS Garcia, OF Dane Opel, OF Blake Brown and Pitcher Jeff Emens.

The win gives the Baseball Tigers their first ever Big 12 Championship in their final season before leaving for the SEC.

The win also awards the Tigers an automatic berth in the NCAA Regionals. The at-large teams, top-eight national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced at noon ET, Monday, May 28. The one-hour program will be shown live on ESPNU.

Mizzou Baseball will almost certainly host a public watch party somewhere on Monday. Watch or @MUTigerBaseball on Twitter for details.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Big 12 Tournament: MU Run-Rules the Border War


Mizzou Baseball: Clearances for the Big 12 Championship Game tomorrow in CoMo - Fox College Sports, FS Midwest (Non-Cardinals), FS Midwest Plus

Hunter Mense: Go ahead everyone and jump on that @MUTigerBaseball bandwagon. There's still some room...

Coach J's Left Knee: Timmy and his ball club just got done bending that ugly bird over the top of me for 8 innings. I'm sore but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Walt Scher: If baseball conference tourneys were as big and hyped up as the bball tourneys then @jemens20 and @MUTigerBaseball would be all over @espn.

Andy Walker: Checking their timelines, #kansas fans not shocked by the @MUTigerBaseball beatdown, but that ku has a baseball team. #Mizzou #kusucks

Brian Asbury: #ku seriously? Just say uncle! @Mizzou2SEC @Mizzou_Sports @MUTigerBaseball

James Abey: @MUTigerBaseball wîns MIZ bye bye KU

Mizzou Athletics: @MUTigerBaseball Coach Jamieson: "This will be my fifth (Big 8/Big 12) championship game. I haven't won yet. It means a lot to me." #Mizzou

Mizzou Nation: Nothing would please us more than to watch Chuck Neinas hand Mizzou ANOTHER Big12 Championship trophy. C'mon @MUTigerBaseball #BeatOU!

Phil McCormick: Congrats @jemens20 @B_Turner18 and the rest of @MUTigerBaseball on destroying ku! Time to exit the big 12 with a championship

THE Mizzou Matt: After that MU/ku baseball game, I am NOT a fan of the 10-run mercy rule. Mizzou could've dropped 20 on those beakers


MU wins final Border War (Kansas City Star)
Missouri pitching sizzled at Bricktown. Saturday, three throwers — John Miles, Ryan Yuengel and Jeff Emens — allowed one earned run on three hits. Emens, credited with the victory, was especially effective with five strikeouts in 22/3 innings.

In three Big 12 games and 26 innings, Missouri pitchers have allowed 24 base runners, four earned runs and have held opponents to a .178 batting average.

The pitcher who got Missouri rolling in Oklahoma City, sophomore Rob Zastryzny, starts against Oklahoma Sunday. He went 81/3 in the Tigers’ 5-0 tournament opening victory over Texas.

Missouri baseball team beats Kansas to reach Big 12 tournament final (Columbia Missourian)
In Saturday's final Big 12 meeting between the rivals, the Tigers (31-26) never trailed after getting an RBI single from Ben Turner and an RBI double from Michael McGraw in the bottom of the first. The game ended after eight innings because of the 10-run rule.

Opel added a three-run double in the sixth and a two-run triple in the eighth. McGraw had three hits and three RBIs and Turner added three hits, three runs and two RBIs.

Missouri plays its best in Oklahoma City (
Now, after a surprising three-win week was capped by a dominant 12-2 drubbing of rival Kansas, the Tigers have new life.

And Jamieson has a new task – preparing his energized team for Sunday's 1 p.m. championship game against Oklahoma.

“For whatever reason, you get (to Oklahoma City) and we've played well here,” Jamieson said. “The guys love playing here. Once you get to this point, it's about who's playing the best. You get a couple hot bats and a hot arm and you've got a chance to win.”

Kansas coach Ritch Price on end of Kansas-Missouri rivalry (
In an unaffiliated state, with less than 1,000 witnesses, the Border War came to a quiet close on Saturday afternoon.

Playing in the semifinals of the Big 12 Baseball Tournament, Missouri eliminated Kansas with a 12-2 win and advanced to Sunday's championship game.
. . .
Q: Now that it is over, how sad are you to see this rivalry end?

I think maybe as much as anyone in the department. When you have had three sons play in this rivalry and your last name is Price, you've worn it at Missouri the last 10 years. And we have had some success against them. When I got here from California, I wasn't even prepared for the intensity of the rivalry, even though people warned me. I was coaching 10 miles from Stanford, grew up 15 miles from Cal and the Big Game has nothing compared to Missouri and Kansas, as far as that intense rivalry and hatred that's built in. I'm sorry to see the rivalry end. I certainly support Doctor (Sheahan) Zinger and Bill Self and their stance on it going forward.

Sooners beat Baylor, advance to championship game (
Suddenly, the Sooners are surging, playing for their first conference championship since winning the Big 12's inaugural event in 1997. They face surprising Missouri, the No. 7 seed, at 1 p.m. for the championship.

Yet seriously, the Sooners are clearly on the upswing, winning 22 of their last 29 games and climbing to No. 28 in the projected RPI at, after sitting in the high 60s following a Bedlam series loss at The Brick three weekends ago.

“We knew that if we could get all the pieces put together, we might have something special,” Golloway said Saturday. “After the Baylor series, we felt we had something special.


An Open Letter to the NCAA Selection Committee (College Baseball Today)

Because almost everyone in college baseball knows it IS a tool… as in rhymes with “fool”. Realize more than ever that there are formulaic biases against teams with multiple road games, did a buttload of traveling or are geographically isolated and don’t have viable choices for mid-week and pre-conference games against good teams. Yes, the new rules that go into effect next season where the baseball formula FINALLY resembles the basketball formula and rewards road wins and penalizes home-heavy schedules. But try to enact those as active theories this year when deciding between teams.

Friday, May 25, 2012

HI NOTES: The Last Grudge Match. Again.


♦ Kansas beat the Aggies, 5-3, on Friday night, . That sets up a 12:30 Saturday game between MU and KU. IF KU were to win that game, the two teams would have to play another had-to-head match-up later Saturday, since it is a double-elimination tournament and the Tigers are 2-0 going into Saturday's action. The winner will play in Sunday's Tournament Championship game against the winner of Saturday's match-up between Oklahoma and Baylor.

Rest pays off for Holovach (Columbia Tribune)
Blake Brown unleashed a ball into the alley behind the left field bleachers in the fourth inning to put the Tigers up 2-1.

While being asked about it in post game interviews, shortstop Eric Garcia intervened.

"Can I just say something really quick?" Garcia said. "He wouldn't have got that at-bat if I didn't get caught stealing the last inning. I'm just saying."


Junior College World Series Preview (Baseball America)
Few teams have three quality arms like Jefferson College. Lefthander Dalton Friend missed last season due to shoulder surgery but bounced back this year to win 11 games and strike out 13 batters per nine innings. Fellow lefthander Dane Gronewald, a Missouri commit, is an intimidating presence on the mound at 6-foot-6, 235 pounds. The Missouri native attacks hitters with a high-80s sinker that can exceed 90 mph. Gronewald was a 47th-round pick of the Braves last year and has a 1.13 ERA this season but has battled command issues.

The New Nameless Twitter Mailbag Blog (Dave Matter, Columbia Tribune)
@bknight9: What are the plans for baseball? We look bad in an average big12. No chance in SEC

Tim Jamieson needs a bigger budget to compete in the SEC. But does Alden open the checkbook for a program that’s been middling along in the Big 12 last few years? As the northern outpost in the SEC, Missouri could get buried in the warm-weather SEC, especially if the program continues to languish behind in funding. It's by far Missouri's sport that faces the biggest challenge in the SEC.

HI NOTES: Word on the Tweet, SEC Tournament

♦ Mizzou's RPI moved up to a ranking of 81st after last night's victory over Texas A&M, according to


@MUTigerBaseball: Emens strikes out the side in the ninth Tigers win!! 5-3 final. Will have day off tomorrow.

Kelly Fick: another good win for @MUTigerBaseball in game 2 at Big 12 tournament! Keep rollin

Jesse Santo: The people who counted out mizzou #suckit one game at a time! #keepitmovin

Shawn Davis: MIZ-ZOU cheers all over Bricktown right now

Jesse Santo: @BSQUARED39 1....parking garage 0.

Kyle Barbeck: Big time pitching performance by @BlakeHolovach and @jemens20. #oneatatime

Blake Brown: @JTSanto410 always feels good to beat #4 team in the nation

Brandon Platts: Beat Texas and Texas A&M on back to back nights. Doesn't get much better than that! #robZ #friday

MU Recruit Griff Goodrich: MIZ over the Aggies tonight!!

@MUTigerBaseball: Blake Brown said of his homer in the fourth: "That was probably the hardest hit ball of my life"

Blake Holovach: Great team win tonight! #MIZ

Jeff Emens: @BigGrizz3 make sure ur ready for the team lift tomorrow #WTP #mooseclub

Dan Pietroburgo: 2 down. What a ballgame. Just gotta keep believing one pitch at a time! #MIZ


SEC Tournament Notebook - Day 3 (
Finally, some offense at the SEC Tournament.

After two pitching-dominated days, some offense crept into Regions Park on Thursday morning as the LSU racked up 11 runs on 17 hits en route to an 11-2 elimination game win over the Ole Miss Rebels.
. . .
LSU 11, Ole Miss 2 (Ole Miss eliminated)
Kentucky 5, Mississippi State 1
South Carolina 5, Auburn 3 (Auburn eliminated)
Vanderbilt 2, Florida 1

LSU vs. Mississippi State (3 p.m.) (MSU is home team)
Florida vs. South Carolina (TBA) (SC is home team)

SEC Tournament: You Are Watching History (SEC Digital Network)
For the first time in the 34-year era of the Southeastern Baseball Tournament, 10 conference teams will compete for the coveted championship this year at Regions Park. The decision to add teams, finalized in December 2011, adds a new wrinkle to one of the most popular events in college baseball.

The SEC Baseball Tournament as we know it began in 1977, with teams competing in Oxford, Miss., for the right to be called champion. During the past three decades, the SEC’s baseball gathering has morphed into a signature event, becoming one of the most attended athletic competitions in all of college sports.

A look at its history shows a multitude of format changes and host locations. The first gathering, held at Oxford’s Swayze Field, featured just four teams, a double-elimination bracket that saw Ole Miss win a title on its home field. The event’s home rotated around the SEC, with Baton Rouge, La.; Starkville, Miss.; and Gainesville, Fla., all taking turns hosting. Even the famed New Orleans Superdome has served as headquarters for SEC baseball, as 1992 saw the league’s best play in one of the nation’s most recognized sports venues.
. . .

Big 12 Tournament: Tigers roll over A&M

Texas A&M falls in upset to Missouri in Big 12 tournament (Houston Chronicle)
Emens struck out the side in the ninth inning to send Missouri (30-26) into a Saturday afternoon game against the winner of Friday night's meeting between Texas A&M (42-15) and Kansas.
Missouri Completes Full Day of Upsets, Beating Texas A&M (SBNation)
The Missouri Tigers have made a habit of making strong runs in the Big 12 Baseball Championship, but this year is looking like it could be the most special of all. The Tigers upset No. 3 seed Texas on Wednesday, and followed that up by beating Texas A&M, the No, 2 seed, 5-3 on Thursday, which moves the Tigers into the winner's bracket and a possible rematch with the Aggies on Saturday.
Mizzou one game away from title game (KMA Land)
Also, the Tigers dealt A&M starter Michael Wacha his first loss of the season as he was 8-0 coming into the start.
Missouri baseball team upsets Texas A&M in Big 12 tournament (Columbia Missourian)
Missouri took the lead in the fourth inning when Blake Brown homered to break a 1-1 tie. Scott Sommerfeld and Eric Garcia padded the lead with RBI singles in the fifth inning.
Missouri ends A&M’s win streak at 8 (
“When they went to the bullpen, we didn’t have an answer for Emens and his change-up,” Childress said. “He did a really good job.”

Emens entered in the sixth after A&M closed Missouri’s lead to 4-3. With runners on first and second and one out, Emens struck out Brandon Wood and Krey Bratsen to escape the jam with the lead. He finished with a season-high six strikeouts.

“A&M has a great offense, but they got a lot of their hits off of fastballs,” Emens said. “I knew if I kept my offspeed stuff down I would get some groundballs and [strikeouts], and that was the case.”
Tigers advance to Big 12 Tournament semifinals with 5-3 upset over Texas A&M (The Maneater)
Holovach skidded down the stretch for Missouri but seems to have the Aggies’ number this season.

The first time he faced them back on March 31, he threw five innings of no-hit ball. On Thursday, Holovach held Texas A&M, coming off a 10-run game against Kansas, to three runs over five and one-third innings.

Holovach kept the Aggies’ bats in check, but Emens completely silenced them

Thursday, May 24, 2012

HI NOTES: Postseason for former Tigers; SEC Tourney

James Hudelson
Delta State

Hudelson to College World Series
Former Mizzou baseball pitcher James Hudelson (2011) is currently a senior at NCAA Division II Delta State University and is a relief pitcher on their baseball team that just won a berth this past Monday to the Division II World Series out in Cary, North Carolina. The World Series starts this Saturday and they play their first game on Sunday. Delta State is ranked #2 in the nation and they are play #1 ranked St. Marys of Texas in the first game. Delta State has a record of 46-13 and was the Gulf South Conference regular season champs and the GSC Tournament Champions as well. They got to the world series by wining 5 straight games in the losers bracket. Their South Region Tournament that they were in consisted of the last years National Champions West Florida and the then #1 team in the nation Tampa University.

In 13 appearances James stats are 1-0 with 1 save with a 3.44 era in 18.1 innings while striking out 25 with an opponent batting average against him of .203. His 12.27 strikeouts per 9 innings leads the team.
College Baseball: Tournament Roundup (
ATLANTIC SUN: Flordia Gulf Coast 12, Kennesaw State 4: In DeLand, Fla., behind a six-run sixth inning that broke a 3-3 tie, the fourth-seeded FGCU opened its second-ever appearance in the Atlantic Sun baseball tournament with a win over third-seeded Kennesaw State.

Brandon Bednar led the 12-hit charge with a 3-for-5 performance that included a pair of RBI singles. Ryan Gebhart reached base all five times, scoring three runs.


SEC Tournament Notebook: Day 2 (
The first two days of the 2012 Southeastern Conference baseball tournament has had its share of dominant pitching.

The 10 teams are hitting a combined .221 (112-for-507) and have more strikeouts (119) than hits (112). The losing teams have combined for nine runs in the first eight games. The teams have combined for a 2.19 ERA with seven saves in the first eight games.

Ole Miss 2, Arkansas 0 (Arkansas eliminated)
Mississippi State 3, LSU 2
Auburn 3, Georgia 2 (Georgia eliminated)
Vanderbilt 3, South Carolina 2

LSU vs. Ole Miss (9:30 a.m.)
Kentucky vs. Mississippi State (TBA)
South Carolina vs. Auburn (4:30 p.m.)
Florida vs. Vanderbilt (TBA)

Big 12 Tournament: MU > UT

♦ Yesterday's victory over Texas was Tim Jamieson's 600th career victory.

♦ Missouri plays Texas A&M today at 7:30 PM in a winners' bracket match-up.

Missouri shuts down Texas 5-0 in Big 12 tournament (Austin American Statesman)
The last time Longhorn Corey Knebel pitched against Missouri, earlier in May, he lost after teammate Kirby Bellow made two errors at first base in the 11th inning.

Knebel lost to the Tigers again on Wednesday, but not because of any lapses in the field.

Missouri smacked Knebel around, knocking him out of the game in the fifth inning of a 5-0 Tigers' victory in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.
Missouri shuts out Longhorns in first round of Big 12 tournament (Columbia Missourian)
"They hadn't seen my best stuff yet," Zastryzny said during a postgame press conference streamed live on "When I went into this game, I wanted to show them my best stuff."
2012 Big 12 Baseball Tournament: Missouri Shuts Out Texas, 5-0 (SBNation)
The Missouri Tigers will be leaving for the SEC next season and in their final Big 12 tournament, they got a huge opening game win over the third seeded Texas Longhorns, defeating them by a final score of 5-0 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
Fighting for position (PerfectGame)
Hurt its Case: Texas (30-21) -- The Longhorns felt good about their chances against Missouri with hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Corey Knebel on the mound. However, the talented righty had a tough night on the mound, allowing five runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 5-0 loss to Missouri. UT has an RPI in the 50s, and though it finished Big 12 play with a respectable record, going 0-2 at the Big 12 tournament with losses to Missouri and Kansas could spell doom. Stay tuned.
What to watch during conference tournaments (ESPN)
SEC vs. Big 12: How cool is this Division II bracket? Future SEC members Texas A&M and Missouri are bracketed with longtime rivals Texas and Kansas in a double-elimination setting. The opening-round matchups are A&M vs. KU and Mizzou vs. UT, but there will likely be some rival showdowns along the way. And they're going to be fun, if only for one last time.
♦ Mizzou's RPI ranking crawled up to 92nd after Wednesday's win over Texas (

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Higher Education in the Big 12

Aren't you glad they gave "Baseball" an extra L
instead of giving Phillips an extra 6?
Photo from Twitter

HI NOTES: T-Coleman T-Bone; Big 12 Tourney, SEC Tourney


T-Bones sign former MU catcher (WIBW)
The Kansas City T-Bones have announced the signing of Trevor Coleman, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound catcher from Dripping Springs, Texas.

The Seattle Mariners drafted Coleman in the ninth round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. He spent parts of four seasons (2009-12) in the Mariners organization, mainly at the A level. Last year he played three games for class-AAA Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League. During his time with the Seattle organization (216 games), Coleman batted .231 with 166 hits and 99 runs batted in. He played five games this year at High Desert, the Mariners’ high-A club.
Matt Stites, currently with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, was put on the disabled list yesterday.
BIG 12

KU, MU could meet up early in Big 12 baseball tournament (Kansas City Star)
If the bracket breaks right, Kansas and Missouri may have one more chance to meet as conference rivals.

The Jayhawks and Tigers are in the same four-team, double-elimination pod at the Big 12 baseball tournament, which opens Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
. . .
The Jayhawks’ starting pitcher on Wednesday will be sophomore Frank Duncan, who pitched a seven-hit shutout against Missouri last Thursday and was selected Big 12 pitcher of the week. In three starts in May, Duncan is 2-1 with a 0.82 ERA in 22 innings.

SEC Tournament Notebook (
FRESHMAN PHENOMS: Florida played four freshmen in its 6-1 win over Auburn. The combination of Casey Turgeon, Justin Shafer, Josh Tobias and Taylor Gushue were 4-for-10 with one run scored, two doubles and five RBIs. Shafter was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, including a two-run single in the second inning that gave the Gators a 2-0 lead. Turgeon ripped a two-run double in the sixth inning and Shafer followed with an RBI single. Gushue added a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning.


♦ There's a great detailed explanation of the tournament selection process and brackets at 2012 NCAA College Baseball Tournament Selection Process 101 (

♦ Coaching changes:

Big 12 Tournament: MU vs. Texas Longhorns

♦ Wednesday's Tournament Schedule:

Be aware that since this is a tournament, game start times may be delayed due to time overruns of previous games.  All games will be streamed live at
  • Game 1, 9:00 AM - #4 OU vs. #5 OSU
  • Game 2, 12:30 PM - #1 BU vs. #8 KSU KU
  • Game 3, 4:00 PM - #2 A&M vs. #7 KU
  • Game 4, 7:30 PM - #3 UT vs. #6 MU
♦ From message board:

  • You want that 9 am game. Guarateed start time, cool weather, etc. The late night game is the worst, and AG has tried to avoid it like the plague.
  • Bingo, that game most likely wont start until 9:30. Then the loser has to come back and play the noon game.
  • Not to mention, now, the possiblity of getting shot in Bricktown.

Five Tigers Honored By Big 12 Conference (
The Mizzou baseball team saw five of its student-athletes honored as the Big 12 Conference announced its 2012 All-Big 12 teams on Tuesday (May 22) in Oklahoma City. Senior reliever Dusty Ross (Iowa Park, Texas) was named to the All-Big 12 second team while Dane Opel (Edwardsville, Ill.), Blake Brown (Normal, Ill.), Ben Turner (St. Charles, Mo.) and Rob Zastryzny (Corpus Christi, Texas) were all named to the All-Big 12 honorable team.
Injuries, immaturity plagued UT baseball (ESPN)
Texas salvaged a game against Baylor.

Just like it salvaged a game against Texas A&M. Ditto for the Missouri series.
. . .
This season it has been impossible for the Longhorns to be consistent.

It started in the fall with starting infielder Jordan Etier being arrested for evading arrest and marijuana. He was suspended from the team only to be reinstated Jan. 18 just prior to the season.

From there the season started to go up in smoke.

Cohl Walla, the starting center fielder, went down with an ACL tear. Starting pitcher Sam Stafford tore up his shoulder and was gone.
Parker French suffered a stress fracture in his elbow on his first Friday start at Missouri. 
Freshman Ricky Jacquez was booted from the team for disciplinary reasons. And one-time Friday starter Nathan Thornhill has been relegated to the bullpen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Former Tigers: Frey to Double-A; Fick to the opposing dugout

@funibair:  My son says
 "Evan Frey rocks!"

♦ On Sunday, MU alum Evan Frey was moved from the AAA Reno Aces to the AA Mobile Bay Bears by the Arizona Diamondback organization. Frey had been hitting .240 in Reno.  Frey was a fan favorite at Reno.
@chloelill21 on twitter: Baseball without Evan Frey, is not baseball.

@efrey14: It's been fun @Aceball fans! Hope to see you all again somewhere down the road! Keep up the great support for the guys! #PCLsfinest

Rock Bridge baseball team prepares for sectionals against Helias Catholic (Columbia Missourian)
Rock Bridge assistant coach Kelly Fick faces a unique situation in the game. The former Missouri pitcher, who played high school baseball at Helias, will be coaching against his alma mater.

“It’ll be different sitting in the opposing dugout, I’ll be nervous,” Fick said.

Big 12: Texas Tech fires coach Dan Spencer

Spencer officially out as head baseball coach at Texas Tech (Lubbock Online)
When looking at the state of the Texas Tech baseball program, athletic director Kirby Hocutt took into account more than just the disappointment that was the 2012 season.

It was in the process of looking through the last three seasons that Hocutt, in charge of the athletic program for the past 14 months, decided it was time to make a change at the top and fired Dan Spencer Sunday as head coach of the program.
. . .
Associate head coach Tim Tadlock, who came to the program in November, has been named the interim head coach until a permanent replacement is announced. Hocutt said Tadlock will be a “strong candidate” for the job and has expressed interest in the position.

“I don’t know if there’s anyone in the state of Texas that has the recruiting connections he has,” Kirby said. “I don’t know of anyone more well-respected among major league scouts than Tim Tadlock. We feel fortunate to have him here to lead the program at this time as the interim.”

Southern Exposure: SEC Baseball Tournament

As the Tigers' final Big 12 season winds down, it's time to start learning a little about our future baseball rivals in the SEC.  Toward that goal, we're going to follow the SEC during the NCAA Post-Season, beginning with the SEC Tournament.  Given the SEC's tendency to still be playing all the way to the end of the College World Series, following them in the post-season should take us almost all the way up to July 1st, the official day MU joins the SEC.

Tournaments Flirtations (
South Carolina may or may not be a National seed entering the week but a poor showing in Hoover, paired with good weeks from teams like Stanford, Texas A&M, or Rice could push them out.

Kentucky has plummeted from National seed hopeful to a club that might be in danger of a road trip next week. The Wildcats' SEC record is strong but they have faded late and don't have a strong non-conference mark to rely on. If they falter and someone like Cal State Fullerton, Arizona, Miami, or maybe even conference mates Arkansas or Mississippi State make a run, the Cats might not hear their name called next Sunday as a host.

If Georgia exits Hoover quickly, they may have played their last game. Definitely a bubble team entering Tuesday's game against Vanderbilt.

Auburn, the 10 seed in Hoover, likely needs at least two wins to get back in the discussion. They face Florida Tuesday and if they win would play LSU. Win those two and suddenly we view them differently.
SEC hoping more the merrier mentality carries over to postseason (Clarion Ledger)
“People are going to say the SEC is not as good,” Cohen said. “I’m going to say, no, no, no, it’s the other way. It is that good.”

Why? Because SEC teams, in recent years, have battled back and forth, finished with similar conference records (seven teams finished with 16 wins or more this season) and advanced deep into the postseason. At least one SEC team has reached the College World Series in each of the last 19 years — including multiple teams in 12 of those years.

With an expanded SEC Tournament, the assumption is that door is wide open for the SEC.

“There’s going to be years where that 10th team is going to get to Omaha,” Cohen said. “One year that’s going to happen because they’re going to have an incredible RPI and they’re just going to happen to finish one game back of the fifth or sixth spot. It’s going to happen. Our league is just that good.”

2012 SEC Baseball Tournament Bracket Clear After Last Day of Regular Season (Team Speed Kills)
After a crazy conclusion to the race for the SEC regular-season championship and the late ending of a game between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt that decided where almost everyone in the jumbled middle of the conference ended up, we have the details for the first round of the SEC baseball tournament, such as they are. The first pitches will be Tuesday.

The SEC has made an art in recent years of making a bracket almost impossible to draw (if you really want to see one without names, it's here and will probably be updated shortly), but we can look at how the first-round games play out.
Baffled by SEC baseball bracket? You're not alone (Gainesville Sun)
Now that the grueling regular season is behind the SEC's baseball teams, they will head to Hoover for the SEC Tournament, also known as the Big Hieroglyphic.

Have you seen the bracket? I'd explain Florida's path to a second straight tournament championship, but it would be easier to install a garbage disposal. Apparently, it was the bracket the coaches liked the best, perhaps because this way they could hide coded signals to their families back home between the seed lines.
. ..
If you are an SEC fan, just understand the bracket is like staring at the sun. You want to turn away, but you just can't. And it gives you a headache.
With some help, LSU claims SEC title (Shreveport Times)
The Tigers (42-14) did their share at Carolina Stadium, then got to celebrate all over again on the trip back to campus after losses by Kentucky and Florida gave them their first outright crown since 2003. LSU shared the SEC championship in 2009 with Ole Miss.
. . .
Losses by Florida at Auburn and Kentucky at Mississippi State gave the Gamecocks the SEC Eastern Division top spot and the bye in next week’s conference tournament that goes with it.
. . .
The Gamecocks have proved capable of rebounding in the biggest way possible. They won their first College World Series crown five weeks after losing the league title to the Gators.

South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said there’s plenty of baseball left before his players should think about a similar run this spring. Still, he told the Gamecocks he was proud of how they fought back from a 1-5 SEC start to gain a shot at the top spot at the end.

“We’ve come a long way since Lexington, Kentucky,” where South Carolina lost all three games to the Wildcats to open SEC play, Tanner said.
Flaw in SEC baseball scheduling: Not enough LSU vs. South Carolina (The Post & Courier)
There were so many loud moments over three wonderful games, including an Adam Matthews double Friday night that almost everyone at Carolina Stadium thought was a homer.

As the crowd was alternately cheering and booing, LSU second baseman JaCoby Jones sidled up to Matthews.

“It gets loud in here,” Jones said.

Matthews, standing on the bag, nodded.

“Yeah, man,” the Gamecocks' senior outfielder said. “It's a lot of fun to play here.”
. . .
LSU ranks first nationally in average home attendance, South Carolina fourth.

“For many years, LSU did set the standard,” Tanner said. “You tried to get to that point. I'm not saying our program is as good as LSU's or anything like that, but the environment is. I don't think it gets any better. The two programs, we have tremendous respect for each other.”

Mainieri talked as if related to Tanner.

“Let me tell you something,” he said. “I can't say this enough: I just think if Ray Tanner is not the very best coach in college baseball, it's a small crowd.”
Mississippi State finishes sweep of UK to end hopes of SEC regular season title (
A series of defensive miscues allowed Mississippi State to plate eight runs over the fourth and fifth innings for an 11-3 win over No. 4 UK baseball to sweep the series and end the Wildcats hopes at winning the Southeastern Conference regular season championship.
. . .
Despite falling in the three-game series, the Wildcats have finished the 2012 regular season with the second-most regular-season wins in program history, just behind the 42 wins the 2006 UK team took into the postseason.
. . .
UK will return to action in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., at Regions Park on Tuesday as the No. 4 seed versus No. 9 seed Mississippi at 9:30 a.m.
Diamond Hog Update: What Went Wrong, and a Glimmer of Hope (Arkansas Expats)
Between grad school (not for the faint of heart, btw), Bobby Petrino's unfortunate exit from Fayetteville, something about 3 high-profile players going Full Retard (NSFW language), and the somber news that our fearless leaders are officially hanging up their blogging shoes (blogging shoes? Is that a real thing? It is now), Razorback baseball has kind of taken a back seat. When we last left off, the Diamond Hogs were sitting at a tidy 22-3 (5-1 SEC), with a top 5 ranking in every major poll. If the title of the post hasn't given it away already... things went south, fast.
. . .
The Razorbacks have had hitting issues, pretty much all season. And yet, that characterization isn't quite fair. The hitting numbers have been sufficient to win more games than this team has, but there's been a lack of timely hitting. Of the Hogs' 14 SEC losses, 7 have been by 1 run. As far as our collective batting averages and pitching stats go, losing that many 1-run games is a fairly glaring statistical anomaly. A few more timely hits, and this could have been an entirely different season.
. . .
The team had a lot expected of them, and some bold claims were made by your's truly earlier in the season. First things first, the SEC West crown has been out of reach for some time now; that honor goes to LSU, who also won the overall regular season title. Same for a National Seed (and the right to host a Super Regional). Even hosting a regional is somewhat in question; a strong showing in the SEC Tourney could earn them the right... or an early exit could result in the Hogs been shipped off as a #2 in someone else's regional. The only thing that I was right about is that the Hogs would have a better conference record than last season... but apparently only by 1 game. The Hogs now stand at 39-17 (16-14 SEC), which is completely acceptable, but definitely a disappointment given the expectations. On the bright side, the Hogs seem be getting hot just in time for the post season.
Alabama goes out a winner (Tuscaloosa News)
For the first time since 2001, the University of Alabama baseball team finished its season with a win. That isn’t exactly what a baseball program wants to do, unless it’s in Omaha, but Saturday’s 6-4 victory over Georgia did give UA some slight consolation after a difficult year.

The come-from-behind win allowed Alabama to finish out of the Southeastern Conference cellar this season, and also kept the Crimson Tide (21-34) from tying the school record for losses set in 1994.

UA went 9-21 in SEC play, a game ahead of last-place Tennessee.

Baseball Vols wrap up season (Chattanooga Times Free PRess)
Midway through the SEC baseball season, Tennessee was one game under .500 in league play and right in the middle of the standings.

The Volunteers had wins over then-unbeaten Kentucky, national powers South Carolina and Florida and a sweep of Alabama.

After a difficult sweep at Mississippi State that featured two extra-inning losses, though, the bottom fell out, and UT won just once more in SEC play and lost 16 of their final 18 games after a season-ending sweep from Arkansas in Knoxville this weekend.

"I don't know if I have ever felt this empty honestly," said first-year coach Dave Serrano, who's taken Cal State Fullerton and California-Irvine to the College World Series in his coaching career.

♦ From 1st-year Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano on Twitter:
Vol fans thank you for everything. I'm sorry we couldn't get it done for you this year. Our future together will be bright! Go Vols
Gary Henderson named SEC Coach of the Year (
The Kentucky Wildcats baseball team had a remarkable turnaround during the 2012 season.

The Wildcats opened the season with a school-record 22-game winning streak and were the last Division I team to suffer a loss. When SEC play began, the Wildcats swept two-time defending national champion South Carolina on the opening weekend and reeled off six straight series wins. The Wildcats finished the season with an 18-12 SEC record and went into the final day of the regular season seeking a share of the school's second SEC baseball championship.