Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MIZZOU MATCHUP: Missouri State Bears

Head Coach: Keith Guttin (1,034-654 in 31st season as Missouri State Head Coach)

Taylor Stadium – Columbia, MO
Wednesday @ 6 PM CT

Missouri (12-20, 4-11 SEC) vs. Missouri State (21-10, 6-3 MVC)

The Bears will travel to Columbia to play Mizzou for the second time in as many weeks on Wednesday. Last Tuesday the Tigers edged Missouri State 5-4, Jace James getting the win in 3 innings of work. Keaton Steele led the offense going 3-4 with an RBI. Over the weekend, the Bears took two of three from Southern Illinois, putting up 26 runs and improving their road record to 7-6. You can view my last Mizzou Matchup on Missouri State here, as today’s column will be more of an update after their weekend series.

Position Players
Tate Matheny had a solid series, boosting his hitting streak to six games. At this point his hitting streak is of the multivitamin type, just getting one a day. Only one of those six games has he collected more than one hit. He also added 4 RBI and 4 R against Southern Illinois.

Left fielder Keenen Maddox was the one who carried the Bears over the weekend. He hit an even .500 (7-14), picking up 3 R and 6 RBI. This improved his average for the year to .290. If he keeps this up, it gives Missouri State another threat in the lineup that could make a difference if the rivals play another close game.

Catcher Luke Voit is another Bear that collected a hit in all three games, also adding six walks in the three games. This helped him carry a .625 OBP. Mizzou pitching needs to go right after him because the way the two in front of him are hitting as of late, adding Voit to the base paths almost guarantees there will be a runner in scoring position ahead of him.

Projected Lineup
CF Tate Matheny (R) .358
SS Travis McComack (L) .267
C Luke Voit (R) .300
DH Koby Peebles (S) .277
1B Conor Smith (R) .274
LF Keenen Maddox (R) .290
RF Dylan Becker (L) .216
3B Joey Hawkins (R) .278
2B Eric Cheray (L) .293

Even though Matt Hall didn’t start last weekend as I anticipated, I could see him getting the ball Wednesday, but lets face it, it’s a crapshoot when guessing who is going to start during the week so bear with me. Hall threw 2.2 innings on Saturday, only giving up 2 hits on no runs. This was an improvement after the Tigers smacked him around last week, when he only lasted 0.2 innings, giving up 3 ER.

Projected Pitching Matchup
RHP Jace James (3-1, 1.98 ERA) vs. LHP Matt Hall (3-0, 2.01 ERA)

Matchup Wrap-up
Pitching is not as much of a concern as the bats for the Tigers. If they can get the bats going even a little bit they should be able to pull out another victory over their in-state rival. I can’t see Andy Cheray getting another start against Mizzou this week since he just threw on Sunday and did not perform as well as he did against the Tigers.

Other SEC games this week:
UAB @ Alabama
(12) Arkansas @ Nebraska
Auburn @ Samford
Florida @ Florida Gulf Coast
Presbyterian @ Georgia
(8) Louisville @ (17) Kentucky
Grambling State @ (3) LSU
(21) Ole Miss vs. Southern Miss
College of Charleston @ (18) South Carolina
Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech
Texas A&M @ Sam Houston State
Tennessee Tech @ (2) Vanderbilt
Idle: (16) Mississippi State

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