"We're still going to have to score runs, and that has been our biggest issue," Jamieson said. "Rob has been great for his entire career at our place. He is going to be a high draft at the end of the year, and he has a good professional career ahead of him, and he'll compete and do fine, but we have to score runs." (Columbia Tribune, 5/21)
The story of Mizzou Baseball in 2013 has been a consistent one, and it continued right on through the final 17 inning chapter. It's the story of a bi-polar team. And no, I'm not talking about the weather.
In the final marathon against fellow defending conference tournament champion Mississippi State, the Tiger pitching shined as always. One of the best and deepest pitching staffs of Tim Jamieson's tenure represented themselves well, led by their ace, Rob Zastryzny, and the Man of Steele, Keaton Steele.
At least on this night, Zastryzny silenced any and all doubters. The lefty was terrific against the Bulldogs, striking out seven, walking two and allowing just one run on seven hits in nine stellar innings of work.
"He was phenomenal, focused and on a mission tonight," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "I think that's about as well as he has thrown all-season long for nine-straight innings.
"I think he's the next of our pitchers to make it to the big leagues," Jamieson continued. "He has big-league type of stuff and his competitiveness is off the charts out there." (Perfect Game)
"I'm not even going to attempt to pronounce the first left-hander's name but we'll probably all know his name in five years when he's playing in the big leagues because he's really good," Mississippi State head coach John Cohen on Missouri left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny (al.com)
On the other hand, last night's game was typical of the entire season for the offense as well. MU's lone run was scored on a wild throw. The hitters, while they gave it everything they had, it just wasn't enough yet again. The team managed 11 hits hits in 57 at bats, for a .193 batting average, with only one extra-base hit. And as usual against a ranked SEC team, they weren't given many walks or other free bases to exploit.
And so a difficult season ends. The Tigers finish 18-32 overall, 10-20 in the SEC.
None of the regular hitters finished with a batting average above .300. On the other hand, all the regulars managed to lift their averages above the .200 Mendoza line by the season's close.
But the pitching amassed a team ERA of 3.87, which is good enough to carry a team deep into the post-season...if it weren't for the fact that the offense has handed its opponents' pitchers a 3.60 ERA.
As I've said all year long, it wasn't about the move to the SEC. A team that only hits .245 as a team isn't going to compete in any conference.
But, like every Cubs fan knows, there's always next year.
Over the coming week we'll be posting our annual Tip of the Cap season wrap-up series here at SimmonsField.com before we put this season to a merciful end.