Thursday, February 28, 2013

MIZZOU MATCHUP: Northwestern University Wildcats


Head Coach: Paul Stevens
(615-741-6 in 26th year at Northwestern)

Taylor Stadium – Columbia, MO

  • Friday @ 6 PM CT
  • Saturday @ 2 PM CT
  • Sunday @ 1 PM CT

Northwestern (4-2, 0-0 Big 10) @ Missouri (0-6, 0-0 SEC)

Mizzou opens their home schedule this weekend against Big 10 opponent Northwestern. The Tigers are still looking for their first win of the young season, as they have been swept by both Southern Mississippi and Memphis over the past two weekends. Northwestern did not finish well last season, finishing with an 18-36 record, 6-18 in the Big 10, which was last in the conference. The team has only been to the College World Series once in its history, coming in 1957. This season, the Wildcats have only played one true road game, coming at Lipscomb last weekend.

The Batters

DH/P Zach Morton has been the team’s most valuable player so far this year, getting it done at the plate and on the mound. The senior has started this season hitting .304, and has 2 doubles, a homer, 7 RBIs, and 12 total bases all of which are team bests. Look for Morton to be the Friday starter as well, but more on that later.

The duties behind the plate will be taken care of by junior Jake Straub. Straub has started in 5 of the 6 games for the Wildcats so far this year; matching the amount of starts he made all of 2012. In his small sample last year, he hit .286 (6-for-21), all of his hits coming as singles. This year he has gotten off to a slow start, only collecting 2 hits in 10 at-bats. Behind the plate he has yet to catch a baserunner, as there have been 6 stolen bases off of him.

Senior first baseman Jack Havey has held down the cleanup spot in the order in all six games so far the season, reaching base in all games so far, showing a vast improvement over his 2012 stats. Although the season is still young, Havey has started hitting .381 with only 2 K’s in 25 plate appearances. This is the same trend he showed last year, when he only struck out 26 times in his 52 games. He also tied for the team lead with 5 homers.

Preseason All-Big 10 Second Team senior Kyle Ruchim started all 54 Wildcat games in 2012 and on opening day this season he went 4-for-4. But a separated shoulder that will most likely keep him out of this weekend’s games derailed the promising start. Coach Stevens is confident that he will return before conference play starts, but losing him will be a major setback for now.

Shortstop Trevor Stevens is looking to have a big year after missing all of 2012 due to injury. There was a lot of promise from him after he earned a Third Team All-Conference spot. Stevens was deadly with runner in scoring position, hitting .419 in those situations. As their leadoff hitter, he has gotten a hit in all but one game, but has no multi-hit games. He also leads the team striking out 8 times.

Left and centerfield has been very consistent for Northwestern, the starters being Walker Moses and Luke Dauch respectively. Moses has gotten off to a great start, hitting .346 and hasn’t missed an inning yet all season. Dauch has also enjoyed his successes, hitting .333. Both players have the same weakness, striking out a combined 13 times to their 4 walks.

Projected Lineup
SS Trevor Stevens .200
LF Walker Moses .346
DH/P Zach Morton .304
1B Jack Havey .381
CF Luke Dauch .333
RF Josh Perlmutter .444
3B Colby Everett .176
C Jake Straub .200
2B Antonio Freschet .222
The Pitchers

On Friday the Tigers will have to prepare for Zach Morton, who has been nothing short of stellar in his first two outings. He has thrown 14 innings in his two starts, giving up only 2 ER, good for a 1.29 ERA. Hitters are only hitting .163 against him, and he has only let up one extra base hit in his two starts.

Northwestern’s number two starter and Preseason Second Team All-Conference pitcher Brandon Magallones has struggled to start the year. His last start was much better than his first, going 7 innings giving up 3 ER on only 1 walk.

Luke Farrell was magnificent in his only start so far this year and that may have earned him the nod on Sunday. In 6 innings against Lipscomb, he did not give up a single run while striking out a career-high 12 batters. He finished last season similar, having a mere 2.18 ERA in his final 14 appearances.

Projected Matchups

  • Friday: Rob Zastrynzny (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. Zach Morton (2-0, 1.29 ERA)
  • Saturday: Brett Graves (0-1, 3.18 ERA) vs. Brandon Magallones (1-1, 4.63 ERA)
  • Sunday: Eric Anderson (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Luke Farrell (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Matchup Wrap-up

Zach Morton and Luke Farrell have been hard for hitters to figure out this year, and they don’t give up a lot of walks. The Tigers will have to bank on their pitching to get the job done. If Zastrynzny continues to pitch like he has been, it will be a long day in the series opener. Brett Graves has been great so far for Mizzou, but with nothing to show for it because the offense has yet to get things going so far this year. The bats really need to get going this weekend, as they are running into some very solid pitching.

Other SEC games this weekend

Tulane @ Alabama 3/1-3
Eastern Illinois @ Auburn 3/1-3
Miami (FL) @ Florida 3/1-3
UAB @ Georgia 3/1-3
Akron @ #11 Kentucky
#8 Ole Miss @ Florida International 3/1-3
St. Joseph’s @ #5 Mississippi State 3/1-3
#7 South Carolina vs. Clemson 3/1-3
Illinois-Chicago @ #2 Vanderbilt 3/1-3

Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, AZ
#3 Arkansas vs. Arizona State 2/28, 3/2
#3 Arkansas vs. Gonzaga 3/1
#3 Arkansas vs. Pacific

LSU Tournament 2 in Baton Rouge, LA
#9 LSU vs. Brown 3/1-2
#9 LSU vs. Nicholls State 3/3

Irish Baseball Classic in Cary, NC
Tennessee vs. Notre Dame 3/1
Tennessee vs. Massachusetts 3/2
Tennessee vs. 25 Virginia Tech 3/3

Houston College Classic in Houston, TX
Texas A&M vs. Houston 3/1
Texas A&M vs. #13 Rice 3/2
Texas A&M vs. #1 North Carolina 3/3

Rankings from Baseball America

MU vs. Northwestern Cancelled

Mizzou Baseball vs. Northwestern Cancelled (
The Mizzou department of athletics and the Mizzou baseball program have announced Thursday (Feb. 28) that Mizzou's home-opening series versus Northwestern scheduled for March 1-3 at Taylor Stadium has been cancelled due to snow on the field. As of now, there are no plans to make up the scheduled games with Northwestern as Mizzou continues to explore its options for the weekend.

Mizzou is scheduled to play at home again on March 5-6 against Eastern Michigan. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.

So... you're all hyped up for opening weekend and it's not happening. What to do with your time?

You're in luck if you're in CoMo, because this weekend is the annual True/False Film Festival (

♦ The Vox Magazine has tons of information about the festival, such as the existence of "Secret Screenings":
Can you keep a secret?

If social media is any yardstick, the answer is a resounding no. Countless secrets have been revealed over social media by organizations as large as The New York Times to as small as your grandma’s social security number, and it’s easy to believe that nothing, especially something popular, can possibly stay under wraps forever.

True/False founders Paul Sturtz and David Wilson gamble every year that everyone who attends the festival’s secret screenings will abide by the ban on spreading information about the films...

HI NOTES: Lots of Snow, Is It a Go?

Snow.  Lots of snow at Taylor Stadium.  The video and articles below talk about the effort to clear the playing field.  But that's only part of the task.

What about the stands?  The seats, walkways, seating area floors, stairways, concourse sidewalks...   Wet metal flooring in the grandstands with a game time temperature of 32-and-falling is not a recipe for safety.

So ... lots of work before baseball can be played.

What about you?  If they go ahead and play Friday at 6:00 PM on a day when the high was 32 -- will you be there?

Apparently, though, there are other plans being discussed.

Missouri baseball players shovel to save home opener (Columbia Missourian - with photos)
Without the financial resources to move the game to a neutral site, Jamieson said playing in Columbia is the most practical option. He said he anticipates that his team can have the field cleared by Friday at the earliest, making the most realistic start date for a mini-series Sunday, with a second game Monday. Northwestern’s academic calendar will likely squash that plan.
. . .
Acknowledging that the odds for a series with Northwestern this weekend look bleak, Jamieson said he and his staff might try to find another opponent willing to play Sunday and Monday. The Tigers have games against Eastern Michigan scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Diamond Dusting (Columbia Tribune)

March Madness: 14 Home Games in 20 Days

It's time for the annual March home stand for the Missouri Tigers.  This year's isn't quite as long as last season's 19 home games in 27 days, but with the exception of a weekend trip to Tennessee the 22nd-24th, March 2013 does feature 18 home games in 31 days.

Unfortunately, March looks to be coming in like neither a lion nor a lamb, but a polar bear.

As of the time I'm writing this no announcement has been made about the status of the opening weekend with Northwestern, with highs of 32, 32, and 41 forecast.

Tuesday and Wednesday's pair of games against Eastern Michigan are predicted to be taking place in low-to-mid 40s temperatures, with a chance of snow in the forecast for Tuesday.

Hopefully the weather will get better as March progresses.

Missouri March-April-May Outlook (
  • Above average temperatures
  • Average Precipitation
March Home Stand Schedule
  • Northwestern Wildcats, Fri-Sat-Sun 3/1-3/3 CANCELLED
    • B1G Ten Conference
    • NU finished 235th in 2012 RPI
    • MU is 3-2 all time vs. NU
    • Dillon Everett's brother, Colby, is a senior infielder for the Wildcats
    • Be sure to check out Sam Nasci's MIZZOU MATCHUP preview of the MU-NU series coming on today at Noon
  • Eastern Michigan Eagles, Tue-Wed 3/5 & 3/6
    • Mid-America Conference
    • EMU finished 208th in 2012 RPI
    • MU is 10-2 all time vs. EMU
  • San Francisco Dons, Fri-Sat-Sun 3/8-3/10
    • West Coast Conference
    • USF finished 119th in 2012 RPI
    • MU is 0-3 all time vs. USF
    • Missouri was swept 0-3 by USF in San Francisco last season
  • Jackson State Tigers, Tue 3/12
    • South West Athletic Conference
    • JSU finished 234th in 2012 RPI
    • MU is 1-0 all time vs. JSU
    • Jackson State (Jackson, MS) is one of 7 non-conference opponents from SEC states on MU's schedule
  • South Carolina Gamecocks , Fri-Sat-Sun 3/15-3/17
    • SEC East
    • USC finished 6th in 2012 RPI
    • Missouri's first ever matchup with USC is also MU's first ever SEC series
    • Played in the past three CWS Finals, won 2010, 2011
  • Arkansas State Red Wolves, Tue-Wed 3/19-3/20
    • Sun Belt Conference
    • ASU finished 118th in 2012 RPI
    • MU is 17-7 all time vs. ASU
RPI rankings from

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

HI NOTES: Speculating on Futures, Snow Ballers, Memphis Perspective

Weather has Missouri baseball home opener on ice (Columbia Missourian)
A cancellation this weekend would be the second in a row for Northwestern
Missouri first baseman Gavin Stark underwent surgery Monday to clean up the meniscus in his knee...


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Word on the Tweet: Opening Day Threatened By Weather

HI NOTES: Gibson & Tepesch Impress


Tepesch impresses in spring debut vs. hometown team (
Rangers rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch made his Cactus League debut on Sunday against a familiar team. Tepesch pitched at the University of Missouri and grew up in Blue Springs, Mo., which is about 15 minutes from Kauffman Stadium.

Tepesch made a pretty good impression on Sunday. He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three in a row in the third inning. The only hit was a bunt single in the fourth and Tepesch then got the next hitter to ground into a double play.

"He threw the ball extremely well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was down in the zone and had good depth on his breaking ball. He looks like a pitcher. What he did out there today was impressive."...
Mauer has high praise for pitcher Gibson in Twins' loss (AP)
Joe Mauer thought the scoreboard radar reading of 96 mph on a pitch from Kyle Gibson was a little low.

"It seemed like it was 106," Mauer said Sunday. "He was throwing the ball at a good angle. It was the first time I've caught him, so it was good to see him. It's been pretty good to get to know these guys. Once we get out into a game, you start to get a better idea about the guys."
. . .
Asked to compare Gibson to another pitcher, Mauer had trouble doing so.

"It's tough to compare somebody," Mauer said. "But he's got the height. He's got a good angle. He keeps the ball down."...


Missouri baseball gets swept, still winless (Columbia Missourian)
Following the game, head coach Tim Jamieson told KTGR's Tex Little that the defense frustrated him more than the bullpen.

“It’s more the defense, Tex, than the bullpen," Jamieson said. "We get a leadoff out, then we drop a routine ground ball, we don’t make plays on bunts. Pitchers can do a better job, but we could sure make it easier for them.”...
Missouri Tiger’s Baseball Starts 2013 Season 0-6 (
Missouri’s pitching staff hasn’t been great, but it’s been good enough to have a better record than 0-6. The Tigers have given up 35 total runs, but only 28 of those runs have been earned. Mizzou’s defense has committed 12 errors so far in the early going, which certainly doesn’t help the pitching staff...
Teams Wanting a Do-Over (Perfect Game)
Missouri: The Tigers will have nightmares about Conference USA for a few weeks. They dropped all three games to Southern Mississippi opening weekend. And in an even bigger surprise, they dropped all three games at Memphis this weekend, including an 8-2 setback Sunday afternoon. MU starting pitcher Eric Anderson was lifted early in the game after allowing a run on two hits in two innings of work...
Three Down (College Baseball Today)
2- Missouri’s bats: The Tigers (of Mizzou) got swept by the Tigers (of Memphis) with today’s 8-2 weekend capper. But in particular, the Missouri offense needs to be admonished for scoring just 11 runs in their 0-6 start. As a team, MU is hitting a paltry .190. But huge kudos to Dylan Kelly, who mysteriously is hitting .412

Monday, February 25, 2013

9 Reasons to Not Give Up on the 2013 Tigers

1 Brett Graves has to be considered the "Ace" of the starting rotation at this point, with a 3.18 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 11.1 innings over his two starts. Opponents are hitting just .159 against him. Ian Kinsler has been quoted as saying Graves is pitching like a big leaguer.
Graves has been very impressive this year with the bases empty, and he was dominant for most of his outing against Memphis as he retired the first 13 batters he faced, carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning. (The Extra Nine: A Mizzou Baseball Blog - Week 2,
2 Rob Zastryzny has struggled in his first two starts (0-2, 6.75 ERA, 14 hits and 8 earned runs in 10.3 innings), but this is actually pretty much in line what Rob Z did last year. His first 2 starts in 2012 lasted a combined 8.2 innings and netted a 5.78 ERA, but he finished the season with a 3.80 ERA.

3 Eric Anderson had a good start in his first time back on the mound
The highlight of the day for the Tigers was the season debut for redshirt junior Eric Anderson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), who made his first start and first pitching appearance since March 9, 2012, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May of 2012. Anderson went 2.0 innings, allowing two hits, a walk and an earned run in his 2.0 innings of work. He threw 31 pitches in the start, 19 for strikes. (
4 Alec Rash has started the season well (2 APP, 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, .056 Opp BA) and will continue to get more innings and more appearances.
Mizzou spoiled a great relief outing by freshman Alec Rash (Adel, Iowa), who went 4.0 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out three. He was a tough-luck loser on the day after the leadoff man in the seventh reached on an error at short and eventually came around to score as the go-ahead run after three wild pitches. (
5 Jace James has given up 4 hits in his 5 innings over 3 appearances, but has surrendered no runs, earned or not, and only a single walk. He is on his way to being the anchor of the bullpen.

6 Dylan Kelly has gotten off to a good start in the opening weekends. He leads the Tigers in hitting (.412 BA, 7-for-17, 2 R, .444 OBP, 1 BB, 4 SO), and has distinguished himself as a tough take-charge catcher behind the plate.
Arguably the best weekend performance for Mizzou went to catcher Dylan Kelly, who batted an unconscious .556 (5-for-9) at the dish against Memphis. (The Extra Nine: A Mizzou Baseball Blog - Week 2,
7 Kendall Keeton (.286, 6-for-21, 2 2B, 1 RBI, leads regular starters with only 2 strikeouts) and Dane Opel (.278, 5-for-18, 1 3B, 2 RBI, .458 OBP, 2 BB, 4 HBP, 5 SO)aren't hitting in the .400s like Kelly, but they're doing better than the rest of the lineup, and providing some leadership for the offense.  They've been helped by Keaton Steele, whose .222 batting average may be unimpressive, but his contributions to the offense have come in other ways:
He currently stands at 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and he leads the team with four RBI, tallying two RBI in each weekend of the season. (The Extra Nine: A Mizzou Baseball Blog - Week 2,
8 Breckin Wiliams sticks out among a struggling bullpen with his inning and two-thirds work over two appearances, with only a single hit and no runs - earned or not - to his credit.

9 Missouri seems to always start the season slowly, especially in offense. After the first 9 games in 2012, Missouri's record was 4-5. Scott Sommerfeld and Dane Opel led the team with batting averages of .348 and .333, but from there it went downhill quickly. Ben Turner .276, Brannon Champagne .242, Blake Brown .240, Conner Mach .219, Eric Garcia .219

Sunday, February 24, 2013

HI NOTES: The Bright Side


Three-Run Seventh Sinks Mizzou at Memphis (
The Tigers got a good start from sophomore Brett Graves (St. Charles, Mo.), who allowed just three earned runs (four total) over six innings pitched while striking out five. He was perfect through four innings and retired the first 13 batters he faced, but he struggled in the seventh inning, walking two and allowing a single before getting the hook as Memphis scored three in the frame to gain a 4-3 lead...
Brett Graves' performance
masked by late-inning struggles as Memphis beats Missouri (Columbia Missourian)
Catcher Dylan Kelly had two hits for Missouri and third baseman Keaton Steele recorded an RBI...
♦ Also on the bright side, Mizzou isn't the only SEC Baeball team struggling, according to College Baseball Today: A Grand Slammin' Good Time Couch Surfing
A tweet today from my good bud Mike Rooney, the ESPNU studio analyst and color commentator, “I’m concerned about the SEC. Particularly, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M and Missouri.”

The monster conference continued their second straight day of some curious losses and busted egos. Here are some of the duck-your-head-and-slink-out-of-church losses from Saturday:

- BYU won at No. 2 LSU 9-4.

- FGCU won for the second day in a row at No. 17 Florida, 8-3.

- Georgia split with Belmont, losing 11-10, before escaping with a 2-1, 10-inning win.

- The aforementioned Auburn loss to Middle Tennessee, 2-1.

- Memphis took down Missouri 5-2.

Even some of the wins were white-knucklers against teams that shouldn’t have made the games so close.

♦ Here's an interesting blog about the potential for marketing College Baseball: College Baseball Opens Quietly, But With Lots of Brand Possibilities… (
Colleges put a great deal of time through to drive revenue through football in the fall and basketball through the winter, it would make sense to tie and give added values to brands with a spring activation as well. College baseball is competitive, provides a good wrap-up to a marketing plan, and is extremely affordable for brands to activate against with athletes that would welcome the exposure. There is also a great opportunity for charities or philanthropic efforts to tie to college baseball in the spring, much like programs are laid out for other sports in other seasons...

HI NOTES: Go! Fight! Winless?



♦ From Message Board
if mizzou goes winless in baseball do they get kicked out of the SEC.

♦ From
Just brutal. This team is completely uninspiring. I get depressed just thinking about them

So far we have done nothing at the start to suggest that we are anything but the 14th best team in this conference.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

HI NOTES: Idling in Neutral



Through 4 games:
.163 Mizzou Batting Average

.275 Mizzou On Base Percentage

37 Strikeouts by Mizzou Batters

.292 Opponents' Batting Average

10 Mizzou Batters Hit By Pitch

5 Opponents' Batters HBP

4 Mizzou Errors

.534 Mizzou ERA

.100 Opponents' ERA

Memphis Tigers baseball team shuts out Missouri (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
Tucker Tubbs had a home run and three RBIs and Sam Moll allowed one hit in seven innings as the University of Memphis (2-3) defeated Missouri (0-4) 6-0 at FedExPark on Friday. Moll walked one and struck out five.

Memphis (2-3) scored twice in the first. Carter White doubled, and Tubbs followed with his second career home run to give Memphis the lead over Mizzou (0-4).
Memphis shuts out winless Missouri baseball team (Columbia Missourian)
Right fielder Dan Opel (triple) and and second baseman Kendall Keeton (single) were the only two Missouri players to get a hit. The Tigers were held by Memphis starter pitcher Sam Moll, who pitched seven innings, gave up one hit and struck out five. Conner Porter pitched the final two innings for Memphis.

Missouri starter Rob Zastrysny gave up 10 hits and five runs. He was pulled with one out left in the sixth inning.

Friday, February 22, 2013

HI NOTES: Weather or Not, Tigers vs. Tigers Begins Today

Friday's game has been pushed back to a 5:00 PM start time


Be sure to check out Sam Nasci's MIZZOU MATCHUP for a preview of this weekend's Mizzou vs. Memphis series.

'Super' recovery has Missouri pitcher back in the rotation (Columbia Missourian)
That lack of setbacks has pushed Anderson to an uncharacteristically quick recovery from an injury that usually requires at least a year of recovery time. Missouri coach Tim Jamieson attributed the successful recovery to Anderson’s experience with rehabbing a major injury.

“This being his second rehab in some ways is a blessing because a lot of it’s mental,” Jamieson said. “He kind of already made that adjustment because of his first rehab, so it’s been pretty smooth.”...
Baseball looks to bounce back from 0-3 start against Memphis (The Maneater)
Missouri’s pitching coach Matt Hobbs said his staff didn’t put the ball where they needed to put it, which resulted in blown leads on Saturday and Sunday.

“I think this weekend we need to get back to what we were good at in the past,” Hobbs said. “We need to pound the strike zone and get strikes. Be aggressive and take that mentality on the mound and not give up leads.”...

Friday Game Time Pushed Back to 5PM

HI NOTES: Slow Road to Memphis, Pitching Shuffle, Mizzou Rangers

Photo by Tambako

Note:  Twitter's time-stamp for embedded tweets does not accurately reflect the true time of the posts.


James will be MU's stopper (Columbia Tribune)
"He works really hard," Hobbs said. "Every one of his coaches — his high school coach said that about him, his college coach said that about him, his summer coach said that about him. I kept on hearing 'hard-nosed competitor.' "

In Missouri's series at Memphis that begins tomorrow, James is likely to pitch in long relief Sunday after Eric Anderson's start. Anderson is expected to make his first appearance since undergoing elbow surgery in May...


Last Call from the Desert (
The starters only had two plate appearances in Wednesday’s intrasquad. After that, Minor League hitters took over to face the pitchers who needed work. That’s why the big star of the game was Brett Nicholas, a first baseman who played at Class A Myrtle Beach last year. He had a double and three-run home run off of reliever Johan Yan. Nicholas was a sixth-round pick out of the University of Missouri in 2010.

Nick Tepesch pitched a scoreless first inning against the Rangers regulars, striking out both Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

MIZZOU MATCHUP: University of Memphis Tigers

Head Coach: Daron Schoenrock 
 (207-250 in 8 years at Memphis)

FedEx Park in Memphis, TN

Friday @ 4 PM CT
Saturday @ 2 PM CT
Sunday @ 1 PM CT

Missouri (0-3, 0-0 SEC) @ Memphis (1-3, 0-0 Conference USA)

Mizzou will try and right the ship early in the season against another Conference USA opponent in the Memphis Tigers. Memphis finished last year tied for third in their conference, going 31-28 and 16-13 at home.

The Tigers have a slightly different look this year as they only have five returning starters from last year. Players that they have lost include 3B Jacob Wilson, whose .320 BA and 17 HR earned him a 10th round selection by the St. Louis Cardinals and Player of the Year in Conference USA. Also, utility man Adam McClain graduated, leaving his senior season hitting .392. Lastly, their workhorse SP Dan Langfield left his 10.67 K/9, 2.79 ERA, and .208 BAA to sign with the Cincinnati Reds after they drafted him in the third round last June. All three players earned First Team All-Conference


With losing those key players comes youth. The Memphis Tigers have zero starting seniors in their lineup. C/1B/DH Carter White had a great start to the season, collecting 6 hits in his first four games. This is no fluke though, as he finished last season second in the conference in batting for players with more than 50 AB, hitting .358.

Second baseman Zach Willis is a run creator for the Tigers, as his 24 walks in 2012 boosted his OBP to a respectable .408. He will likely be the leadoff man for the Tigers, as he has had those duties in the team’s last three games, adding 2 SB so far this year.

One man that is looking to get things turned around early in the season is SS Ethan Gross. He has really struggled in Memphis’ first four contests, only getting one hit in his 16 ABs, striking out six times.

Going into the season, there was a bit of a question who Memphis’ starting third baseman was going to be, but junior Drew Griffin’s hot start has gotten him the nod in all four games so far. He started the year hitting .412 (7-for-17), adding 2 doubles, and a team leading 3 RBIs.

Without sugarcoating it at all, the Memphis outfield has been a mess so far in 2013. They have had six starting outfielders so far, CF Ford Wilson being the only consistent one starting all four games, has been inconsistent at the plate only getting one hit in 13 ABs. They haven’t had the same starting left fielder twice yet, with time being split between Austin Hatfield (1-for-4), Jake Little (1-for-5), Zac Carter (0-for-2), and Bryce Beeler, who will probably emerge as a starter in one of the two corner outfield spots as he started hot hitting .400.

Projected Lineup
2B Zach Willis .287
DH Carter White .429
1B Tucker Tubbs .273
3B Drew Griffin .412
RF Bryce Beeler .400
C Keaton Aldridge .250
SS Ethan Gross .063
CF Ford Wilson .077
LF Jake Little .200


Assuming Memphis goes with the same three weekend starters they did against Illinois State, Sam Moll will get the nod on Friday. Moll struggled in the season opener, giving up 3 ER in 4 IP. While he did rack up 7 Ks, he did allow 4 walks and had to be pulled in the 5th inning after he let the first three batters of the inning reach base.

Saturday starter Erik Schoenrock was looking great through five innings last weekend but only recorded one out in the sixth, surrendering 3 ER before he was pulled. Of the 16 outs he recorded, 10 were via the strikeout. The concern for the lefty during that start was efficiency, as he threw 98 pitches in only 5.1 innings.

Although he only pitched 3 innings on Sunday, southpaw Alex Gunn shined in his Tiger debut. Giving up only one hit and no walks, he struck out one throwing a very efficient 41 pitches.

On Sunday the Tigers saw another pitcher dominate in his debut. Junior transfer John Reed threw 5 innings, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits, striking out 5, and walking none.

Projected Matchups:
Friday: Rob Zastrynzny (0-1, 5.06 ERA) vs. Sam Moll (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
Saturday: Brett Graves (0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Erik Schoenrock (0-0, 5.06 ERA)
Sunday: Jace James (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Alex Gunn (0-0, 0.00 ERA)


Missouri will have to jump on this Memphis pitching staff early in the count, as their starters racked up 19 K’s in only 12.1 IP over the weekend. Missouri batters will find it hard to win games if they let the Memphis pitchers get ahead in the count, maybe with the exception of Moll, who showed slight control issues. The matchup I look forward to most is James vs. Gunn. Both did not give up an earned run in their debuts in D-I baseball, and I assume they will be allowed to go a bit deeper into the game this Sunday.

Other SEC games this weekend:
Alabama @ Florida Atlantic 2/22-24
Evansville @ 3 Arkansas 2/22-24
Florida Gulf Coast @ 17 Florida 2/22-24
Belmont @ Georgia 2/22-24
Rhode Island @ 8 Ole Miss 2/22-24
Albany @ 7 South Carolina 2/22-24
Arizona State @ Tennessee 2/22-24
Pepperdine @ Texas A&M 2/22-24
Monmouth @ 2 Vanderbilt 2/22-24
Auburn Tournament
Auburn vs. Middle Tennessee State 2/22
Auburn vs. College of Charlston 2/23
Auburn vs. Indiana State 2/24
Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC
11 Kentucky vs. Kansas State 2/21
11 Kentucky vs. Elon 2/22
11 Kentucky vs. Coastal Carolina 2/23
LSU Tournament
9 LSU vs. BYU 2/21, 23
9 LSU vs. SE Louisiana 2/22
Diamond Classic in Starkville, MS
5 Mississippi State vs. Purdue 2/22-23
5 Mississippi State vs. Samford 2/23-24

Rankings from Baseball America

HI NOTES: Everett Out, EA In, Memphis Down, KU Still Sucks

H is for Hamate
Photo by Akay Miller

Hopefully, SS Shane Segovia is going to be back in time for this weekend, because the infield is suffering from attrition.

On the "other hand"...


Memphis is struggling.  Watch for Sam Nasci's MIZZOU MATCHUP at noon today here at for all the details about the Memphis Tigers.  And watch this interview with their coach after a mid-week loss:



♦ And this display of wimpification from our old pals in Lawrence and our home opener opponents:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

HI NOTES: Tepesch Gets a Look, Everett Injured


 Tepesch Gets Early Look as Starter (
The Rangers play their two intrasquad games at noon MT on Tuesday and Wednesday on the Nolan Ryan Field. Three of the four starting pitchers will be in the Rangers' rotation: Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando on Tuesday and Matt Harrison on Wednesday. The fourth starter will be rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch.
. . .
Tepesch is a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, but is obviously a long-shot given his lack of experience. But nobody gave Robbie Ross a chance to make the team last season.

"Everybody knows what he did, but I'm not comparing myself to anybody," Tepesch said. "I'm going to do what I can do and whatever happens, happens."...

♦ Pitcher Nick Tepesch recalls historic no-hitter (Fort Worth Star Telegram)
Is the fastball where everything begins for you? Oh, yeah. The fastball is obviously No. 1. You've got to be able to throw strikes and command your fastball.

What else is in your arsenal? I've got a cutter and curveball and changeup. The curveball or cutter, probably one of the two, is my out pitch.


♦ Brandon Weiss reported in his The Extra Nine blog on Sunday that Shane Segovia, Brandon Platts, and Eric Anderson all missed the opening weekend with injuries, and that Segovia and Anderson may be back for the Memphis series this weekend. He also mentioned a day-to-day situation with a ahnd injury to infielder Dillon Everett. The Columbia Missourian's Alex Silverman has more on that with Missouri baseball team loses key infielder to hand injury
The right-handed junior tweeted Monday that he was "goin in for X-rays on the hand." A team spokesperson said Everett is day-to-day and that he will not play this weekend when Missouri travels to Memphis for a three-game series...

Following in the Ritch Price recruiting and coaching philosophy, Memphis Head Coach Daron Schoenrock has his son in the weekend rotation for the Memphis Tigers. But I got to say, this kid has earned my respect with this wise tweet:


USM Sweeps Missouri (Hattiesburg American)
Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said the Tigers’ lack of offense was debilitating.

“I thought we pitched pretty effectively, but we lost control of the series, offensively, and that simply is not the identity of this team at all,” Jamieson said. “We just were not able to get anything.”...
Chat: Talking College Baseball (
Did you expect Southern Miss' relief pitching to be as dominate as they were against Mizzou?

I think so. Jay Myrick, Cameron Giannini and Bradley Roney (Myrick and Roney) especially were arms that were proven to be outstanding at times last season, while Sean Buccholz really stepped up over the weekend. I've said it for a while, but the Golden Eagles have a good rotation and some quality arms in the bullpen. The sky really is the limit with this quad.

The SEC Numbers Game: Volume 2 (
Eleven SEC teams won their opening series/matchups, including six either sweeping or going undefeated.
No conference fan base in the country supports college baseball better than the SEC. 168,505 people came to watch league games at home this weekend, a phenomenal number. If that total were a United States city, it would be the 141st largest in the entire country.
. . .
According to official figures, seven of the top 10 highest attendance numbers were SEC schools. LSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, South Carolina and Mississippi State round out the top five of the list, with Texas A&M (7th) and Florida (10th) in the top 10. All 10 league programs that hosted an opening series registered in the top 22. Nearly half of the nation’s top 22 (10/22) featured an SEC team.

The reason all 14 teams aren’t ranked? The remaining four (Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee) were on the road, therefore not applicable to the list...

Monday, February 18, 2013

HI NOTES: Eric, Gibby & Tommy John

♦ As Brandon Weiss reported Sunday in his first The Extra Nines blog at, Eric "Anderson is listed as probable to make his 2013 debut next week as well. Anderson, who pitched in the Cape Cod League and for Team USA in 2011, is coming off Tommy John surgery that he underwent last May."
Photo by Peter Roan

That's a remarkably quick turnaround for pitcher after Tommy John surgery. In spite of that quick recovery, Anderson has been awarded a red-shirt year due to the injury, so he is technically a Junior this season, with another season of eligibility with the Tigers after this season. He is, though, eligible for the MLB Draft this coming June.

♦ A former Tiger, Kyle Gibson, has made a similar 10-month recovery from Tommy John surgery, leading to possibly earning a spot in the major league Twins' pitching staff, as reported by his home town Greenfield Reporter: G-C grad is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.
On Sept. 7, 2011, the six-foot-6 right-hander underwent “Tommy John” surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

Shortly after his procedure, Gibson told the Daily Reporter that his goal was to be ready for spring training in 2013 and compete to be one of Minnesota’s five starters.

Five days before he’s due to report to spring training, Gibson has achieved his objective.

“It was my goal in 2011, and I wasn’t even on the 40-man roster. I’m trying to make that goal a reality, for sure,” said Gibson, who lives 15 minutes away from the team’s spring training complex. “If I use the stuff I have and keep getting better, I definitely have a chance. I don’t know what my chances are, realistically.

“But if I focus too much on my chances instead of doing what I need to do, I won’t get my work done.”

After a lengthy recovery process, Gibson returned to the mound on July 10, 2012 for a rehab assignment in a Gulf Coast League game in Fort Myers...
♦ All of which makes this Yahoo Sports article quite timely and informative: Braves pitcher Kris Medlen on way to becoming Tommy John surgery's greatest success story
Until recently. As pitchers' elbows failed more and more, as surgeons became more and more adept at fixing them, something curious happened: Tommy John wasn't all that scary anymore. It practically became a rite of passage.

"Tommy John now," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, "is almost like a root canal."
. . .
Still, surgeons, team doctors and trainers today believe pitchers are coming back from Tommy John better than they have, and that the old norms – it takes at least a year to regain command – may no longer apply. Strasburg (2.7 walks per nine), Anderson (1.8) and Medlen (1.5) each possessed brilliant control before surgery and moved their pitches with similar aplomb after...
You will want to click the link and read the entire article.

HI NOTES: 0-3 Opening Weekend


The Extra Nine: A Mizzou Baseball Blog (
The starting pitchers turned in an impressive performance on opening weekend, holding Southern Miss to just a .196 average, allowing only 11 hits throughout the series...
Southern Miss 5, Missouri 2 (
"He's just Mr. Steady," fourth-year Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. "Mr. Pierce just goes out and does what he does so well, and that's win on Friday night."

Pierce, who in 14 starts last season registered at least seven strikeouts in seven of them, fanned nine Tigers and walked just one as he scattered six hits and threw 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes in the contest...
Robbins' heroics send Golden Eagles to victory (Hattiesburg American)
On the first pitch of his last at-bat Saturday afternoon at Taylor Park, Southern Miss right fielder Mason Robbins had taken fastball for a strike on the inside part of the plate from Missouri reliever Ryan Yuengel.

“He came in on the first pitch — and they’d been coming (inside) all weekend,” Robbins said of the Tigers’ pitching staff. “The first pitch he threw came in and I saw it pretty good, and I was like, ‘If he comes in with that same pitch, I won’t be late on that one.’”

Yuengel did, and Robbins didn’t, mashing the pitch over the right-field wall for a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that lifted the Golden Eagles to a 5-3 victory before 3,529...


Friday, February 15, 2013

HI NOTES: Play Ball!

See MU vs. Southern Miss preview: Mizzou Matchup

Be sure to check out the drummer at 2:09

Missouri baseball enters first SEC season with stacked pitching rotation (The Maneater)
Knowing that he’d be the No. 1 man to start the season, Zastryzny spent the offseason perfecting his craft.

"Yeah, location of the off-speed is what I have been working on a lot, consistency too,” Zastrynzny said. “I know last year I would be like, 'Fastball and curveball are working, got to use that, or fastball-change up.' Now it's kind of like everything is working that's what I had to choose. Now I got some stuff to play with, it's not so predictable anymore...
Series is a go despite tornado (Columbia Tribune)
Eric Anderson: "He looks really good. He's healthy and throwing very well," Jamieson said. "We're tempted, but we're probably going to hold back and wait until next weekend."
Shane Segovia: Segovia, penciled in as a starter on the left side of the infield, will make the trip and might get an at-bat.
Segovia's injury forced Dillon Everett to move from second base to shortstop, with Kendall Keeton, a junior college transfer from Walters State Community College, likely to start at second base. Mike McGraw will start at first and Keaton Steele will start at third for the Tigers.
Missouri baseball counting on new look infield (Columbia Missourian)
“The journey begins with a lot of newcomers and a lot of questions,” said head coach Tim Jamieson. “What we want to do is answer those questions. The quicker we answer those questions, the better we play.”

Jamieson’s infield features several highly-touted junior college transfers that, if all goes well, will be the core of the infield. Everett is excited by the experience his new teammates bring to the table...

Tossing back a 40 and Giving Thanks (College Baseball Today)
4- I’m thankful the RPI has changed.
Finally – FINALLY – the college baseball formula emulates the college basketball formula in rewarding road wins. What the hell took so long? Baseball is tougher to win on the road, especially with the considerable amount of travel involved. This was a long time coming. Look, I know the NCAA is made up of smart people, but this makes me question the NCAA’s competence level.
5- I’m thankful there are no more changes to the bats for 2013.
But get back with me in 365 days, I’m sure it’ll change. Either that or a rash of programs will announce they’re moving their fences in… shamefully...
MSN to Televise Mizzou Baseball vs. UK May 18 (
The Mizzou baseball regular season finale against No. 11 Kentucky will be broadcast live by Mizzou Sports Network and Metro Sports, as announced by the Mizzou Department of Athletics Friday (Feb. 15). The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Taylor Stadium on Sunday, May 18.

HI NOTES: Eagles and Tigers and Tweets, Oh My


Be sure to check out Mizzou MATCHUP: #23 University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles for a detailed look at the Tigers' opening series in Hattiesburg.

Southern Miss Baseball: The Breakdown (Everything MSU Sports)
The University of Southern Mississippi baseball team looks to have a promising 2013 spring season ahead of them this year. They have a strong starting rotation returning, a good closer, and a number of talented position players returning at the plate and in the field...
Southern Miss baseball player Travis Creel: Tornado in Hattiesburg was 'scary as hell' (
Southern Miss baseball player Travis Creel lost his childhood home in 2005's Hurricane Katrina, but even that didn't prepare him for what he experienced on Sunday afternoon....
Three Golden Eagles gain C_USA baseball honors (Sun Herald)
Three Southern Miss baseball players -- senior pitcher Andrew Pierce, sophomore outfielder Mason Robbins and relief pitcher Bradley Roney -- were named to the Conference USA preseason baseball team...
Baseball Eagles prepared to open season versus Missouri (Hattiesburg American)
The ace of arguably one of the deepest pitching staffs in Southern Miss baseball history, right-hander Andrew Pierce is well aware of the high expectations for him and the Golden Eagles this season...


Baseball America wades into the deep end of the Fortune Telling pool with their version of Preseason Predicted Field of 64. And, no, you don't even need to ask.

♦ Not to be outdone, PerfectGame presents their equally absurd Postseason projections: Field of 64. No, not on this one either.


College Baseball Daily presents Ugliest Baseball Helmet Ever? Indeed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

MIZZOU MATCHUP: #23 University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

Head Coach:  Scott Berry
Pete Taylor Park  in Hattiesburg, MS
Friday @ 4 PM
Saturday @ 2 PM
Sunday @ 1 PM

The Tigers will have their hands full this weekend, visiting Southern Miss in both team’s opening series. Last year the Golden Eagles finished their 2012 campaign with a record of 32-24, going 20-8 at home.

The Batters

As a whole, the Golden Eagles are looking very similar to 2012, returning seven of their position players.

Their lineup is anchored by sophomore right fielder Mason Robbins, who last year earned a second-team Freshman All-American spot, and is a preseason Third Team All-American according to Baseball America. In his freshman season, Robbins started 50 games, hitting .330 with 3 homers and a Conference USA leading 5 triples. One thing to watch with Robbins is his discipline. His BB/K ratio was an abysmal .125 (6 walks and 48 strikeouts), by far a team worst.

Next to Robbins in the outfield is senior centerfielder Dillon Day. Day had a bounce back season in 2012 batting .290 after posting a .135 average in just 37 at-bats while the team was shifting him from the mound to the field.

A player that frustrated pitchers last year was utility player Michael Sterling who was hit by a pitch just as many times as he struck out (28). He led the team with a .486 OBP and 11 stolen bases.

Reliable first baseman Blake Brown is the only returner to appear in all 56 of the Golden Eagle’s games last season, and he shined at the plate and with the glove. He finished last season with a team leading 6 home runs, and was a near perfect first baseman, only making 2 errors in 515 chances for a .996 FLD%.

Catcher Chase Fowler is returning for his senior season as well. He gave a hard time to would be base stealers last year, catching 15 of the 23 that ran on him.

A batter to keep your eye on also is newcomer Breck Kline. The redshirt freshman hit .354 in an injury shortened 13 games in the Prospect League last summer, and in high school hit .479 as a senior earning All-American honors.

The Pitchers

Likely Friday starter for USM is their ace Andrew Pierce. Pierce, named to the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Third Team Preseason All-American Team, went 7-4 last season with a 1.99 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts). Location is what Pierce relies on, only walking 16 batters while striking out 96 in his 99.1 innings in 2012. His record does not represent how well he pitched though, as USM only scored more than three runs in six of his 14 starts.

Their number two starter, Jake Drehoff, excelled as a freshman last year and looks to build off that this year. His 6-2 record and 3.51 ERA earned him a spot on Conference USA’s All-Freshman team.

In conference play last year, outfielder Mason Robbins emerged as the team’s Sunday starter. He made six starts to finish the year, posting a 1-0 record with a 4.01 ERA. On the days that he starts on the bump, he hits for himself.

Another young player they have is sophomore Bradley Roney who earned a Freshman All-American spot by Collegiate Baseball as the team’s closer. He converted 11 of his 12 chances, putting him at ninth on the team’s all-time saves list as a freshman.

Projected Matchups

Friday: Rob Zastrynzny (5-5, 3.80 ERA) vs. Andrew Pierce (7-4, 1.99 ERA)
Saturday: Brett Graves (4-5, 6.32 ERA) vs. Jake Drehoff (6-2, 3.51 ERA)
Sunday: Jace James (4-0, 1.58 ERA)* vs. Mason Robbins (1-0, 4.01)
  * - stats from 2012 season at Hutchinson Community College

Matchup Wrap-up

The Tigers will have to be aggressive while facing Pierce. He averages only 1.45 walks per 9 innings. Manufacturing and scrapping for runs will be the only way to beat him, as he only gave up 2 home runs in 99.1 innings in 2012. Drehoff and Robbins average over twice the amount of walks as Pierce, so more patience will be needed in the last two games. The only time the Tigers may be bailed out by a home run is against Robbins, who gave up 4 in 33.2 innings last year. They must hold a lead going into the ninth inning, as Bradley Roney was near perfect in save opportunities in his freshman campaign.

Other SEC games this weekend

VMI @ Alabama 2/15-2/17
Western Illinois @ #3 Arkansas 2/15-2/17
Maine @ Auburn 2/15-2/17
Duke @ #17 Florida 2/15-2/17
Georgia @ Georgia Southern 2/15-2/17
Maryland @ #10 LSU 2/15-2/17
#14 TCU @ #13 Ole Miss 2/15-2/17
Portland @ #5 Mississippi State 2/15-2/17
Liberty @ #7 South Carolina 2/15-2/17
Tennessee @ UNLV 2/15-2/17
Illinois-Chicago @ Texas A&M 2/15-2/17
Long Beach State @ #2 Vanderbilt 2/15-2/17
USC Upstate/Wofford Tournament in Spartanburg, SC
 #11 Kentucky vs. UNC Asheville 2/15
 #11 Kentucky vs. South Carolina-Upstate 2/16
 #11 Kentucky vs. Niagara 2/17

Rankings from Baseball America

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

HI NOTES: One Tough Schedule, Media Day Whatnot, & Max


♦ You know it's almost College Baseball Season when you see the First Boyd of Spring, Boyd Nation's 2013 Preseason Intended Strength of Schedule (  This basically is a calculation of the Strength of Schedule of each team based upon the final ISR numbers at the end of the 2012 season.  Mizzou's overall SoS comes in ranked at 32nd overall, which is pretty tough, but factors in well for the RPI (assuming, of course, a preponderance of W's vs. L's).  MU's non-conference Intended SoS is considerably lower, at 117th.  It should be noted that in this ranking, Missouri comes in with the 7th toughest overall Intended SoS in the SeC (9th in Non-Cofenerence SoS).


Pitcher of a Horse
♦ Some interesting quotes from Mizzou Baseball Media Day Coverage (
Scott Sommerfeld: "Honestly you know I've heard a lot of opinions and what not, but I'm just here to play ball. We've got 35 guys fighting for the same goal and I think that's what's important in college baseball."

Dillon Everett, talking about Rob Zastryzny: "Yeah, he's got that swag going into the season which is good"

Rob Zastryzny: "And all of the junior college guys have pretty much stepped up and showed that they're great. Junior college is like the struggle because they don't wash your clothes; they don't treat you like a baseball player. You do everything and they've been through it all so they are ready to come step up and earn their spot and keeps."

Rob Zastryzny, talking about Eric Anderson: "Whatever he is throwing he's just blowing people away. He's a horse up there, that's what I like to call him."

Rob Z again: " I love when we're the underdogs because that's what I've been the entire time. In high school I came from a team that was always supposed to win. And now I'm on a team that's never supposed to win so I've have been on both angles. I would rather be the underdog."

Mizzou baseball full speed ahead, despite devastating Southern Miss. tornado (KBIA Sports Extra)
The tornado touched down on campus in Hattiesburg, Miss., before following a path through a portion of the town. Much of USM’s student body was away from campus due to the Mardi Gras holiday and despite some reported damage to campus buildings, no student injuries have been reported. The school’s athletic facilities were also largely unaffected, and USM has announced that its baseball series with Missouri will go on as scheduled at Pete Taylor Park this weekend.

The Tigers will travel to Hattiesburg on Wednesday as scheduled, but the team is aware that the disaster adds a heavier node to their opening weekend...

Scherzer healthy, hopeful for long-term deal (
First things first: Max Scherzer's arm is fine. Manager Jim Leyland and Scherzer both said as much. The shoulder issues that hampered him down the stretch last season, they say, are a thing of the past.

"I can tell you this: He's perfectly healthy," Leyland emphasized.

Scherzer's also happy. Nobody had to shout it, but the tone of his conversation on Tuesday morning sounded like somebody in a good place. He could even joke about the best part of his offseason being a ticket out of Cleveland rather than his own vacation in Hawaii...

2013 Rule Changes for Mizzou Baseball

There are rules changes every season in NCAA Division I Baseball. This year is no different, PLUS the Tigers will have to learn a few SEC-specific rules that are not necessarily new to the SEC but will be new to Mizzou.

1954 Rule Book
2013 NCAA Division I RPI Change

RPI formula altering for 2013 season (
The Division I Baseball Committee recommended changes to the Rating Percentage Index calculation that will be applied beginning with the 2013 season.

The revised RPI formula will value each road victory as 1.3 instead of 1.0. Each home win will be valued at 0.7 instead of 1.0. Conversely, each home loss will count 1.3 against a team’s RPI and each road loss will count 0.7 against a team’s RPI. Neutral-site games will retain the same value of 1.0, but the committee is studying how to determine if a game should be considered a neutral-site contest. The weighting is based on data showing that home teams win about 62 percent of the time in Division I baseball.

An institution’s RPI will still consist of the following three factors:

• Division I winning percentage (25 percent of the RPI)
• Opponent’s Division I winning percentage (50 percent of the RPI)
• Opponents’ Opponents’ Division I winning percentage (25 percent of the RPI)
This RPI formula change could have some impact on several SEC teams, which are notorious over-loading their schedules with home games.

NCAA D-I Rules Changes

From NCAA Baseball 2013 and 2014 Rulebook

The most significant rules changes have to do with putting some teeth into the umpires' ability to enforce the existing rules.
  • The NCAA and the umpires will be more rigorous in enforcing the rules about precisely where the 1st and 3rd base coaching box lines are drawn, and that the base coach stay within that box
  • Each bullpen have a minimum of two mounds
  • Portable pitcher's mounds are legal, provided both teams agree to their use prior to visitors' arrival at the game site
  • A pitcher's glove may not be white or grey or in any way distracting
  • The catcher shall have both feet in the catcher's box until the pitch is released
  • Any player or coach who is ejected from a game is automatically suspended from the next scheduled game
  • Any ejected player or coach who returns to the field, the dugout, or the grandstands before the umpires leave the field at the end of the game will receive an automatic 3-game suspension.
  • As always, players and coaches are prohibited from deliberately erasing the batter’s box
    or other lines. Umpires must stop the individual from erasing the lines.  The new rules say "the umpire has authority to require the batter to stand in a proper batting position.
    He may require the grounds crew to reline the box. After a warning, individuals who
    repeatedly commit this infraction may be ejected.
  • The umpire shall declare intentional interference and award just compensation, be it an out, extra bases, etc., if a spectator intentionally reaches out of the stands or goes out onto the playing field. The ball is dead immediately.
  • Conferences are allowed to establish their own travel guidelines/restrictions for the get-away or travel day of a series regardless of the mode of transportation.
  • Players or coaches who are ejected for leaving their position and participating
    in a fight shall serve a four-game suspension
    . If a team does not have enough eligible players available to continue the game, the team shall forfeit the next four contests.
  • No member of a team’s personnel may argue or continue to excessively
    express themselves with prolonged actions or offensive language after an
    ejection. PENALTY: An additional two-game suspension
  • If a player, coach or team representative is ejected from a contest because of physically abusing an umpire or fighting an opposing player, the following shall be enforced: For the first offense by an individual, ejection plus suspension from the team’s next four contests.
  • There are many fine tunings of the rules regarding offensive interference or batter's interference or catcher's interference
  • A ball stuck in a fielder's glove remains alive.
  • Delay the game at any time. With the bases unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball within 20 seconds after receiving the ball on the mound; PENALTY—After a warning for each pitcher, a ball will be called each time the rule is violated.
  • If the pitcher is not in contact with the pitching rubber, the pitcher may go to the mouth while in the dirt area; however, the pitcher must wipe off the fingers before engaging the rubber
  • Team personnel may not come onto the playing field to argue or dispute a warning of their pitcher intentionally throwing at a hitter. After a warning, they are subject to an immediate ejection.
  • No replay may be shown in the stadium during a dispute with an umpire.
  • Walk-up songs: All music, chants or crowd-cuing messages must stop when the batter enters the dirt circle
  • The public address announcer will announce the first batter of the inning immediately after the catcher throws the ball down to second base and announce any following batter no later than when the ball reaches the third baseman or any infielder on a ball being thrown in from the outfield. The public address announcers may not announce a pinch hitter or new pitcher until signaled in from the umpire. Umpires are to be alert for lead-off pinch hitters in the on-deck circle in order to confirm the substitution and have such batter announced on time.
  • Once umpires have determined a need to conference to review a play, they shall
    direct the head coach to return to the dugout or coaching box before the crew will begin their discussion.
SEC Baseball Rules

The SEC has several conference-specific rules for baseball, which I've covered in detail previously at SEC Dixie-nary: R is for Rule Book.  Be sure to click and take a look, because some of them are significant.

While you're at it, check out our entire series on the SEC Dixie-nary to learn many more things about our new conference, including geography and weather, history, recruiting footprints and $$$.