Tigers and Commodores play with first place in the SEC East on the line.
Mizzou and Missouri State will play as ranked teams on Tuesday at Taylor Stadium
Mizzou and Alabama meet for just the second series ever on the diamond.
Nationally-ranked Tigers host UALR with John Miles on the bump.
All three games, beginning Thursday, will be featured on SEC Network
Former Tiger All-American Hunter Mense was hired by head coach Tim Jamieson in the fall of 2014 and will enter his first season as the program's full time hitting coach. Mense, one of the brightest young minds in college baseball, had a very successful playing career both collegiately and at the next level.
Mense had served as an undergraduate and graduate assistant over the last four seasons while completing his undergraduate degree and working towards his Master's degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in sport psychology at Mizzou. During his last four years with Mizzou baseball, Mense established a great rapport with the Tiger hitters and also used his schooling in the field of sport psychology to work as a positive coach, assisting in the mental side of the Tigers' approach. With a pair of degrees and an All-America honor, Mense is a truly Mizzou Made addition to the Tiger coaching staff.
"We are really excited to add Hunter as a full time hitting coach. He is a dynamic, young coach who has done a terrific job for us in his time with the program," head coach Tim Jamieson said. "We have a long history together. In addition to playing for three Regional teams while at Mizzou, he played for me on Team USA with Max Scherzer. Hunter also went away to play pro ball and came back to finish his degree at Mizzou and I think that goes to show you how special of a place Mizzou is to him."
A decorated player, Mense was an All-American outfielder for Mizzou in 2006 and was a 2005 All-Big 12 honoree as well. He played for three NCAA Regional teams and the 2006 team that reached NCAA Super Regionals.
He played with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2005 and was a 17th-round draft selection by the Florida Marlins in 2006. He made it as high as AAA in 2010 and was a career .254 in 349 minor league games and tallied 19 homers and 124 RBIs. His best season came in 2008 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers when he hit .289 with 13 homers, 25 doubles, 31 walks and 56 RBI in 111 games. He was a short-season All-Star in 2006 as well.
Mense hung up his spikes after the 2010 season and rejoined the Tiger staff to pursue a career in coaching while finishing his undergraduate and Master's degrees at Mizzou.
"I'm extremely excited for this opportunity," Mense said. "To be able to work with hitters at the school that I attended is a dream come true. My goal is to help our guys become the best players and people that they can become in the three- to four-year period that I have them." A tireless worker with a unique approach to the game, Mense also served as the team's color analysis alongside broadcast partner Tex Little while serving as a mentor and mental strength coach to the Tiger team..
Mense hails from Liberty, Mo., where we was a two-time All-State outfielder for Liberty High School.
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