Baseball Continues Season at Wake Forest

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MUTIGERS.COM

Feb. 19, 2014

Mizzou Baseball at Wake Forest Invite
When   Friday vs. Radford - 11 a.m. | Saturday at Wake Forest - 3p.m. | Sunday vs. Cincinnati - 11 a.m.
Location Winston-Salem, N.C. | Wake Forest Baseball Park
Tickets Click Here
TV None
Radio KTGR 103.1 FM/1580 AM - Tex Little (PBP), Hunter Mense (Color)
Online Coverage vs. Radford | vs. Wake Forest | vs. Cincinnati
Printable Game Notes Mizzou
2013 Season Stats Mizzou | Radford | Wake Forest | Cincinnati
Series History Mizzou tied with WF, 1-1 // First Meeting w/ Radford, Cincinnati
Last Meeting Wake Forest, 4-3, in 2006
Streak Mizzou - Lost 1 vs. WF
Social Media @MUTigerBaseball,| Mizzou Network 

FIRST PITCH // WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - Mizzou will return to the road this weekend after a successful first weekend in which it went 2-1 at the McNeese State Lake Area Classic last weekend. The Tigers will open tournament action in Winston Salem, N.C., with Radford on Friday at 11 a.m. (CT). The Tigers will play host Wake Forest on Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) before playing the series finale Sunday at 11:30 a.m. vs. Cincinnati.

- The Tigers are 2-1 following the opening weekend for the second time in three seasons and the first time since 2012, which was the last year Mizzou made an NCAA Regional. The Tigers rode a strong pitching performance last weekend to a second-place finish at the Lake Area Classic. The Tiger pitching staff compiled a 2.42 ERA last weekend and a 5-1 strikeout-walk ratio.

- Much of the damage by the pitching staff was done by the bullpen as it combined for 12.2 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts and a 0.24 WHIP. The bullpen posted two wins and two saves as well. Seven bullpen arms combined for those stats.

- Senior Shane Segovia did a lot of damage at the plate last weekend, tallying a pair of multi-hit games, including his first career three-hit game. He is hitting .625 with five hits and pair of doubles this season.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK
Mizzou went 2-1 at the Lake Area Classic last weekend after travel issues changed the Tigers' plans. Mizzou was originally scheduled to play in the UNF Best Bet Classic in Jacksonville, Fla., but inclement weather in the south cancelled Mizzou's flight to Jacksonville. Mizzou was able to land in the Lake Area Classic as host McNeese State invited the Tigers to the four-team event. Mizzou, behind a solid start from righty John Miles and an even better bullpen outing, rallied to defeat Southern Miss in game one of a split doubleheader on Saturday, 4-2. The Tigers fell behind 2-0 before scoring four unanswered from the sixth inning on to win. The Tigers were then defeated by host McNeese State as junior starter Brett Graves gave up an unearned run that proved to be the difference in a 3-2 decision. Mizzou had the tying run on third base with one out in both the seventh and eighth innings but could not plate the tying run. The Tigers then rallied to defeat Chicago State, 6-3, behind another great bullpen outing, which was the theme for the weekend.

BULLPEN ON PARADE
The story of opening weekend for Mizzou was the performance of its bullpen. Seven bullpen arms combined to throw 12.2 innings of shutout baseball over the three games. The combined WHIP for the bullpen was 0.24 as it allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out 11, holding batters to a 0.51 average for the weekend. The Tiger pen also combined for a pair of wins and two saves last weekend. Below is a look at the bullpen outings at McNeese State.

    - 4.1 IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 3Ks vs. S. Miss
    - 3.1 IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2Ks vs. McNeese St.
    - 5.0 IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 6Ks vs. Chicago St.
MORE ON PITCHING STAFF
Since pitching coach Matt Hobbs took over before the 2011 season, his mantra has been made known: keep the walks low. Last season, Hobbs' staff had a 2.25 strikeout-walk ratio en-route to posting the team's best ERA since 2006. After the first weekend of play, his staff owns a 5.00 strikeout-walk ratio after striking out 20 batters against only four walks during the opening weekend. Three of those walks came from starters as the bullpen allowed just one all weekend.

SEGOVIA ON FIRE
Senior infielder/designated hitter Shane Segovia has some impressive stats after his performance last weekend. He hit .625 with a team-leading five hits, two double and three runs while driving in another. He leads the team in hits, extra-base hits, slugging, total bases, OBP and OPS after the opening weekend. While some may think this is an anomaly for a guy that hit just .223, the stats actually argue the contrary. In fact, Segovia was penciled in as a big-time contributor last season before injuries slowed him for much of the season. After recovering from those injuries last season, Segovia was on fire and dating back to last year, he is actually hitting a team-best .382 with seven doubles and 11 RBI over his last 17 games, all team-bests in that span. Look for him to continue to be a key contributor this season. To put his five hits into perspective, it took the injury-riddled Segovia until March 22 last season to tally his fifth hit, spanning 34 total at-bats.

IVORY WITH A BIG WEEKEND
Another key contributor for the Tigers last weekend was Jake Ivory, who was inserted into the starting lineup in each of the last two games last weekend. Ivory responded with a pair of multi-hit games, driving in a pair of runs with a double and four hits. He slugged .625 last weekend and made a great case for staying in the Tiger lineup. To put his two multi-hit games into perspective, he had just three all of last season.

ALL PHILLY DOES IS WIN, WIN, WIN
Sophomore righty Ryan Phillips was a big part of the Tiger bullpen last weekend, amassing a bullpen-high 3.2 innings while earning a pair of wins, including his first career decision against Southern Miss in the season-opener. He also matched career-highs in IP (2.0) and strikeouts (two) in that game. He did not allow a hit or a walk in the two outings and struck out four to lead all Tigers last weekend. The Rock Bridge High School alum was the first long relief arm out of the bullpen in each of the Tigers' wins last weekend and should continue to be a key part of the bullpen this season.

LOTS OF DEBUTS LAST WEEKEND
Nine Tigers made their collegiate debuts over the weekend, including Zach Lavy, who scored a run and batted two more in. Jake Ring started each game in his first ever collegiate road trip, hitting a double and claiming a RBI. Brett Peel made two starts over the weekend, and he was joined by fellow freshmen Jordan Getzelman, Sean Ullrich (redshirt), Jack Klages and Ryan Howard as Tigers who also saw the field for the first time. Andrew Schwaab and Andrew Hohn, both transfers, also saw their first action at Mizzou.

SCOUTING RADFORD
The Radford Highlanders finished third in the Big South North in 2013 with a record of 30-26. They are predicted to finish third again in the preseason Big South North Division polls, and coach Joe Raccuia hopes to lead his team past early poll favorites Liberty (1) and Campbell (6). Two first team Big South Preseason All-Conference Team infielders Josh Gardiner (Jr.) and Josh Reavis (Sr.), hope to lead the way for the Highlanders. Josh Gardiner played both 2B and 3B throughout the 2013 season batting .308 in 224 at bats and stole 20/27 attempted stolen bases. Catcher Josh Reavis batted .319 in 182 at bats and only three errors in the 2013 season.

SCOUTING WAKE FOREST
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are looking to get back to their winning ways and a postseason berth in the 2014 season. Once one of the dominant ACC teams in the late 90's and early 00's, the Demon Deacons finished fifth in the ACC with a 2013 overall record of 28-27 (9-20 ACC). Wake Forest was picked sixth in the ACC's 2014 Atlantic Division preseason polls. Looking to lead the way are returning players: infielder Conor Keniry (Sr.), outfielder Evan Stephens (Sr.), and 1B/LHP Matt Conway (RS Sr.), one of the team captains, who batted .240 last season and had a .975 fielding percentage on 202 chances. Leadoff batter Stephens, 2012-2013 Edwin G. Wilson Scholar- Athlete of the year (Wake Forest), played in all 55 games and led the team in batting average (.358), hits (68), runs scored (43), and on-base percentage (.494). Conway had a .335 batting average and led the team in doubles (18), total bases (90), and slugging percentage (.479).

SCOUTING CINCINNATI
The Bearcats are coming off of a 2013 campaign that saw them go 24-32 overall while finishing ninth in the Big East with a 6-18 record. Led by first-year head coach Ty Neal, the Bearcats will look to sophomore OF Ian Happ, who hit .322 with six homers and 36 RBI last season. Also, senior Justin Glass returns to the Bearcat outfield after hitting .322 with five homers and 39 RBIs a season ago.

ERA BEST SINCE 2006 IN 2013
Despite the 18-32 mark last season, the Tiger pitching was as good as it has been since 2006 under fourth-year pitching coach Matt Hobbs. In fact, Mizzou had a 3.87 ERA last season, the best since the 2006 team posted a 3.36 ERA. The 3.87 ERA was better than five of the Tigers' eight NCAA Regional teams in the last 11 seasons. Last weekend, Mizzou posted a staff ERA of 2.42 as it appears to be off to an even better start in 2014.

LESTER MOVES TO SHORT
After a stellar freshman season that was the best by a Tiger since 2010, sophomore Josh Lester made huge strides in his game over the summer and is penciled in as the team's shortstop this season. Lester played all four infield spots last season and actually led the Tiger infielders with a .986 fielding percentage. His defensive prowess last year played into the decision to move him to short, but he also trimmed down and added muscle and quickness to help his range. At the dish, Lester hit .260 and led Mizzou with 11 extra-base hits while earning a spot on the All-SEC Freshman Team.

MAN OF STEELE
Another key returner this season will be All-SEC First Team honoree Keaton Steele, who was arguably the team's most valubale player in 2013. Steele was the only player in the nation to lead his team in homeruns, pitching wins and saves. Steele was even better in big games as well. In SEC play, he posted an ERA of 3.00, which was inflated by a bad start at Vanderbilt. If you take out his outing at Vandy, Steele had a 1.38 ERA in 12 appearances against SEC teams last season.

He was also the Tigers' top hitter in SEC play, batting .306 with five homers and 14 RBI. He slugged .542 with a .435 OBP, good for an OPS of .977. He was the only player on the team to hit better than .300 in league play last season. He is also an above-average defender as he had a .973 fielding percentage last season in league play and checked in at .966 overall last season. He picked up a pair of saves last weekend and leads the SEC in that department.

ANDERSON PLAYING THE FIELD
In addition to making a return to the mound this season, Eric Anderson will also likely see a lot of time in the Tiger batting order and at first base. Anderson has toyed with hitting at Mizzou in the past, but just like his progress on the mound, his batting was halted by injuries. During summer ball in Colorado, Anderson was encouraged by the Tiger coaching staff to take some swings, and swing he did. He hit .400 while playing summer ball in Colorado and came back and did very well as a hitter in the fall. In fact, he went 4-for-4 with a homer in one game of the Fall World Series as he seemed to hit very well against all types of pitches. He has also been taking a lot of reps at first base and figures to play there when he does not pitch this season.

FRANCIS HOWELL CONNECTION
This year, the Mizzou baseball roster features five players that have played together for quite sometime. Brett Graves, Case Munson, Jake Ivory, Brett Peel and Steven Diel all played high school ball for Francis Howell in St. Charles, Mo., winning a state championship together during their senior season.

MILES IMPRESSES OVER THE SUMMER
Junior righty John Miles led Mizzou with a 2.35 ERA coming out of the bullpen last season, but as if that weren't impressive enough, he really turned heads this summer. Playing his summer ball in the NECBL, Miles put together an outstanding season. He set a league record with a .135 opponent batting average and earned started the league's annual All-Star Game, alongside Tiger teammate Brett Graves. He led all starters in the league with a 1.20 ERA. He closed his summer with a complete game, one-run outing in which he helped his Vermont Mountaineers to a 3-1 win. He was 3-1 in Vermont and allowed an earned run in just three of his starts. With the strides that he took, look for Miles to make an impact in the Tiger rotation this season.

60 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
The 2014 season marks the 60-year Anniversary of Mizzou's 1954 team that won the College World Series for the school's first ever National Championship in baseball. Under legendary Tiger head coach John 'Hi' Simmons, the 1954 team with 22-4 overall and went 5-1 at the College World Series, defeating Rollins, 4-1, to claim the Championship. Mizzou also defeated Lafayette, UMass, Oklahoma State and Michigan State at that College World Series.

NEW FACILITY FOR TIGERS
As the Mizzou baseball program continues its transition into the SEC, the Mizzou Department of Athletics made a major commitment to the program by spending $4 million on a new facility, including a new lockerroom, coaches office and improved seating at Taylor Stadium. The new facility will be one of the best baseball facilities in the nation will give players all they need to succeed on site. A state-of-the-art lockerroom, modeled after many big league lockerrooms, along with a team room, an auditorium and training room have been added on site at Taylor Stadium. Also, increased bleachers have been added down the LF line and the old bucket seats have been replaced with new seat-back stadium seats in order to help with the comfort level of the fans.

CROW INDUCTED INTO MIZZOU HOF
Former Mizzou standout Aaron Crow was inducted into the Mizzou Athletics Hall of Fame this year. Crow established himself as one of the most feared pitchers in the nation during the late 2000s in a time of great success for Tiger baseball under Head Coach Tim Jamieson. During his junior season of 2008, Crow was arguably the most dominant pitcher in the game, as he won the Roger Clemens Award, given annually to the top pitcher in college baseball, in addition to being named a consensus 1st-Team All-American. His stats in 2008 were stellar - a perfect 13-0 record, an earned run average of 2.35, four complete-game shutouts and 127 strikeouts (10.65 per nine innings). Had a 43-inning scoreless streak during the 2008 season.

LLWS CONNECTION
When Josh Lester and Ryan Phillips committed to play baseball at Mizzou, they were unaware that they had a unique connection. In fact, both players played in the 2006 Little League World Series and Lester's team won the tournament. Lester and Phillips never met in the series as the two were in different pools, but both remember watching the other play. Lester's team that won the Little League World Series kept that core group of players intact and went on to win three Georgia State Championships in high school.

TIGERS ON TV
Mizzou will be televised 11 times in 2014, including four times through the SEC/ESPN deal.

ON THE AIR
Once again this year, KTGR ESPN Radio is the radio home of the Tigers, with all of the game being broadcast on 103.1-FM, 100.5-FM and 1580-AM. The games can also be heard online at KTGR.com. Tex Little is in his 24th season of calling Tiger Baseball and is joined in the booth by Hunter Mense, who is in his fourth year as part of the MU broadcast team.

MIZZOU NETWORK
Video webcast for all Missouri Baseball home games in 2014 is available at mutigers.tv as part of the Mizzou Network. Mizzou Network is the Tiger fan's home for live and archived games, along with coaches' shows, press conferences and more. For more information, visit mutigers.tv and click on the Mizzou Network icon.

UP NEXT
The Tigers will host a pair of midweek games in Cary, N.C., on Tuesday and Wednesday next week before returning to Columbia. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter MUTigerBaseball.

 

 

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