Feb. 20, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Tigers (2-1) opened their season strong with a series victory on the road against the Auburn Tigers (1-2). After dropping the first game and having the second game rained out the following day, Mizzou was able to sweep a Sunday double-header from the home Tigers for their first series win of the year. Several standouts from the opening series included junior left fielder Dane Opel, sophomore pitcher Jake Walsh, and senior pitcher Jeff Emens. Behind the strong efforts of those three players, Mizzou was able to claim their first series win of the young 2012 season.
Player of the Week- Dane Opel
Opel started the 2012 campaign with a scorching hot 6-of-12 performance at the plate. Of those six hits, two cleared the ballpark for home runs. Opel drove in a team-high four RBI in the opening series and scored two runs, both products of his own bat. In the field, Opel was also active while in the field, tallying 11 putouts without making a single error through the three-game set. After recording two hits on opening night, Opel went 4-for-8 on Sunday with both home runs and all four RBI in the double header. The slugger shined the brightest in game two of the three game set, where he had three hits in four at bats, featuring both home runs and all four RBI before being intentionally walked in the final inning.
Newcomer of the Week- Jake Walsh
Pitcher of the Week- Jeff Emens
Walsh came up huge for the Tigers with two clutch saves in his three pitching appearances, not allowing a single run throughout the series. In Walsh's 2.2 innings pitched, he allowed just two hits and one walk, producing a WHIP of 1.36. Walsh recorded two strikeouts in his brief time on the bump, and faced more than three batters just once in his three appearances. The sophomore was able to confuse batters throughout the series, recording an even 3-3 split between groundouts and flyouts forced, added to his two strikeouts.
Emens made the most out of his one appearance in the series, recording a win after coming out of the bullpen in the first game of the Sunday double-header. He was able to shut down the Auburn lineup after entering the game to a 3-3 tie, and that allowed Missouri to ultimately pull ahead and stay on top for a 6-4 victory. Emens battled through his 3.2 innings of work, scattering seven Auburn hits through the duration of his performance. He recorded two strikeouts while walking no Auburn batters, and forced the Tigers into six flyouts. His strong performance allowed Mizzou to win their first game of the 2012 campaign.