Baseball Hosts Southern Miss This Weekend



March 4, 2014

Mizzou Baseball vs. Southern Miss
When   Friday - 6 p.m. | Saturday 2 p.m. | Sunday 12 p.m.
Location Columbia, Mo.| Simmons Field at Taylor Stadium
Tickets Click Here
TV None
Radio KTGR 103.1 FM/1580 AM - Tex Little (PBP), Hunter Mense (Color)
Online Coverage GT - Friday | GT - Saturday | GT - Sunday | Stat Broadcast
Printable Game Notes Mizzou
2014 Season Stats Mizzou | IPFW
Series History Mizzou trails, 4-8
Last Meeting Mizzou defeated USM, 4-2, on 2/15/14
Streak Mizzou - Won 1
Social Media @MUTigerBaseball,| Mizzou Network 

Mizzou baseball will finally get to open its home schedule at Taylor Stadium this weekend as it hosts Southern Miss for a three-game series. The Tigers' home openers was originally scheduled for March 1, but cold weather forced the Tigers to Little Rock, Ark., for a pair of games and their midweek games were cancelled, meaning Friday's tilt is the home opener for Mizzou. Friday's game is scheduled for 6 p.m. while Saturday's will be played at 2 p.m. The Sunday game is scheduled for a noon start.

Friday night's game will not only be the home opener for Mizzou, but Tiger fans will get to see junior righty Brett Graves make the first Friday start of his career. One of the top pitching prospects eligible for this year's MLB Draft, Graves has dazzled over his last two starts. Coming into Friday, he has a streak of 15.0 consecutive shutout innings. In his last two starts, he has allowed no runs, just five hits and one walk against 12 strikeouts. He is limiting batters to a .098 batting average in that span and has a WHIP of 0.40. John Miles had been the Tigers' Friday night starter this season, but Graves' numbers made him an obvious choice for the Friday night slot this weekend.

  • Of course, Mizzou and Southern Miss have already met this season after inclement weather forced both teams to reschedule opening weekend and play at McNeese State. The Tigers topped USM, 4-2, in comeback fashion in the season opener.

    The Tigers are coming off of a 1-1 weekend at UALR after weather once again changed the Tigers' weekend plans. Scheduled to play UIC in a three-game hoemstand last weekend, cold weather forced the Tigers to Little Rock where they played IPFW and UIC. A Sunday finale was postponed after the threat of rain and snow in the area forced the Tigers back home following the game with UIC. Mizzou defeated UIC, 4-0, behind a great pitching performance from Brett Graves and fell, 11-8, to IPFW after allowing three unearned runs in the seventh inning of an 8-8 game. Below are notables on the week

      - Dylan Kelly hit .750 w/ 1R, 1 2B
      - Eric Anderson scored 5 runs and hit .375
      - Ryan Howard had four RBI, 3H vs. IPFW
      - All but one starter had at least a hit
      - Five of seven pitchers did not allow an ER
    Southern Miss comes into the week at 6-6 overall. The Golden Eagles come into the weekend averaging .324 as a team, scoring 60 runs in 12 games. However, they have a staff ERA of 4.09 and have allowed 61 runs and 50 walks as a staff. The Eagles' starters on Friday and Saturday have very good numbers, highlighted by Friday starter Conor Fisk, who owns a 2.04 ERA in 13.0 innings pitched. An eye-popping stat is Fisk's 24 strikeouts in those 13.0 innings, walking just four as he has overpowering stuff. Cameron Giannini is slated to start on Saturday. He started the opening-day game between the two teams and was very good, striking out nine, allowing just one hit with nine strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 IP.

    Southern Miss comes into the weekend as a famliar opponent as Mizzou has already defeated the Golden Eagles this season. The two met in the season-opener down at McNesse St. Down 4-0 early, the Tigers rallied with four runs over the sixth-eighth innings with the big hit coming off the bat of Shane Segovia, who tallied a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning. The Tiger bullpen pitched 4.1 innings of no hit ball in relief and Ryan Phillips earned his first career win. It snapped a four-game losing streak to USM.

    So far this year, Mizzou's schedule has been hampered by weather. Three series/weekends have already been adjusted due to weather. The opening weekend tournament at North Florida had to be aboandoned as Mizzou's flight was cancelled due to an ice storm that hit the south, forcing Mizzou to McNeese St. in the opening weekend. Then, Mizzou's home-opening series against UIC had to be cancelled due to cold weather as the Tigers played two games at UALR before seeing the Sunday finale of that tournament rained out. The Tigers' series with Alabama A&M earlier this week was also cancelled. Mizzou, yet to play a home game this season, was scheduled to have played five already this season if not for the winter weather.

    Junior righty Brett Graves earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors for the first time in his career on Monday following his outing against UIC. He went 8.0 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while stirking out six. Just two UIC batters reached second base in the game and the win was his first of the season.

    Over his last two starts, Graves has been even better than his season numbers. He has gone 15.0 innings, allowing just five hits, one walk and no runs while striking out 12. He has not allowed an extra-base hit in that span and is limiting batters to .098 hitting in those two starts. He has allowed just two runners to reach second base in that span. He has a 0.40 WHIP over his last two starts.

    Graves, one of the top pitching prospects in the SEC this season, has been outstanding this season. He leads all Tiger starters with a 0.92 ERA and is 1-1 overall with 15 strikeouts against only three walks in a team-high 19.2 innings. He is limiting batters to a .132 average this season and has allowed just one extra-base hit all season. Those stats have earned him his first career Friday Night start this weekend.

    - The Tigers average 2 runs per game
    - The Tiger hitters are batting .247
    - Dylan Kelly leads the team at .556
    - The Tigers have allowed just four runs
    - 1-2 overall in those three games
    - The Tigers have an 18/4 K/BB ratio
    - Have allowed just one XBH in three games

    - The Tigers average 9 runs per game
    - The team is hitting .272 with 21 walks
    - Opponents average 5.3 runs per game
    - Ryan Howard is hitting .571
    - The Tigers are fielding .983 in Miles' starts

    - Mizzou scored three runs in his only start
    - The Tigers are hitting .270 as a team
    - The Tigers are fielding 1.000
    - Mizzou does not have an XBH

    So far this season, the heart of the Tiger order has been on fire as the trio of Dylan Kelly, Shane Segovia and Kendall Keeton has carried the Tiger order. Below is a look at what the trio has done.

      - A combined .344/.469/.409
      - 17 of the Tigers' 44 RBI
      - 13 of the Tigers' 48 runs
      - Nine of 14 Tiger doubles and 10 of 16 XBH
    Another trend developing is the Tigers' ability to score in the sixth inning this season. The Tigers have plated 17 runs in the sixth, their most in any inning and as many as they have scored in the first four innings combined.

    The Tiger pitching staff has been very good at striking out batters while limiting walks. In fact, the Tigers average 3.24 strikeouts per every walk. The strikeout-walk ratio has been a staple of pitching Coach Matt Hobbs as he works with Tiger pitchers. Since he took over the Tiger pitchers in 2011, the Tigers have seen their strikeout -to-walk ratio improve from 1.92 in 2011 to 2.25 last season and seem even better this year with the 3.24 clip. Below is a look at the numbers under Coach Hobbs.

      YR K-BB - Ratio
      2014: 57-16 - 3.24
      2013: 342-152 - 2.25
      2012: 352-193 - 1.82
      2011: 409-213 - 1.92

    When looking more into the Tiger pitching staff this season, it is easy to see where the point of emphasis from Coach Hobbs has been placed - limiting walks. So far this season, Mizzou is averaging just 2.13 walks per nine innings, by far the best clip during Hobbs' four-year tenure at Mizzou. In fact, since his first year, he has seen that number shrink from 3.70 in 2011 to 3.11 last season and the minuscule 2.13 this season. In Mizzou's first inning against Cincinnati, the Tigers had a streak of 32 innings without a walk snapped. Brett Graves has been one of the Tigers' best at not walking batters with just three in 19.2 innings. He went 13.2 consecutive innings without allowing a walk earlier this season. The Tigers are 10th nationally and second in the SEC in BB/9

    Yr. BB/9
    2011: 3.70
    2012: 3.24
    2013: 3.11
    2014: 2.13

    The Tiger pitching staff has been very good in all but two games this season, limiting the opposition to just 18 earned runs in those eight games. The Tigers were roughed up for 11 runs against Cincinnati and IPFW, but if you exclude those games, the Tiger pitching staff has just a 2.29 ERA and owns a 5.00 strikeout-walk ratio and a 1.41 walks per nine average.

    Plenty of Tigers made their collegiate debuts in North Carolina earlier this season, including pitchers Cole Bartlett, Tyler House, Brandon Baker and catcher Logan Bone.

    Although the Tiger bats have struggled at times this season, they still have 10+ hits in four games - it took Mizzou 27 contests a year ago to have four 10+ hit games. Also, in Mizzou's 15-3 win over Radford, several milestones fell. Mizzou tallied 10 runs in the sixth inning in its 15-3 win over Radford, marking the first time that the Tigers have tallied a 10-run inning since March 24, 2010, against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Mizzou's 15 runs vs. Radford are the most for a Tiger team since March 14, 2012, when Mizzou plated 21 runs against North Dakota.

    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.

    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.

    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 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.

    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 was 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.

    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 and 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.

    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.

    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.

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

    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 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.

    Video webcast for all Missouri Baseball home games in 2014 is available at 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 and click on the Mizzou Network icon.

    The Tigers will welcome Alcorn State for a pair of midweek games next Tuesday and Wednesday before opening conference play with Tennessee nect weekend. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MizzouBaseball.



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