Junior Jonah Schmidt
March 11, 2010
MIZZOU vs XAVIER
Missouri hosts Xavier this weekend at Taylor Stadium in its first series of the year. The Tigers and Musketeers will open the three-game set at 6 p.m. on Friday. Game two of the weekend will get underway at 2 p.m. on Saturday and the series finale is set for Noon on Sunday. [Note Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday.] This weekend will mark the first ever meetings between Mizzou and Xavier. The Tigers enter the series with a record of 5-5 after defeating Western Illinois on Wednesday in their home opener by a score of 10-3. Xavier is 1-10 on the year and has lost five-straight games heading into the weekend. The three games this weekend are part of a 10-game homestand for Missouri to open the 2010 home schedule. Next week, North Dakota will be in Columbia for four-game series, Thursday, March 18-Saturday, March 20, That series includes a Saturday doubleheader.
LAST TIME OUT
Mizzou won its 2010 home opener by taking a 10-3 win over Western Illinois on Wednesday at Taylor Stadium. The game was called after seven innings after rain moved into the Columbia area. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Missouri and moved the Tigers back to the .500 mark at 5-5 on the season. Western Illinois scored the games' first run in the top of the first inning, but Missouri responded with 10 unanswered runs, beginning with a six-run bottom of first. Mizzou added four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Leathernecks plated a pair of runs in the top of the seventh which included three singles to open the inning. Mizzou used six pitchers in the contest, with junior Kelly Fick picking up the win. He was the first pitcher out of the bullpen, relieving starter Ryan Clubb. Fick struck out three in three innings pitched and did not allow a run or a hit. The win is the first of the year for Fick and the fourth of his career. The game started 15 minutes late due to rain prior to first pitch. Rain placed the game into a delay with two outs in the top of the eighth inning and after a 20 minute delay, the game was called.
Missouri and Xavier have never met prior to this weekend. Xavier is one of five teams on the 2010 schedule which the Tigers have never faced.
11 GAMES, 11 DIFFERENT OPPONENTS
Friday's game against Xavier will mark the 11th different team Mizzou has played through its first 11 games of the season. Saturday's game, the 12th of the season for MU, will mark the first repeat opponent of the season for the Tigers. This marks the furthest into the season Missouri has gone in its history before meeting with a repeat opponent. In 2008, the Tigers did not meet a repeat opponent until 10 games into the season. Prior to that, seven games was the most.
SENNE CLIMBING SEVERAL LISTS IN MU RECORD BOOK
Aaron Senne returned to Mizzou this year for his senior year, passing up a chance to join his hometown Minnesota Twins organization. Senne, a native of Rochester, Minn., was drafted by Minnesota in last June's Major League Baseball Draft, but chose to return to Missouri. At the Auburn Classic, Senne hit three home runs in a span of two games. He is tied for the Big 12 with four homers on the year. He has 30 home runs for his career, which puts him ninth all-time at Missouri. He is two behind eighth place Chris Wyrick (1990-93) and five away from moving into a tie with Ryan Stegall (1999-2001) and Dave Silvestri (1986-88) for sixth place. Senne ranks ninth in school history with 164 RBI. He has 220 career hits, which is seven out of the top-10 all-time at Mizzou and 54 behind the career record holder (Jayce Tingler, 2000-03). He is tied for sixth in the MU record books with 49 doubles, seven away from the record (Ryan Fry, 1995-98).
LIBERTO ON FIRE TO OPEN SEASON
Michael Liberto, one of just two seniors on the 2010 squad, leads the Tigers with a .486 average after the first 10 games of the season. Liberto opened up the year by hitting .692 at the Collegiate Cactus Classic in Tucson. He was 9-for-13 in the three games with a double, a triple and three RBI. Liberto matched his career best with four hits in a 4-for-5 performance against Gonzaga in the season opener, with a triple and two RBI. He has had at least one hit in all but two games this season and has had multiple hits in seven of the 10 games on the year. He is the third leading hitter in the Big 12 heading.
The Tigers 10-game homestand to open the home portion of the 2010 schedule will continue with a four-game series against North Dakota March 18-21. The series will open on Thursday at 6 p.m. followed by game two on Friday at 6 p.m. The two teams will then play a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. Following that, Missouri will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff for two games March 23-24 to close out the homestand.
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