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Tigers Return Home to Face Kansas State

MUTIGERS.COM
<i>Conner Mach is hitting .272 with two home runs in his career agianst Kansas State.</i>

MUTIGERS.COM
Conner Mach is hitting .272 with two home runs in his career agianst Kansas State.
MUTIGERS.COM

April 19, 2012

Mizzou (18-17) vs. Kansas State (19-18)
• Date: April 20-22
• Location: Columbia, Mo.
• Stadium: Taylor Stadium (3,031)
• Gametracker: MUTigers.com
• Radio: KTGR 1580 AM/100.5 FM
• Media Notes: Series Notes - vs. K-State Get Acrobat Reader

JOIN TIGERS ON DECK

First Pitch - What You Need to Know
The Mizzou baseball team will return home this weekend as it host Kansas State for a three-game series at Taylor Stadium, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. The series will resume on Saturday at 1 p.m. as that game will air live on Fox Sports Midwest before the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Promotions • This weekend, there will be plenty of promotions offered at Taylor Stadium. The series will serve as decades weekend as each game will be themed around past decades, beginning with the 1970s on Friday. Also on Saturday, a sign contest will be held for the Tigers' televised game. The best signs in the stands will win a variety of different prizes including Mizzou gear and gift cards.

Series History • Mizzou leads the all-time series with Kansas State, 165-113-1, after taking two of three games in Manhattan last season. In fact, Mizzou has won the last seven series with the Wildcats and has not lost a game in Columbia since 2008, a 3-4 decision on Sunday that season. Since 2004, Mizzou own a 15-5 record against Kansas State. The last three-game sweep in the series came back in 2005 when Mizzou took all three games from the Wildcats in Manhattan. The last series win for K-State in Columbia came in 2004.

    Mizzou Notables vs. Kansas State
    • Mizzou has dominated the series with a 15-5 record since 2005, winning every series in that span.
    • The Tigers tallied a season-best five home runs in a series win at Kansas State last season.
    • Mizzou also had 11 extra-base hits against Kansas State last season.
    • Mizzou has scored at least five runs in eight of the last 11 meetings (8-3 record in that span).
    Conner Mach is hitting .272 with two home runs, four runs and four RBI vs. K-State in his career.
    • The Tigers have swept two of the last seven series with the Wildcats (2010 and 2005).

Last Time Out • The Tigers were swept at Oklahoma last weekend despite scoring first in all three games in Norman. The sweep marked the first in the series since 2006 but the Tigers were in all three games, continuing a trend in which nine of the last 12 games between the Tigers and Sooners have been decided by two runs or less. Mizzou lost in walk-off fashion on Friday night, 6-5, despite taking a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the 10th and then lost 8-4 on Saturday and 5-4 in the series finale on Sunday.

Recapping Last Year's Series With Kansas State
The Tigers hit .312 as a team and slugged .505 en-route to a series win in Manhattan. The Tigers won the Friday night game, 5-4, led by Jesse Santo at the plate as he went 2-4 with two RBI while Eric Anderson picked up his first win of the 2011 season. The Tigers then suffered a set-back on Saturday as KSU won, 8-5, as Tiger starter Matt Stites struggled. Conner Mach and Jonah Schmidt each homered for the Tigers in the loss. On Sunday, Mizzou won a wild game, 12-8, after jumping on top, 5-0, in the second inning. Again, both Mach and Schmidt homered in the win.

Individually, several current Tigers hit very well against Kansas State last season. Eric Garcia tallied a .385 average with five hits (one double) while driving in a run and scoring another. Brannon Champagne hit .333 with three RBI and two runs scored and Conner Mach also hit .33 but drove in four runs and scored three more as he owns two career homers agianst K-State. Blake Brown also has impressive numbers against the Wildcats as he hit .300 with four runs, four RBI and a homer last season. Ben Turner is hitting .222 in his career against K-State while Dillon Everett has a hit in his only at-bat against the Wildcats.

Champagne Owns Impressive Streak
Tiger center fielder Brannon Champagne owns a career-best streak heading into the weekend as he has reached base in 27 straight games, the longest such streak by a Tiger this season and the longest by a Tiger since 2010 when Aaron Senne (32 straight) did so. In those 27 games, Champagne is hitting .301 with an OBP of .421 and 13 walks. It currently ranks second in the Big 12 this season. Below are the top current streaks in the Big 12

    • Mark Patyon - Texas - 34
    Brannon Champagne - Mizzou - 27
    • Cal Towey - Baylor - 26
    Blake Brown - Mizzou - 22
    • Lawton Langford - Baylor -21

Brown Has Big 12-Best Hitting Streak Snapped
Mizzou right fielder Blake Brown had a very impressive streak snapped over the weekend on Sunday as his 21-game hit streak came to an end. The 21-game hit streak is the longest by any player in the Big 12 this season and just five shy of the school record (26 by Grant Ingram in 1994 and Shane Fairbanks in 1981). His streak still sits atop the Big 12 this season as no player with a current streak is even within 11 games of his total. Below is a look at the top five hitting streaks in the Big 12 this season.

    Blake Brown - Mizzou - 21
    • Alex Silver - Texas - 16
    • Zach Fish - OSU - 14
    • Barrett Barnes - Texas Tech - 13
    Dane Opel - Mizzou - 12
Despite losing his hitting streak, Brown has still rached base in 22 consecutive game, the fourth-best active streak in the Big 12.

Turner Shines in Three-Hole
Mizzou's catcher Ben Turner found himself doing something that he had never done in his collegaite career last Sunday at Oklahoma - hitting in the three-hole of the lineup. But the Tiger catcher responded as he went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. He had a go-ahead, two-run double in the third inning of the game and wound up tallying three of the Tigers' eight hits in the game. Last week, Turner was arguably the Tigers' top hitter with a .400 average and .500 OBP while scoring three runs and driving in three more. He was even better in the three games at Oklahoma, hitting .462 in the series.

Opel Heating Up Again
Junior outfielder Dane Opel is starting to swing a hot bat again following his perofmance last week in which he hit a team-best .400 with four runs, four RBI, a homer and a .600 slugging percentage. He also owned a .400 OBP on the week and knocked his sixth home run of the season - a two-run blast off of OU's Dillon Overton in the Friday night in Norman.

McGraw Stakes Claim at First Base
Mizzou junior infielder Michael McGraw has seemed to have found a permanent spot in the Tiger lineup at first base as he has arguably been the Tigers' top hitter over the last eight games. During that span - in which he has played in seven games, starting six - he is hitting .370 with 10 hits, a double and six RBI, just two off the team lead in that time. He is also slugging .407 (second to only Dane Opel in that span).

Pleading the Fifth (Inning)
Looking at the stats this season, it is clear that the Tigers have enjoyed the most success in the fifth inning. In fact, Mizzou has scored 29 runs in fifth innings this season, their best total in any inning, while limiting opponents to just eight runs in that frame, which is their lowest total in any inning. Looking deeper into the runs scored by inning summary, the Tigers appear to like the third-fifth innings, outscoring their opponents, 83-53, in those frames this season.

Brown Eighth in Career Steals at Mizzou
Tiger outfielder Blake Brown stole his 35th career base last Wednesday against Illinos, which ranks him seventh all-time in program history. He is now just five back of Ryan Lollis for sixth all-time. Just as a note, Eric Garcia (23 steals) and Brannon Champagne (25 steals) are also threatening to break the career top-10 at Mizzou (two players are tied for 10th with 29 career steals).

Emens Closing In on All-Time Big 12 Top 10
With 88 career appearances on the mound, Tiger senior Jeff Emens is closing in on the all-time Big 12 top 10 in career appearances. He is the league's active leader in that category, four ahead of Texas A&M's Estevan Uriegas (84). In all, Emens needs 17 more appearances on the mound to earn a spot in the all-time top-10 (Huston Street, 105). He has appeared in 17 of the Tigers' 35 games this season and is on pace to crack the top 10 should the Tigers reach the postseason. His single season career-best in appearances is 25 in 2009. Emens is currently 10th in Big 12 in ERA at 2.91 as well.

Not only that, but Emens' 88 career appearances are the fourth-best total in school history, four ahead of Bunky Moeller (1988-1991). He needs a few more appearances to catch former teammate Phil McCormick (106).

Ross Shines Out of the Bullpen
Tiger reliever Dusty Ross has been one of the Tigers' top arms out of the pen this season and if you take away a rough outing against Central Arkansas on March 28 (his first time pitching back-to-back games this season), his numbers are very impressive. In fact, since March 10, excluding the UCA game, Ross has a 0.87 ERA in 20.2 innings pitched, spanning 13 apperances. In fact, he has given up just two earned runs over those 20.2 innings and owns an 11-3 strikeout-walk ratio.

Holovach Second in Big 12 in Wins
Mizzou's Blake Holovach has been roughed up in his past two starts, but the Tiger junior is still putting together an impressive season. In fact, Holovach's five wins this season are fourth in the Big 12 as he is slowly moving up the single season wins list at Mizzou. In fact, despite all of the good pitchers that Mizzou has had over the last several years, Holovach is just four back of tying 10th place all-time at Mizzou and just five wins back of tying seventh place in a single season. Of course, current Kansas City Royal Aaron Crow is the single season leader in wins at Mizzou with his 13 in 2008. Holovach ranks among the nation's top 20 in wins this season.

Better as a Starter
Junior lefty Blake Holovach has been nothing short of sensational since he was inserted into the Tigers' weekend rotation. He tossed a complete game shutout against High Point on March 18, doing so on 115 pitches. He is the first Tiger since 2010 to toss a nine-inning complete game and the first since Kyle Gibson in 2009 to toss a complete game shutout. He nearly threw another complete game against Oklahoma State, going 8.2 innings while allowing just one unearned run. Since being inserted into the starting rotation, Holovach's numbers have been very impressive. Below is a look:

    • In starting rotation: 47.0 IP, 3.06 ERA, 43 hits, 16 ER, 8 BB, 28 Ks, .223 OPP BA, 1.30 WHIP
    • Out of Bullpen: 2.2 IP, 16.88 ERA, 9 hits, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 Ks, .563 OPP BA, 5.62 WHIP

Walsh 16th Nationally With Eight Saves
Sophomore reliever Jake Walsh enters this weekend ranked 16th nationally with eight saves this season. What is even more remarkable about Walsh's eight saves is that he is now tied for fourth on Mizzou single-season saves list and sits just four back of tying Ryan Stegall for the single season school record (12 in 2000). Walsh needs just two more saves to crack the career top-10 list at Mizzou as well. He is currently the Big 12's leader in saves and is third in appearances at 16, also a team-best total.

Turner Catches Nearly Every Inning
Senior catcher Ben Turner has caught nearly every inning (269.2 of 305.1) for the Tigers so far this season and will likely continue that pace all season. Turner is tops on a depth chart at the catcher position that includes three newcomers and a redshirt freshman. Although it is early, something to track will be the amount of innings that Turner will catch this season. Since 2004, no Tiger catcher has started more than 54 games (JC Field in 2006) and Turner has started all 18 this season. Turner's 44 starts at catcher last season are the most since Trevor Coleman started 53 games in 2008. Turner has 25 starts at catcher this season.

Preparing for the Future
Mizzou opened its 2012 campaign by taking two of three games from SEC foe Auburn in the opening weekend. The series win for the Tigers holds significance because Mizzou will make the move from the Big 12 to the SEC next season. With the two wins, the Tigers are now 38-34-1 against teams currently in the SEC. It is even more significant as Auburn continues to win in the SEC this season as it is either ranked or receiving votes in several national polls this week.

Jamieson Leads Team USA
Mizzou head baseball coach Tim Jamieson wrapped up his stint as the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team head coach last summer. In all, Jamieson led the club to an 11-2-1 overall record. Jamieson's .821 winning percentage this summer is the eighth-best in Collegiate National Team history, which dates back to 1984 (28 seasons). The team's two losses are its fewest since 2008, when the team went 24-0. Mizzou assistant coach Dan Pietroburgo was an auxiliary coach with the team as well this summer.

Anderson Pitches For TEAM USA
Team USA had another Mizzou connection this summer as well. Tiger junior Eric Anderson was one of the team's top pitchers over the summer. He led the team in ERA (0.00) and wins (two), while ranking second in innings pitched (12.0). He allowed just eight hits and two walks in his 12.0 innings of work and did not allow a run while striking out seven batters. Prior to his stint with USA Baseball, Anderson threw two games with Falmouth in the Cape Cod League, posting a 1.50 ERA.

Tigers Raise Money For Joplin
Mizzou baseball raised $12,796 for the Joplin, Mo., Little Leagues with its Joplin Relief Games against Iowa in the fall. The baseball program partnered with Daniel Boone Little League, the Diamond Council, BC Baseball and The Callaway Bank to create a welcoming atmosphere for fans at Taylor Stadium. The money will go directly to helping Joplin Little League rebuild its fields that were ravaged by a tornado on May 22, 2011.

Plackis Named to Mizzou `39
Mizzou baseball redshirt junior Andreas Plackis has been honored by the Mizzou Alumni Association as a recipient of the 2012 Mizzou `39 Award, an award given to 39 seniors at the University of Missouri based of their outstanding service, academic achievement and leadership. Plackis has been a model student during his time at Mizzou and he will graduate in May with a degree in Biological Sciences as he will pursue a medical degree following his undergraduate studies.

Simmons Field at Taylor Stadium Named Field of the Year
Simmons Field at Taylor Stadium, the home of the Mizzou baseball team, was named 2011 College and University Baseball Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA). The field is maintained and cared for by Mizzou Turf Specialist Josh McPherson and his staff. The STMA Field of the Year Award program began in 1992. There are five field types for which awards may be given: Baseball, Football, Soccer, Softball and Sporting Grounds. For each field type, awards may be given in three categories: Professional, College and University, and Schools and Parks. This year there were a total of eleven awards presented.

Tigers Have Strong Presence in Pros
Mizzou baseball has seen plenty of success over the last decade and proof of that is the number of players that the Tigers have sent to the major league. Since 2000, the Tigers have seen 50 players sign professional contracts and 59 Tigers have done so under the direction of Tim Jamieson. Some notable Tigers in the professional ranks include All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers and Aaron Crow of the Royals.

In addition, six Tigers were selected in last year's MLB Draft. Newcomers Brandon Platts and Brett Graves were both drafted out of high school. Platts was a 13th-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates while Graves went in the 26th round to the St. Louis Cardinals. Matt Stites was picked in the 17th round by the San Diego Padres while three more Tigers - Phil McCormick, Conner Mach and Zack Hardoin - were picked on the second day of the draft.

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 100.5-FM and 1580-AM. The games can also be heard online at KTGR.com. Tex Little is in his 22nd season of calling Tiger Baseball and is joined in the booth by Hunter Mense, who is in his second year as part of the MU broadcast team.

Mizzou Network
Video webcast for all Missouri Baseball home games in 2012 is available at mutigers.tv as part of the Mizzou Network. Mizzou Network is the Tiger fans 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 open a six-game road trip on Wednesday (April 25) as they will head to in-state rival Missouri State for a 6:30 p.m. game. The Tigers will then head to Texas Tech for a three-game series next weekend and then a quick, two-game midweek series at Arkansas on May 1-2 in Fayeteeville. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.