Mizzou Closes Non-Conference Slate vs. SEMO Tuesday



April 28, 2014

Mizzou Baseball (19-24, 6-15 SEC) vs. SEMO (29-14)
When   Tuesday - 6 p.m.
Location Columbia, Mo. | Taylor Stadium
Tickets Click Here
Radio KTGR 103.1 FM/1580 AM - Tex Little (PBP), Hunter Mense (Color)
Online Coverage Gametracker | Live Video | Live Audio | Stat Broadcast
Printable Game Notes Mizzou
2014 Season Stats Mizzou | SEMO
Series History Mizzou Leads, 21-10
Last Meeting SEMO won, 9-7, in Columbia on April 30, 2013
Streak Mizzou - Lost 1
Social Media @MizzouBaseball,| Mizzou Network 

Mizzou baseball will wrap up the non-conference and midweek portion of its schedule as in-state rival SEMO comes to Taylor Stadium for a Tuesday tilt at 6 p.m. Mizzou is looking to bounce back from a three-game sweep at No. 6 Florida last weekend. In midweek games this season, Mizzou is 8-4 and has won the last two it has played, defeating Wichita State and Illinois last week.

This is the first meeting between Mizzou and SEMO since April 30 of last season when the Redhawks came into Columbia and earned a 9-7 win, pounding out 15 hits against Tiger pitching. Mizzou walked nine times in the game and tallied seven runs on eight hits but a pair of SEMO runs in the top of the ninth sealed the win for the Redhawks.

Last year's meeting between Mizzou and SEMO at Taylor Stadium was the first between the in-state rivals since 2006. Mizzou and SEMO have played 31 times since the series inception in 1986 with Mizzou holding a 21-10 lead. SEMO has won three of the last four meetings with Mizzou dating back to 2005. Tim Jamieson is 15-7 in 22 career meetings with the Redhawks.

Sophomore righty Alec Rash will make his second start of the season and second in as many weeks against SEMO on Tuesday. Rash most recently started against Wichita State last Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium, tossing 4.0 innings, giving up just four hits but also allowing three earned runs. He walked one and struck out four. He settled in after a rough first inning in which the Shockers tagged him for a pair of runs. Coincidentally, that start was his first since April 30 of last season when he started against SEMO. In that game, Rash went 3.0 innings, allowing four hits with three earned runs while walking one and striking out three. He was lifted from that start with tightness in his elbow.

One of Mizzou's hottest hitters of late has been senior Dillon Everett and he is likely chomping at the bit to play SEMO on Tuesday. In last year's contest against SEMO, Everett hit his first ever collegiate home run while going 2-for-5 at the dish. Everett is currently on a three-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in seven straight games, including a walk-off hit last Tuesday vs. Wichita State.

Sixth-ranked Florida took it to Mizzou on Friday and Saturday, coming away with 7-1 and 5-0 wins, before a close game emerged on Sunday. The Tigers got good pitching from John Miles and led 5-3 through 5.5 but Florida rallied for two runs in the sixth and a walk-off single up the middle by Ryan Larson to win the game in the 10th inning. It was the fourth extra inning game in 10 tries for Mizzou. Dylan Kelly and Dillon Everett led the team, hitting .250 while combining for five doubles, three runs and seven RBI on the week. Everett did not have a double on the season before ripping his three last week

Mizzou has played one of the toughest schedules in the country to date and the latest NCAA RPI rankings back that statement up. In fact, Mizzou has played an SEC-high 26 games against RPI top-50 teams. Nearly half of the Tigers' wins have come against RPI top-50 teams. Mizzou is also on pace to play 32 games against teams ranked in the RPI top 50.

At 29-14 and 19-5 in Ohio Valley Conference play, SEMO comes into Tuesday's game in search of its first 30-win season since 2011 when the team won 34 games. The Redhawks' 19-5 conference record has the team poised to win the Ohio Valley Conference as they are three games ahead of second-place Tennessee Tech. As a team, SEMO is hitting .308 while limiting opponents to .266 on the year. The Redhawks are averaging 7.28 runs per game this season and two players - Derek Gibson and Matt Tellor - have more than 50 RBIs. Tellor leads the club with 12 home runs and 55 RBI while Gibson leads the team with his .405 average and has driven in 52 runs. In all, 24-percent of SEMO's hits this season have gone for extra bases and the team has slugged 24 homers.

Starting on the mound for SEMO will be junior righty Tayler Iago. He will be making his 12th start of the year and through his first 11 starts, he has compiled a 4-3 record with a 4.94 ERA in 54.2 innings. He has allowed 73 hits and 16 walks in those 54.2 innings, striking out 38. He has also surrendered a team-high 18 doubles and five homers. SEMO has a staff ERA of 4.20 as the team relies mostly on its offense.

Mizzou and SEMO last met on April 30 last season with the Redhawks coming away with a 9-7 win at Taylor Stadium. SEMO plated a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning to pull away for the win. Prior to last year's meeting, the two programs had not met since 2006. That game was a 14-3 win for Mizzou in which two current big leaguers pitched for Mizzou - Max Scherzer and Aaron Crow. Scherzer started the game and pitched two innings, striking out five and walking one, while Crow tossed a perfect third inning, striking out one. Two current Tiger coaches - Dan Pietoburgo and Hunter Mense - played in that game. Mense played first base as a defensive replacement despite being an outfielder and Pietroburgo went 0-1 in a pinch-hit appearance. In their careers, Mense was a .077 hitter in four games vs. SEMO while Pietroburgo hit .400 with a pair of runs in three games vs. the Redhawks. Below is a look at the year-by-year series with SEMO.

    Mizzou vs. SEMO History
    • 1986 - 6-5 - Mizzou
    • 1986 - 5-0 - SEMO
    • 1987 - 16-4 - Mizzou
    • 1992 - 17-0 - Mizzou
    • 1992 - 16-0 - Mizzou
    • 1992 - 7-6 - Mizzou
    • 1995 - 5-4 - SEMO
    • 1995 - 11-1 - Mizzou
    • 1996 - 8-7 - Mizzou
    • 1996 - 7-2 - Mizzou
    • 1997 - 4-2 - Mizzou
    • 1997 - 11-10 - Mizzou
    • 1998 - 11-8 - Mizzou
    • 1998 - 12-6 - Mizzou
    • 1999 - 8-4 - Mizzou
    • 2000 - 14-8 - SEMO
    • 2000 - 9-6 - SEMO
    • 2001 - 7-2 - Mizzou
    • 2001 - 8-5 - Mizzou
    • 2002 - 8-5 - SEMO
    • 2002 - 5-2 - SEMO
    • 2003 - 9-8 - Mizzou
    • 2003 - 11-10 - Mizzou
    • 2004 - 6-3 - Mizzou
    • 2004 - 12-11 (11) - Mizzou
    • 2005 - 8-5 (10) - SEMO
    • 2005 - 10-2 - Mizzou
    • 2006 - 3-2 - SEMO
    • 2006 - 9-5 - SEMO
    • 2006 - 14-3 - Mizzou
    • 2013 - 9-7 - SEMO

With Mizzou and SEMO having met for the first time in seven years, the Tigers have plenty of arms that have pitched against the Redhawks. Below is a look.

    - Tuesday starter Alec Rash started last year's game against SEMO and went 3.0 innings, allowing two hits, one run and a pair of walks while striking out two. He was lifted in that start due to an elbow issue. It was his final appearance of the 2013 season.

    - Saturday starter Eric Anderson pitched in the 2013 contest as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery. He tossed 2.1 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out three and walking none.

    - Sunday starter John Miles tossed in last year's game, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) while walking none and striking out none over 1.1 innings.

    - Reliever Breckin Williams threw in last year's game as well and took the loss. He allowed two hits and two earned runs with a strikeout. He went 1.2 innings in the loss.

    - Jace James tossed the final 0.2 innings and allowed just one hit and was the only pitcher to not allow a run against the Redhawks. He struck out two and walked one while facing four batters.

With the two teams meeting almost a year ago to the day, Mizzou of course has plenty of batters that have faced Redhawk pitching. It is worth noting that Mizzou batters walked nine times in last year's contest. Below is a look.

    - Dillon Everett went 2-for-5 with a homer, the first collegiate dinger of his career. He of course drove in a run and scored a run in the game.

    - Logan Pearson went 1-for-4 with a run and a walk, reaching base in two of his five plate appearances.

    - Dylan Kelly was 0-for-3 with a run scored and a pair of walks in the losing effort.

    - Jake Ivory was an early substitution in last year's game, taking over for Case Munson, who was injured on the first play of the game attempting to make a diving catch in left field which eventually led to an inside-the-park homer by the Redhawks. Ivory went 1-for-4 with a run scored in last year's game. He also drew a walk.

    - Josh Lester was 0-for-2 in last year's game but did draw a game-high three walks, a mark that to this day is the best in his career.

    - Kendall Keeton went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.

Under the direction of pitching coach Matt Hobbs, the Tiger hurlers have done a great job limiting walks this season. In fact, the Tigers lead the SEC in walks allowed with just 102, 14 ahead of second-place Florida which has 116. The Tigers rank eighth nationally and first in the SEC with their miniscule 2.37 BB/9 average.

Aside from ranking eighth nationally in walks per nine innings, the Tigers also rank in the top-20 in strikeout-walk ratio. In fact, Hobbs' hurlers rank 17th nationally at 2.78, a mark that ranks fourth in the SEC, trailing only Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Ole Miss

Mizzou junior closer Keaton Steele ranks 26th nationally and second in the SEC with his nine saves this season. He is just three back of the Mizzou single season record (12). In his nine saves, Steele has been virtually untouchable. He has a 0.00 ERA in 15.1 innings with a 0.78 WHIP in those nine outings.

Another key to the Tigers' success over the last 32 games has been the emergence of a leadoff hitter as fifth-year senior Eric Anderson has been very good at the top of the order. He became the first player under Tim Jamieson to hit in the leadoff spot while starting a game on the mound as well, doing so in his last seven pitching starts. In his last 30 games in the leadoff spot, Anderson is hitting .323 with an OBP of .415 while slugging .500. He has scored a team-high 25 runs and driven in 16 more in that span. He was the first Tiger since 2010 to tally three doubles in a game and has reached base to leadoff a game in 21 of 30 games as a leadoff hitter and is reaching base at a .554 clip when leading off an inning.

Junior righty Brett Graves seems to be helping his draft stock with every start this season. He has tossed at least seven innings in eight of his 11 starts. He did not walk a batter against Mississippi State, marking the first time he has done that since Feb. 22 at Wake Forest. He owns a streak of eight straight starts with one or less walks and is walking just 1.34 batters per nine, the best mark of his career.

The Tiger pitching staff has been very good at striking out batters while limiting walks. In fact, the Tigers average 2.78 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 seen even better this year with the 2.78 clip.

    YR K-BB - Ratio
    2014: 284-102 - 2.78
    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 2.37 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 2.37 this season. In Mizzou's first inning against Cincinnati, the Tigers had a streak of 32 innings without a walk snapped.

    Yr. BB/9
    2011: 3.70
    2012: 3.24
    2013: 3.11
    2014: 2.37

Junior righty Brett Graves was named the No. 22 collegiate prospect in the nation by PerfectGame.org. He is the No. 4 SEC player on the list, following Vanderbilt's Tyler Beede, LSU's Aaron Nola and Kentucky's AJ Reed.

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.

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 locker room, 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 of 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.

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.

The Tigers will return home to face Vanderbilt in a weekend series at Taylor Stadium, beginning May 2. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTiger.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouBaseball.



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