Mizzou Host Kansas in Border Showdown Clash

MUTIGERS.COM Junior Greg Folgia
Junior Greg Folgia

May 7, 2009


MAY 8-10, 2009 • COLUMBIA, MO.

 First Pitch  Friday: 6:30 p.m. / Saturday: 2 p.m. / Sunday: 1 p.m.
 Stadium  Taylor Stadium 
 Series History  MU leads 210-122-2
 Radio  KTGR 1580-AM / KTGR.com
 Live Video  mutigers.com
 Gametracker  mutigers.com

***Fans are encouraged to arrive at Taylor Stadium early on Friday night as Wrestling National Champion Mark Ellis and the Big 12 Tournament Champion Mizzou Men's Basketball team will be part of a special pregame recognition.***


Mizzou will host Kansas this weekend at Taylor Stadium in its final Big 12 Conference series of the season. The three-game set will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and continues at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Tigers are 28-22 on the season. They have swept their last two conference series and have won eight of their last nine games in the Big 12 to move up to fourth place in the league standings. Kansas enters the weekend with a record of 34-16 and is 12-9 in the Big 12. Mizzou can clinch the M&I Bank Border Showdown series with two victories this weekend. Last year, Missouri won two of three in the series between the two teams in Lawrence, Kan., taking the series opener and the series finale. The Tigers are 210-122-2 all-time against the Jayhawks.

Mizzou holds a 210-122-2 lead in the all-time series with Kansas. The Tigers took last year's series in Lawrence, winning games one and three on the weekend. That included a 12-1 run-rule victory in the series finale. The last time the two teams met in Columbia, the Tigers took two of three, dropping game one before taking the next two games. Earlier this season (April 22), the two teams met at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City in a game that was not considered a conference matchup. The Jayhawks won that game, 7-3. MU and KU have met at Kauffman in each of the last two seasons, with Kansas winning both games.

The Mizzou baseball team can clinch the M&I Bank Border Showdown Cup for Missouri with two victories this weekend. The Border Showdown is a all-sports competition that spans each academic year. Missouri has claimed the Border Showdown in each of the past two seasons and has won the cup in four of the six years prior to the 2008-09 season. Currently, MU leads this year's competition 19.0-16.0 with a maximum of seven-points still available. [For more information on the Border Showdown, visit mutigers.com].

Missouri has swept each of their last two Big 12 series, winning six-straight games over Texas Tech and Nebraska. MU picked up its first three-game sweep of the season against the Red Raiders, outscoring TTU, 42-14 in the three games. In that series, the Tigers hit .415 as a team. Junior Trevor Coleman (.600), senior Kyle Mach (.571), senior Ryan Lollis (.500), junior Aaron Senne (.467) and junior Greg Folgia (.429) all hit over .400 in the three-game series against Texas Tech. Last weekend, the Tigers picked up their first sweep over Nebraska in Lincoln since a two-game sweep in 1996. It was the first three-game sweep on the road against the Huskers since 1963. MU has now swept each of the past two series against Nebraska.

Mizzou junior Kyle Gibson has pitched a complete game in five of his eight Big 12 starts and has won his last four starts. His first complete game was a complete-game shutout over Texas on March 14. He struck out 11, walked none and allowed just six hits earning Big 12 Conference and National Pitcher of the Week honors. The following week, he struck out a career-high 16 in a complete-game win over Texas A&M, earning a second-straight Big 12 Pitcher of the Week award. He was the first pitcher to claim back-to-back Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors since Texas' Kyle McCulloch in 2006. On April 3, Gibson struck out 15 and allowed two runs on six hits in a complete-game outing against Oklahoma, but was handed the hard-luck loss in a 2-1 defeat. That was the first of three-straight complete games as he was victorious against Baylor on April 10 and Kansas State on April 17. Gibson earned the win against Texas Tech on April 24, but did not go the distance for the first time in four starts, striking out nine in 6.2 innings. He won his eighth game of the year last Friday against Nebraska, going eight innings and striking out eight. Gibson leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks third nationally with 107 strikeouts on the season. He is seventh in the MU record books for strikeouts in a season and his 280 career strikeout are third most in Mizzou history. He also ranks fourth with 25 career victories.

Missouri sophomore Brad Buehler was named the Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday. Buehler appeared in all four of the Tigers' games last week and did not allow a run in five innings pitched, while picking up two saves. Buehler pitched the final 1.1 innings against Eastern Illinois on April 28, striking out one and recording his fourth save of the year. The Festus, Mo. hurler threw a scoreless ninth inning on Friday in the series opener against Nebraska with one strikeout. Buehler then pitched the Tigers out of two holes on Saturday against NU. The Huskers loaded the bases with one out in the eighth and scored once before Buehler came out of the bullpen to force two pop outs. Then, after Nebraska had two singles to start the ninth, Buehler got a ground out and two strikeouts to close the game, earning his fifth save of the year. On Sunday, the Huskers loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, when Buehler came on in relief to limit the damage, including getting a strikeout for the final out of the game. This award marks fourth time a Tiger has earned a weekly honor from the Big 12 this year. Junior Kyle Gibson has twice been named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week (March 16 and March 23) and junior Greg Folgia earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors on April 20. On the season, Buehler has made 27 appearances and leads the team with a 2.22 ERA and an opponent's batting average of .207.

Junior Steve Gray hit .556 (10-for-18) last week as the Tigers went 4-0 against Eastern Illinois and Nebraska. Gray drove in nine runs, with a home run, a triple and two doubles on the week. The week started with Gray matching a career-high with four hits against Eastern Illinois on April 28. He was 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI against EIU. He followed that with a three-hit performance in the series opener at Nebraska, driving in two more runs on a single and a triple. He drove in one on an RBI single in game two against the Huskers, then closed the week by driving in four runs in a 2-for-5 outing against Nebraska. He had a two-run homer in the seventh and drove in two on a double in the eighth. Gray had a slugging percentage of .944 in the four games.

On April 24, Mizzou junior Aaron Senne was just a single shy of hitting for the cycle. Senne was 3-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored in the series opener against Texas Tech. Senne drove in the first run of the game on a double in the first inning. He led off the bottom of the fifth inning with his first home run of the year. Senne then delivered an RBI triple in the seventh inning. Senne hit .467 in the three-game series with TTU. Senne hit his second home run of the season on April 28 against Eastern Illinois. He is third on the team with a .313 average on the season with 30 RBI. Senne also leads the Big 12 with 39 walks on the season and ranks fourth with 15 doubles. Last season, he had a team-best .347 batting average and had 13 home runs and 67 RBI.

Junior Greg Folgia had a career-long 10-game hitting streak snapped last Friday against Nebraska During the streak, Folgia is hit .442 with three home runs and 19 RBI. Folgia had an average of .429 in the Tigers' series against Texas Tech. In the opener of the TTU series, he drove in five runs. It was his second five-RBI game in a four-game span. Folgia was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week on April 20 after he hit .429 in the Tigers' five games of the previous week. That includes a .455 average in the three-game series against Kansas State, highlighted by a two-home run, five-RBI game in game two. A week earlier, he hit .400 in the series at Baylor. Folgia has a team-best .330 average on the year and leads the team with nine home runs and 52 RBI. His 52 RBI are fourth most in the Big 12. Folgia has started in left field, center field and at first base for the Tigers this season and also has made 13 appearances on the mound out of the bullpen. In his two previous years at MU, Folgia has also played second base, third base and shortstop, meaning he has played all positions except right field and catcher during his career at Mizzou.

Senior Ryan Lollis has a .291 average and has 41 RBI heading into the weekend. Lollis was 4-for-5 and drove in five runs, while scoring three times in the series finale against Texas Tech on April 26. He had six-game hitting streak snapped against SLU on April 1. During that six-game hitting streak, Lollis was 10-for-25 (.400). He had an eight-game hitting streak from Feb. 22-March 6. Lollis has had two three-hit games this season (against Gonzaga on Feb. 22 and against Western Illinois on March 4). He has 12 doubles and three triples. Lollis has four home runs on the year, hitting his first against Gonzaga on Feb. 22. He hit a two-run home run against UI-Chicago on March 25, going 2-for-4 with three RBI in that game. His third homer came on April 7 against Minnesota.

The Tigers will conclude the regular season with a three-game series against Cal State-Bakersfield at Taylor Stadium next weekend. The series will get underway at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, with games to follow at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday will be Senior Day as Mizzou will honor its seven seniors.



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