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Mizzou Hosts Missouri State on Wednesday

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Andreas Plackis hit a game-winning SAC fly against Missouri State earlier this season.</i>
MUTIGERS.COM
Andreas Plackis hit a game-winning SAC fly against Missouri State earlier this season.
MUTIGERS.COM

May 8, 2012

Mizzou (25-22) vs. Missouri State (34-14)
• Date: May 9
• Location: Columbia, Mo.
• Stadium: Simmons Field at Taylor Stadium (3,031)
• Gametracker: MUTigers.com
• Radio: KTGR 1580 AM/100.5 FM
• Media Notes: Game Notes - vs. MSU Get Acrobat Reader

First Pitch - What You Need to Know
The Mizzou baseball team will open its final two weeks of the regular season this Wednesday as it plays host to in-state rival Missouri State at 6 p.m. at Taylor Stadium. The game is a part of a home-and-home series between the Tigers and Bears as Mizzou took the first of the two meetings, 4-3, in 11 innings on April 25 at Hammons Field in Springfield.

Promotions • All tickets for Wednesday's game are just $1 as Mizzou looks to pack Taylor Stadium. The crowds at Taylor Stadium have been great over the last few weeks as four of the last five games at Taylor Stadium have seen over 1,000 fans in the stands, including over 2,000 twice in that span. Also on Wednesday, fans will receive free admission if they drop off a business card at the ticket window and any fan eighth grade or under and a guest will get into the game free if they present a paper with an 'A' grade.

Series History • The all-time series between Mizzou and Missouri State is one of the most-tightly contested series in the history of Mizzou baseball. In fact, after defeating the Bears in Springfield earlier this season, the Tigers and Bears are knotted at 22 wins apiece in the all-time series.

    Mizzou Notables vs. Missouri State
    • Mizzou defeated Missouri State in 11 innings on an Andreas Plackis sacrifice fly earlier this year.
    • Since 2004, Missouri State leads the series, 7-6. The Bears have won three of the last five meetings.
    • 7 of the last 13 meetings (since '04) have been decided by two or less runs (4-3 in those games).
    • The last time Mizzou defeated MSU in Columbia was on May 4, 2010, when it won, 11-6.
    • Missouri State has won two of the last three meetings in Columbia dating back to 2009.
    Brannon Champagne is hitting .417 and slugging .500 in three career games vs. MSU.
    Eric Garcia hit .500 with a run and two RBI and a homer in 2011 vs. MSU.
    Andreas Plackis is a .375 career hitter in two games against Missouri State.
    Scott Sommerfeld is a .600 career hitter against Missouri State.

Last Time Out • The Tigers earned their first series win over Texas since 2008 as they took two of three games from the Longhorns at Taylor Stadium last weekend. After dropping the Friday night game, 6-4, Mizzou rallied to win on Saturday, 5-4, on a two-out RBI double to center field by Eric Garcia in the eighth inning and then tallied a walk-off win in the 11th inning on Sunday to take the series.

The Last Meeting Between Mizzou and MSU
Mizzou defeated Missouri State, 4-3, in an extra-inning game that spanned 11 complete innings on April 25 earlier this season in Springfield. The Tigers jumped out to a 3-1 lead after scoring three runs in the fifth inning but allowed MSU to tie the game with a two-run eighth inning, sending the game to extra innings. But Mizzou struck first in extras, tallying a run on a sacrifice fly to center field by Andreas Plackis that plated the go-ahead run. John Miles then came on for his second inning of work in the bottom of the 11th and sent the Tigers back to Columbia with a win after pitching a scoreless frame.

The Tigers posted 10 hits in the contest, due in large part to a 3-for-5 night from two-hole hitter Brannon Champagne, who also added an RBI. Nine-hole hitter Dillon Everett went 2-for-3 in the outing while Conner Mach, Ben Turner, Champagne and Plackis posted RBIs in the contest.

Home Sweet Home
Heading into Wednesday's matchup against Missouri State at Taylor Stadium, it is worth noting that the Tigers have been very good at home this season. In fact, the Tigers boast a 19-9 overall record at home, which is their best overall home record since 2009 when the team finished 20-8 at Taylor Stadium. Of course, Mizzou still has four home games remaining. The most home games that Mizzou has won since 2000 was 23 in 2008 as Mizzou has a chance to surpass that mark this season.

    Mizzou Notables at Home This Season
    • The Tigers are hitting .291 as a team at home this season, up from their .268 season average
    • 17 of the Tigers' 24 home runs this season have come at home
    • 40 of the Tigers' 66 doubles this season have come at home
    Blake Brown is a .333 hitter at home (.333/.402/.559) against just a .212 average on the road
    Conner Mach is hitting .327 at home against just .227 on the road
    • At home, Mizzou's top 9 hitters are batting at least .269 - Only two Tigers have done that on the road
    • Every Tiger regular has at least 12 RBI at home while no player has more than 10 RBI on the road
    • Mizzou has a 3.98 ERA at home against a 4.52 ERA on the road
Toppling Texas
Mizzou defeated Texas over the weekend, marking the first time since 2008 that Mizzou has won a regular season series against the Texas Longhorns. In fact, with the Tigers impending move to the SEC next season, the win secured a positive all-time record against the Longhorns at 17 wins against just 16 losses. Also, the series loss for Texas marked just its third in Big 12 play in the last 27 Big 12 weekend series. Mizzou has now defeated Texas in football, men's basketball (three times), softball and baseball this season. As of right now, Mizzou is the only Big 12 school to beat Texas in all of those sports this season (Baylor has yet to play Texas in baseball and has one remaining game in softball but has defeated Texas in football and men's basketball).

Six Tigers Set to Graduate This Weekend
This week has been a busy one for the Tigers as they have been taking final exams all week, but the hard work is about to pay off for six baseball student-athletes this weekend as they will graduate with their degrees from the University of Missouri. Below is a list of the graduating Tigers.

Yuengel Has Been Sharp
Mizzou reliever Ryan Yuengel is quietly putting together a very successful season in 2012 as he has arguably been the Tigers' top relief arm as of late. In his last five appearances he leads the team with a 1.00 ERA over 9.0 innings pitched with a 9/2 strikeout/walk ratio, allowing just seven hits. In fact, if you discount three early season appearances (vs. Nebraska-Omaha, Central Arkansas and UALR) he has a 1.23 ERA with just two earned runs in 14.2 innings pitched and a 16/4 strikeout/walk ratio.

Miles Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week
Mizzou freshman righty John Miles (Columbia, Mo.) has been named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week as announced by the league office on Monday (May 7). Miles is the second Tiger this season to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and the fourth Tiger this season to earn a Big 12 weekly award. The last Tiger to take home Big 12 Newcomer of the Week was lefty Blake Holovach on March 26.

Miles put together one of his best weeks as a Tiger and had a career-best outing in his first-ever start at No. 18 Arkansas on Wednesday. For the week, the Columbia native and Rock Bridge High School graduate posted a 1.17 ERA over 7.2 innings against a pair of ranked opponents (Arkansas and Texas) while striking out six batters. Last Wednesday, he made his first career start at No. 18 Arkansas and went a career-best 4.0 innings while not allowing a run and striking out five Razorbacks against just one walk. He then came back over the weekend to pitch against No. 25 Texas and went 3.2 innings, allowing just on earned run and just three hits.

Plackis With Nine-Game Hitting Streak
Heading into the Missouri State game on Wednesday, Tiger first baseman Andreas Plackis is carrying a nine-game hitting streak as he has hit safely in all but one game since being inserted into the starting lineup 12 games ago in the series opener against Kansas State. Currently, his streak is the sixth-best active streak in the Big 12. During those 12 games since being inserted into the starting lineup, Plackis is hitting a team-best .341 with four extra-base hits (.455 slugging) with six RBI and seven runs scored. He has also played very well at first base, not committing an error while registering 126 put-outs with two assists.

Bullpen Impresses
The Tiger bullpen has been very impressive over the last 11 games as it has given up just seven earned runs in that span (45.1 innings), good for an ERA of just 1.39. The highlight of that span may have come at Missouri State on April 25 when the Tiger pen pitched the final 8.0 innings of an 11-inning game while allowing just one earned run against the Bears. The Tigers also got a very impressive bullpen outing from senior Jeff Emens who went 6.1 innings without allowing a run at Texas Tech in a losing effort in the Saturday game of that series. He gave up just five hits in the outing. The six-game streak began on April 21 against Kansas State when the pen threw 4.0 innings of shutout baseball. Over the weekend against Texas, five Tiger relievers combined to throw 14.0 innings with just one earned run while striking out 11 batters and just 10 hits.

Emens Continues to Impress
A key reason for the bullpen success lately has been senior do-it-all pitcher Jeff Emens, who continues to have a career-year in his final year in Black & Gold. In fact, over his last seven outings, the senior has gone 20.1 innings and allowed just five earned runs (good for a 2.21 ERA). He has 16 strikeouts in that span as well, against just three walks. In all, he is 10th in the Big 12 in ERA at 2.69 this season.

Champagne Matches School Record
Despite seeing his streak of reaching base safely end last week, Tiger center fielder Brannon Champagne matched the school record at Texas Tech last Friday. He went 1-for-5 in the Friday night win which marked his 32nd straight game reaching base safely, tying him with Aaron Senne for the school record. Senne completed the feat just two seasons ago in 2010. His streak is the second-best by any player in the Big 12 this season (Texas' Mark Payton reach in 34 straight games earlier this season).

Sommer Time
Tiger junior outfielder Scott Sommerfeld had struggled before the Kansas State series and was actually replaced in the starting lineup for three straight games. After starting on the bench in the Tigers' game at Missouri State last Wednesday, he entered the game as a pinch hitter and delivered a huge hit that eventually led to the game winning sacrifice fly from Andreas Plackis. In fact, since that game (nine games), Sommerfeld is hitting .370 (obviously a team-best in that span) with a .556 slugging percentage. He has three RBI and two doubles and home run in that span as well. He tallied a four-hit night (the first of his career) in the Tigers' 9-0 win over Texas Tech.

Jamieson Approaching 600 Wins
With two wins last weekend at Texas Tech, Mizzou head coach Tim Jamieson is now within striking distance of his 600th career win as he sits just six back of that mark with 596 in his career. Now in his 18th season, he is second on Mizzou's all-time win list trailing only Gene McArtor. He is the Big 12's longest-tenured baseball coach (along with Baylor's Steve Smith) and he has been part of Mizzou baseball since 1988 when he was an assistant coach for six seasons under McArtor.

In all, Jamieson has been part of 834 wins at Mizzou including his six seasons as an assistant for McArtor. That number means that Coach Jamieson has been a part of nearly 40-percent of the programs 2,152 wins. To put that into perspective, baseball has been a varsity sport at Mizzou for 121 years. Should he win his 600th career game this season, he would be one of just three coaches (UT's Augue Garrido and Baylor's Smith) in the Big 12 to amass 600 wins at their current Big 12 school and just five to do so in their careers. Mizzou has had just four losing seasons in the 24 seasons in which Jamieson has been involved with the program.

Brown Has Big 12-Best Streak Snapped
Mizzou right fielder Blake Brown had a very impressive streak snapped during the Oklahoma series 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 eight games of his total. Below is a look at the top 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

Four Score
Looking at the stats this season, it is clear that the Tigers have enjoyed the most success in the fourth inning. In fact, Mizzou has scored 42 runs in fourth innings this season. Looking deeper into the runs scored by inning summary, the Tigers appear to like the fourth-fifth innings, outscoring their opponents, 77-37, in those two frames this season.

Brown Eighth in Career Steals at Mizzou
Tiger outfielder Blake Brown stole his 37th career base against K-State earlier, which ranks him seventh all-time in program history. He is now just three back of Ryan Lollis for sixth all-time. Just as a note, Eric Garcia (27 steals) and Brannon Champagne (28 steals) are also threatening to break the career top-10 at Mizzou (two players are tied for 10th with 29 career steals).

Ross Shines Out of 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 1.19 ERA in 30.1 innings pitched, spanning 20 appearances. In fact, he has given up just four earned runs over those 30.1 innings and owns a 18-7 strikeout-walk ratio.

Rob Z Big 12 Pitcher of the Week
Mizzou Friday night starter Rob Zastryzny did something that few Tigers have done - throw a complete game shutout in league play - at Texas Tech on April. He threw 9.0 innings, allowing just seven hits and two walks while striking out five batters. He becomes the first Tiger since Kyle Gibson (now the top pitching prospect for the Minnesota Twins) against Kansas State in 2009 to throw a complete game shutout in league play. It was the first time in his career that he pitching in the ninth inning. He earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for his efforts in that start. He is slated to start against the Longhorns on Friday.

Zastryzny is the first Tiger pitcher to earn Big 12 Pitcher of the Week since Nick Tepesch in 2010 and he is the third Tiger to take home a Big 12 weekly honor this season. Dane Opel was named Big 12 Player of the Week following the opening weekend at Auburn and Blake Holovach was the league's Newcomer of the Week following his dominant start against Oklahoma State earlier this season.

Emens Closing In On All-Time Big 12 Top 10
With 94 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, three ahead of Texas A&M's Estevan Uriegas (91). In all, Emens needs 11 more appearances on the mound to earn a spot in the all-time top-10 (Huston Street, 105). He has appeared in 23 of the Tigers' 47 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.

Not only that, but Emens' 92 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).

Turner Catches Nearly Every Inning
Senior catcher Ben Turner has caught nearly every inning (375.2 of 413.1, 90-percent) 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 36 starts at catcher this season.

Gavin Stark Lands on Top Plays
Mizzou first baseman Gavin Stark did something that no other Tiger baseball player had done - earn a spot on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 Plays. In the seventh inning of the Tigers' 4-1 victory over Oklahoma State last Saturday, Stark tracked a foul ball into the OSU dugout and flipped head over heels into the dugout while making the catch. That earned him the No. 5 spot on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays that night.

Three Tigers Have 5-RBI Games
The Tigers had just one five-RBI game last season (Blake Brown vs. Texas A&M on April 30) but already have three such games this season. Brannon Champagne was the first to so against North Dakota on March 13 and then both Conner Mach and Brown did so the following day against North Dakota.

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 38-36-1 against teams currently in the SEC. Mizzou lost a series at No. 18 Arkansas last week, but will still carry a positive record against SEC schools into its first season next year.

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 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 the 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
Mizzou will close the home portion of the regular season this weekend as it host Memphis for a three-game series at Taylor Stadium. The series will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday night. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.