Junior Aaron Senne
May 19, 2009
MIZZOU at THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
MAY 20-24, 2009 • OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
|Wednesday||MU vs. Texas A&M, 4 p.m.|
|Friday||MU vs. Texas Tech, 3 p.m.|
|Saturday||MU vs. Oklahoma, 4 p.m.|
|Sunday||Championship Game, 1 p.m.|
|Radio||1580-AM KTGR / KTGR.com|
Missouri heads to the Big 12 Championship this week at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. The Tigers are the No. 3 seed in the tournament and are in Pool 2 with Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Mizzou finished the regular season with a record of 32-23 and 16-11 in the Big 12 Conference. The Tigers won 10 of their final 12 conference games to climb up to the third spot in the final standings. The Big 12 Championship consists of two pools, with round robin play within the pools taking place Wednesday-Saturday. The winner of each pool will advance to Sunday's Big 12 Championship game. Missouri is 14-18 all-time in the Big 12 Tournament. Its best finish came in 2004, when MU advanced to the Championship game. Live video will be available for all games of the Championship on big12sports.com and live Gametracker can be found on mutigers.com.
MIZZOU vs. IT’S POOL IN ‘09
Missouri was 6-3 against the three other teams in its pool. The Tigers had series wins over Texas A&M and Texas Tech, including a sweep of the Red Raiders. OU took the season series over Mizzou.
MIZZOU FINISHES STRONG IN THE BIG 12
Missouri won 10 of its final 12 Big 12 Conference games and finished with a 16-11 conference mark, which matches its league record from a year ago. The Tigers won seven-straight Big 12 games at one point, including sweeping back-to-back Big 12 series over Texas Tech (April 24-26) and Nebraska (May 1-3). In Mizzou’s nine conference series this year, seven came against teams that were ranked at the time of the series. MU’s late season push started as it took 2-for-3 against Kansas State on the road on April 17-19. Missouri then picked up its first three-game sweep of the season outscoring TTU, 42-14, in the three games. The following week 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. The Tigers closed their conference season by taking two-of-three against Kansas, which included a walk-off win in the series finale, as sophomore Ryan Ampleman hit his first career home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Tigers a 13-12 victory.
GIBSON GOES THE DISTANCE, AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN...
Mizzou junior Kyle Gibson pitched a complete game in five of his nine Big 12 starts and has won his last five outings. 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 against Nebraska, going eight innings and striking out eight. Gibson leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks third nationally with 116 strikeouts on the season. He is tied for fifth in the MU record books for strikeouts in a season and his 289 career strikeout are third most in Mizzou history. He also ranks fourth with 26 career victories.
MACH EXTENDS HITTING STREAK TO 15 GAMES
Senior Kyle Mach will carry a 15-game hitting streak into the Big 12 Championship. The streak is the longest of Mach’s career and is the longest streak by a Tigers since James Boone had a 16-game streak in 2004. During the streak, Mach is hitting .483 with two home runs, six doubles, a triple and 12 RBI. He had three hits in each of the two games last weekend against Cal State-Bakersfield. Mach had multi-hit games in each of the three games against Texas Tech, April 24-26, including a 4-for-6 performance in the opener. He had three hits in the series finale against Kansas. Mach led the Tigers with a .337 batting average in Big 12 games this season. Overall on the year, he is hitting .337, second best on the team, with four home runs and 36 RBI.
FOLGIA IS MISSOURI’S UTILITY MAN
Junior Greg Folgia earned his second Big 12 Player of the Week award on May 11 and was named the National Player of the Week, after he hit four home runs, drove in 10 and hit .550 in the Tigers’ four games of the previous week. That included a .545 average in the three-game series against Kansas. The highlight of the week was a two-home run game in game one against KU. After a solo shot in the first inning, Folgia drove in three on an inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning. It was his second two-homer game of the year. Folgia had a career-long 10-game hitting streak snapped against Nebraska on May 1. During the streak, he 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 .340 average on the year and leads the team with 12 home runs and 64 RBI. His 64 RBI are second 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.
TIGERS REACH 30-WIN MARK
The win by Mizzou in its series finale against Kansas on May 10 marked its 30th victory of the season. It was the seventh-consecutive season in which the Tigers have reached the 30-win mark. Missouri has won at least 30 games in 13 of the 15 years under Head Coach Tim Jamieson.
BUEHLER MOVES INTO TOP 10 IN SEASON SAVES AT MU
Missouri sophomore Brad Buehler picked up a pair of saves last weekend against Cal State-Bakersfield, giving him seven on the season. That places him in a tie for seventh for saves in a season in Mizzou history. The school record is 12, set by Ryan Stegall in 2000. His seven saves are tied for fifth most in the Big 12 this season. Buehler was named the Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week on May 4, after appearing in all four of the Tigers’ games between April 28-May 3. He 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 in the series opener against Nebraska with one strikeout. Buehler then pitched the Tigers out of two holes in game two 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. In the third game of the weekend, 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. On the season, Buehler has made 31 appearances and leads the team with an opponent’s batting average of .225.
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