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April showers in baseball

How’s it going, folks? Mizzou baseball has been in full swing, but not having a great season so far with a 15-11 record. The Tigers sit in last place in the Big 12 so far with a 2-4 record in conference. They’ve got a ton of freshmen, so the learning curve appears to be pretty high so far for them, while the bullpen has been very weak outside of closer Jeff Emens. I’ve been really impressed with 2 freshmen so far this year – 2b Eric Garcia, and outfielder Dane Opel. Opel is hitting a sterling .529 in conference, while Garcia made a huge impact in non-conference play – especially against Purdue where he homered twice. Garcia has struggled so far though in Big 12 play, hitting just .077. Hopefully he can keep the 2b job because I think he’s got some tremendous talent, and has shown himself to be a really solid defensive infielder too with just 2 errors in 19 games. Meanwhile, senior 1b Aaron Senne has been fantastic – .426/.464/.577 averages with 8 homers and 31 RBI. The Tigers teem with young talent on the mound too, as very-highly-touted freshman Eric Anderson has a 3.94 ERA with 24 Ks in 32 innings. He seems to have great stuff and just needs experience. The rest of the pitching staff has been average – lefty junior college transfer Jeff Scardino appears to have a solid hold on midweek starts while righty Nick Tepesch has been a bulldog on Saturdays, taking the ball every game and going deep, but he’s given up a lot of hits and homers. He’s got good stuff, and has kept his walks down, but still has a high WHIP – I’m curious to see where his season goes – he pitched 6 innings of shutout ball against North Dakota but  has struggled in Big 12 play. I’m not sure this team can make the NCAA tournament this year – I just don’t see it with the inconsistency and inexperience on this team coupled with the always-challenging Big 12 schedule. Certainly I’d love to see it happen, but a .500 finish for this team would be a success in my opinion.

On the PA announcing side, it’s gone pretty well. The athletics department asked me to PA the games at Busch Stadium against Illinois  in St. Louis and Kauffman Stadium against Kansas, so I’m pumped for the chance! I PA’d at Busch last year when Missouri played St. Louis University, and it was pretty wild. The sound system was incredibly powerful, which wasn’t too much of a surprise – what did surprise me was how strong the echo was throughout the stadium. It really emphasized to me how enormous a building it is compared to Taylor Stadium. Hopefully, the crowd will be better this year than it was last year, when it only drew about 1,500 people. I’m not sure how well Illinois baseball fans travel, but it’ll be fun regardless – and hopefully a better game than last year’s blowout win over SLU. As for Kauffman, that’s gonna be awesome – especially for an “exhibition” Border War baseball game. I’ll do my best to document it and get as many pictures and videos as possible!

My lowly Mets get started today too against the Florida Marlins – all I can hope for this season is a .500 finish. They’re going to stink this year!

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