By Tiger Fan
Hooray! The nine-game losing streak is over for the once-hyped Tiger baseball team. Mizzou knocked off SLU 4-0 at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, MO, Wednesday night at the annual Wood-Bat Classic. As you might expect, several members of The Zou were on hand. Here’s how it all went down:
On the Field
-Eight Mizzou pitchers combined to hold SLU to one hit and strike out 11 batters. The Tigers were clearly using last night’s game to get some work for its bullpen guys as Brant Combs was the only pitcher to go more than one inning (he pitched two). The official scorekeeper gave the win to starter Rick Zagone, even though he only faced three batters. Nick Admire and David Cales each struck out all three batters he faced.
-Trevor Helms drove in the first two runs of the game with a homerun to left field in the second inning. It was only the fourth homerun of Helms career and it was all the more surprising given that the game was played with wooden bats.
-Helms created another scoring opportunity in the fourth by causing a big collision at first base. With runners at first and second, Helms bunted the ball toward first in an attempt to move the runners up. The first baseman and the pitch both broke for the ball, leaving no one at the bag. The SLU second baseman got there right as Helms arrived at the base. When the two crashed together, the ball went flying and Helms was safe at first. Derek Chambers came around to score to make it 3-0. Meanwhile, the SLU second baseman was struggling to get to his feet. Gary Pinkle may want to consider letting Helms try out at linebacker next season.
Crazed Mizzou Fan Notes
-The good news is that attendance was pretty good – and there were more Mizzou fans than SLU fans. The bad news is that the crowd was not into the game at all. Most folks seemed to be more interested in chatting than watching the game. Even when Mizzou scored, there wasn’t much of a reaction.
-We did meet one guy out front while waiting in the LONG ticket line (more on this later) who might be a bigger fan than any member of The Zou. He lettered in football under Don Faurot and he lettered in baseball under John ‘Hi’ Simmons. He has also missed just two football games since 1947 and carries a sweet tiger-striped cane with a tiger head at the top. We didn’t catch his name (his wife gave him the ol’ “Come on dear, it’s time to go into the stadium, no one cares…” look and he had to go)… but we’re going to try to look through some archives and figure out who he is. Either way, Tiger Cane Guy, we salute you.
Seen and heard in the stands:
-Tiger Fannette and Rocky Mountain Tiger’s girlfriend Heather apparently disagree with the long-held assumption that chicks dig the long ball. After a careful consideration of all the positions, they determined that they prefer the guys who serve up the homers. That’s right, pitchers. What’s wrong with everyone else? I’m just quoting here, but: Catchers are too fat, middle infielders are too small and corner infielders are too muscular. There was a close competition between outfielders and pitchers, but pitchers were given the nod for having better legs. Apparently, this is what girls think about at baseball games. Who knew?
-Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee was on hand at the home of the league’s River City Rascals, chatting up the umpires between innings.
-In the fourth inning, a SLU batter hit a high foul ball toward our front row seats on the first-base line. Born-A-Tiger and I jumped up to try to catch it while Tiger Fannette let loose a high-pitched scream of terror. Luckily, Tiger first baseman Derek Chambers snagged the ball a few feet from the stands and saved the day.
-This wasn’t exactly in the stands, but it wasn’t really part of the action either. We looked down to first base during one Tiger at-bat to see the first base coach on a cell phone. On the field. During the game. For the love of Joe Horn, what was that about? We asked for the number, but he didn’t respond…
Irritating/pleasant Athletic Department Decisions
-I’ll start with the kudos: I think the Wood Bat Classic is a great event every year. The Mizzou baseball team needs more exposure and this is a great opportunity to tap into the broad Tiger fan base in
-This probably isn’t the AD’s fault, but the ticket booth at the stadium was a disaster. We arrived 20 minutes before the 6:30 first pitch and we were still in line as the first inning drew to a close. The folks selling tickets blamed the computers, but come on… it’s not like there were thousands of people there. If your computers are that slow, you’re better off handwriting the tickets. The tickets were my only complaint from a fun evening at the ballpark.
Other Tiger notes…
Consider this your weekly report… Golfer Stephanie Wavro – who lived on my floor at Mark Twain as a freshman – finished a surprising second at the Big XII women’s golf tournament this week. Wavro, a junior, recorded the best finish for a Tiger since 2003… Led by Wavro, the women’s team finished fourth at the tournament. Most importantly, they placed well ahead of kU, giving Mizzou three more points in the Border War standings… the kU now leads the Border War by just four points: 19.0-15.0. It looks like the contest will be decided by outdoor track and men’s golf. Come on Tigers, let’s do this!... Micaela Minner of the softball team became Mizzou’s all-time leader in career homeruns Wednesday in a loss to kU. Minner hit her 26th career homerun in the seventh inning. Congrats go out to Minner, but the fact that the Mizzou record was 26 proves what I already suspected: Softball, while fun to play, is boring to watch… Gymnast Adrianne Perry is representing Mizzou today at the national championship meet in