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GDT - Baylor (13-4) vs. Mizzou (15-2) @ Taylor Stadium, 6:30pm

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  • GDT - Baylor (13-4) vs. Mizzou (15-2) @ Taylor Stadium, 6:30pm

    Mizzou baseball is riding high on a 10-game winning streak and a #4 ranking. Baylor should prove to be their first real test of the year as they begin a 3-game slate tonight in Columbia:

    Missouri Host Baylor in Big 12 Opener
    Top-15 teams square off at Taylor Stadium.
    March 20, 2008

    MARCH 21-23, 2008 • COLUMBIA, MO
    First Pitch:
    Friday, 6:30 p.m.
    Saturday, 2 p.m.
    Sunday, 1 p.m.
    Series History: BU leads 25-19-1
    Last Year: MU took 2-of-3 in Waco.
    Stadium: Taylor Stadium
    Capacity: 2,200
    Radio: KTGR 1580-AM
    Live Audio:
    Live Video:
    Live Gametracker:
    Overall Record: 15-2
    Big 12 Record: 0-0
    Last 5/Last 10: 5-0/10-0
    Streak: Won 10
    Rankings: BA: 4/CB: 8/ NCBWA: 11/ ESPN: 9
    Head Coach: Tim Jamieson
    Career Record: 456-310-2 (14th year)
    Record at MU: 456-310-2 (14th year)
    Overall Record: 13-4
    Big 12 Record: 2-1
    Last 5/Last 10: 2-3/6-4
    Streak: Lost 2
    Rankings: BA: 14/CB: 15/ NCBWA: 16/ ESPN: 13
    Head Coach: Steve Smith
    Career Record: 503-315-1 (14th year)
    Record at SDSU: 503-315-1 (14th year)

    A match-up of top-15 teams will kickoff Mizzou `s Big 12 Conference schedule as the Tigers host Baylor this weekend in their first league series of the year. The three-game set 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. Fourth-ranked Missouri (15-2, 0-0) will carry a 10-game winning streak into the weekend, while Baylor (13-4) enters the series with a No. 14 ranking.

    The latest Baseball America poll released on Monday has Missouri holding onto the No. 4 spot, its highest ever ranking. The Tigers are the highest ranked Big 12 Conference team in the poll. Baylor is ranked 14th ahead of Texas (No. 18) and Nebraska (No. 22). Mizzou opened the 2008 season ranked No. 6 in the Baseball America Preseason Poll. MU finds itself ranked eighth in Collegiate Baseball's Top 30, No. 9 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and 11th the NCBWA poll.

    Baylor leads the all-time series 25-19-1. The two teams met four times last season, with Missouri taking two-of-three from the Bears in the regular season series in Waco. Baylor then defeated the Tigers, 8-3 at the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Missouri won the first two meetings of last year's three-game series against Baylor in Waco, Texas. In the series opener, Aaron Crow retired the first 13 batters he faced and struck out six in 7.1 innings on the mound as MU took an 11-4 win. Kyle Mach had four hits, including a home run, and drove in three in the victory. Game two of the series belonged to the offenses as the Tigers outslugged Baylor, 14-11. A trio of Tigers (Evan Frey, Jacob Priday and Aaron Senne) had three hits and Senne homered and drove in four runs. Mizzou scored nine runs in the fourth inning, its highest scoring inning of the year. Baylor took the win in the finale, with an 8-3 win on Sunday. The Bears scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Despite the loss, Frey managed a 5-for-5 game for Mizzou. The two teams met again at the Big 12 Conference Tournament, with Baylor taking an 8-5 win. Missouri led by one before the Bears put up five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead.

    The Tigers extended their winning streak to 10 games with sweep of their two-game midweek series with South Dakota State. Sophomore Greg Folgia was the star of the series opener, which MU won 13-1, as he took the win after striking out seven in five scoreless innings on the mound. He was also 3-for-5 with and RBI and three runs scored at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Senior Dan Pietroburgo had a career-high four hits in the first game of the SDSU series. On Wednesday, the Tigers won for the 10th-straight time, taking a 9-4 win over South Dakota State. Senior Kurt Calvert homered twice and fellow senior Jacob Priday hit his 37th career home run on Wednesday, his second homer in two games.

    Mizzou's 15-2 start to the season is its best start since the 1985 team opened the year 15-1.

    Sophomore Greg Folgia had just two hits in 18 at-bats as a freshman last year. But after the first 17 games of the 2008 campaign, Folgia has 20 hits with a .333 batting average. He had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on Wednesday against South Dakota State. The streak was the longest by a Tiger since Brock Bond hit safely in 11-straight games May 12-June 2, 2007. In the first game of the South Dakota State series, Folgia was in the lineup as the pitcher/designated hitter. He earned the win on the mound, as he struck out seven in five scoreless innings pitched. He struck out the first five batters of the game and did not walk a batter. Meanwhile, at the plate in that game, Folgia was 3-for-5, with an RBI and three runs scored.

    Junior Aaron Crow, a preseason All-American, turned in the most dominate performance of his career last Friday with a complete-game shutout over Toledo. Crow struck out a career-high 15 batters, bettering his previous best of 10 set just two weeks prior against Cal. Only two Toledo batters advanced beyond first base, as Crow allowed seven hits and did not walk a batter. Starting with the final out of the fourth inning and continuing through the eighth inning, Crow struck out 11 of the 15 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the eighth. He threw 107 pitches, 87 of which were strikes. Crow has won each of his first four starts of the year and has an ERA of 1.38. He has 41 strikeouts in 23.1 innings pitched, which leads the Big 12 Conference.

    Mizzou had three-straight starting pitchers record career highs in strikeouts last weekend against Toledo. The weekend started with junior Aaron Crow striking out 15 in the series opener. The following day, junior Ian Berger fanned a career-best nine in eight shutout innings and lowered his ERA to 0.39. With the wins in the first two games against Toledo, Missouri recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since sweeping a doubleheader with Youngstown State last year by scores of 11-0 and 11-0. On Sunday, sophomore Kyle Gibson's 11 strikeouts set a new career high for him, while he allowed just one run on four hits in eight innings.

    Senior Ian Berger leads the Tigers with a 0.39 ERA heading into the weekend. Berger is 2-0 on the year and has allowed just two runs (only one of which was earned) in 23.1 innings pitched this season. Berger's ERA leads the Big 12 Conference. He has allowed just two earned runs in his last six appearances dating back to last season, a span of 31.1 innings. Berger has started three times this season, earning wins against San Diego State and Toledo. He allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings pitched against San Diego State, to pick up his first win of the year. He pitched eight scoreless innings against Toledo last Saturday, allowing just four hits to earn his second victory. Along with his team-best ERA, he leads the squad with an opposing batting average of .171.

    Jacob Priday has been very impressive in the early part of his senior season. He is hitting a team-best .356. Among his 16 hits are four home runs and five doubles. Priday has hit homers in each of the last two games. Priday missed five games from March 8-15 with an abdominal injury, but he returned to the lineup last Sunday against Toledo. The four home runs on the year give him 37 for his career, which places him in a tie for fourth on the MU all-time home runs list with Cody Ehlers, just one out of third place (Griffin Moore, 1997-98). The school record is 45 (Mike Rogers, 1984-87). Priday is also moving up the charts in the RBI category. He enters the weekend having driven in 192 career runs, which is second all-time at Mizzou. The record is 222 (Ryan Fry, 1995-98).

    In the second game of the three-game series with Indiana State, sophomore Aaron Senne hit two home runs and drove in five. He followed a two-run homer in the sixth inning with a three-run shot in the seventh, which tied the game at eight. Senne became the first Tiger to hit two home runs in a game since Jacob Priday did it against Louisville in last year's NCAA Regional. It was Senne's second five-RBI game already this season, as he also drove in five against Cal on Feb. 29. Senne leads the team and is tied for fifth in the Big 12 with 20 RBI on the year. Through Senne's first 47 games last season he had hit just two home runs. He closed out 2007 with five home runs in the final 12 games and has three through the first 17 games this season, giving him eight home runs in his last 29 games.

    The Tigers have seven saves as a team this year, with five pitchers earning those seven saves. Mizzou had four pitchers earn saves all of last season. Junior Scooter Hicks has two saves on the year, which gives him eight for his career. Hicks is tied for the team lead in saves with freshman Nick Tepesch. Freshmen Kelly Fick, sophomore Ryan Allen and junior Ryan Gargano have also recorded a save this season.

    Through the first month of the season, the Tigers have already been hit by a pitch 39 times. Missouri was hit by 22 pitches in the first week alone, averaging 5.5 HBPs per game through the first four games. The Tigers had three-straight games from Feb. 23-25 in which six batters were hit by pitches. The school record for hit-by-pitches in a year is 108, set in 2005. MU came close to breaking that record last year, with 107 HBPs. If it were to keep up the current pace, Missouri would finish the regular season with 128 hit-by-pitches. Senior Lee Fischer leads the team with seven HBPs, while sophomore Trevor Coleman, junior Kyle Mach and senior Dan Pietroburgo have each been hit by a pitch five times this season.

    The Big 12 Conference baseball coaches have picked Mizzou to finish second in the league, according to the 2008 Big 12 Preseason Poll. The Tigers garnered 71 points, including one first-place vote, finishing behind only Texas, who received 80 points, including eight first-place votes. The ranking is the highest for the Tigers since the start of the Big 12 Conference in 1997. Their previous best came in 2006, when the coaches voted Missouri third. Last season, MU was selected eighth in the preseason poll, but ended the year second.

    Mizzou junior pitcher has been named to multiple Preseason All-American teams. Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association have all selected Crow as a Preseason All-American. Crow was a first team All-Big 12 selection last season, leading the Tigers with nine wins on the year, compiling a 9-4 record with a 3.59 ERA. He struck out a team-high 90 batters on the season and had two complete games. He was also named to the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the nation's top player.

    Pitchers Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson were each listed among Baseball America's top prospects of the Cape Cod League. Crow and Gibson each spent last summer in the Cape Cod League, which remains one of the most talented leagues in summer baseball. Crow was named by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect of the league. He had a Cape Cod best 0.67 ERA and touched 98 mph on the radar gun pitching for Falmouth. Baseball America quoted one National League scouting director as saying, "If the draft was tomorrow, Crow would go No. 1." Gibson, who also pitched for Falmouth, was rated as the third best prospect in the league. He struck out 51 batters in his eight starts, recording a 1.17 ERA.

    Mizzou is one of just 18 schools in the nation that has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last five seasons. Only two Big 12 schools (MU and Texas) can make that claim. The Tigers have made NCAA Regionals in each of the last five seasons and last year hosted the school's first-ever Regional. In 2006, Mizzou advanced to the Super Regionals for the first time in school history.

    Video webcast for all Missouri Baseball home games in 2008 will be available at as part of Mizzou All-Access. All-Access is the Tiger fans home to live and archived games for Mizzou Athletics, along with coaches' shows, press conferences and much more. For more information, visit and click on the All-Access icon.

    Once again, KTGR 1580-AM will be the radio home of the Tigers. All of Mizzou's regular season and postseason games will air on KTGR 1580-AM in Columbia. The games can also be heard online at Tex Little is in his 18th season of calling Tiger Baseball and is joined in the booth by Hudson Guthrie, who is in his first year on the Tiger broadcast team.

    Two of the Tigers' 2008 games have been selected to be televised. The Mizzou Sports Network has announced it will air the middle game of MU's series against Oklahoma State on April 5 at Taylor Stadium. The game can be seen on FSN Midwest and MetroSports. First pitch has been moved to 4 p.m. to accommodate the television schedule. Missouri's series finale at Texas A&M on April 27 will be broadcast on FSN as part of the network's television contract with the Big 12 Conference. That game will start at 1 p.m. in College Station, Texas. The possibility does remain for networks to add more games to the television schedule.

    Mizzou Athletics is teaming up with Auburn and Clemson Universities to save and protect wild tigers. You can help support "Tigers for Tigers" by making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund. For more information visit Help Mizzou with the "Tigers for Tigers" challenge and save the tigers species.

    After 12-consecutive games at home, the Tigers will return to the road for their next five games. Mizzou will take on Minnesota at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. next Tuesday and Wednesday. Next weekend, the Tigers will be in Lubbock, Texas for a three-game set with Texas Tech. Game one of that series will get underway at 6 p.m. on Friday with games to follow at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
    TP sponsor of Everton FC, Colorado Rapids, #5 Barrett Jackman, #2 Luke Schenn, #85 Greg Jennings, #25 Jim Thome, #19 Carl Gettis, #16 Greg Biffle, #31 Mark Hamilton, and the Wisconsin Badgers