The Missouri Tiger baseball team avenged Thursday’s loss to Arizona State with a 3-2 win over the Sun Devils on Friday in the first day of play at the Coca-Cola Classic. All three of the Tigers’ runs came on a two-out double by senior John McKee in the eighth inning. On Saturday, Mizzou upped its record to 2-0 at the Coca-Cola Classic with a 10-3 rout over Gonzaga. Sophomore Aaron Crow picked up the win for the Tigers, as he did not allow an earned run on just two hits in seven innings of work. Sikeston native Jacob Priday went 2-5 with and RBI and scored two runs. The Tigers face defending national champions Oregon State on Sunday. According to sources, former Missouri pitcher Max Scherzer and the Arizona Diamondbacks are still not close on a contract agreement. The right-hander was Arizona’s first round choice (11th overall) of the June 2006 First-Year Player draft. He was considered possibly the premier right-handed pitcher going into the 2006 college baseball season. But then an injury slowed him down and he fell to number 11 due to shoulder concerns and signability issues, Scott Boras being his agent. Mr. Boris is looking for a contract similiar to that of Luke Hochevar, the first overall pick from that draft. Hochevar signed with Kansas City after sitting out a year (he was unable to reach an agreement with the Dodgers in 2005, read here). The Royals gave Hochevar a $5.3 million contract. The Diamondbacks and Boris have been down this road before. Boris held Stephen Drew out until 15 minutes before the 2005 draft after being selected in the first round of the 2004 draft.
UPDATE: Missouri dropped the finale of the Coca-Cola Classic to No. 10 Oregon State on Sunday, falling to the Beavers 9-2. Next up for the Tigers is the Service Academy Classic in Millington, TN. The Tigers will open with a pair of games on Friday, taking on BYU and Akron in the nightcap. They will then face Memphis on Saturday and Navy on Sunday. Not really sure how this is called the Service Academy Classic when only one of the service academies will be represented.
For the first time in six years, the Southeast Missouri State baseball team is 2-0 to begin the season. The Redhawks defeated the Jackson State Tigers 7-4 in game one before claiming the doubleheader sweep with a 2-0 victory in the nightcap. Another Sikeston native, Lance Rhodes, got the win in game one. The former Bulldog went 3 1/3 innings, striking out 2 and giving up only 2 hits. He was on the same state qualifying team as Priday and Dodger first rounder, Blake Dewitt (How in the world did this team win not one but a couple of State Championships? There senior year they did run into a good Ozark team that included Lucas Harrell, the number 9 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America, but come on. Them not winning had nothing to do with talent.). In the second game Southeast freshman Josh Syberg stuckout 10 batters, gave up 4 hits, and no runs in only 5 innings.
The one that got away… The St. Louis Cardinals selected pitcher Robert Woodard in the 46th round (1390 overall) of the June 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of North Carolina. Woodard and the Cardinals were unable to come to a contract agreement and he returned to campus this fall, ending any chance of an agreement with the Redbirds. Well, the UNC senior righthander Robert Woodard took a perfect game into the seventh inning in the Tar Heels’ season-opening 11-0 win against Seton Hall on Friday, before Matt Smedberg’s two-out double to right field spoiled the bid on Woodard’s 66th pitch. His final line: 7 2/3 innings (80 pitches, 63 for strikes), one hit, no runs, seven strikeouts (tying a career high), no walks. He worked mostly with his fastball, which sat in the mid-80s and topped out at 87. That’s a change from late last year, when pitching coach Scott Forbes said Woodard topped out around 84-85 thanks to a tired arm.“I worked really hard this summer and this fall and coming into spring practice on my arm strength, and put a little more emphasis on my legs and my core,” Woodard said. “My body feels really good right now, I’ve just got to maintain it and keep going from there. Coach Forbes and I worked really hard on my throwing program and building more arm strength, and at the same time I really kicked it up a notch with my legs as far as running hills and stadium stairs.” Not only did Woodard’s fastball have life, but he was able to command it very well, as usual. He worked the knees, in and out, and mixed in a few sliders and changeups. Most of his strikeouts came on the fastball, but he got one or two whiffs with the changeup. Woodard was operating under an 85-90 pitch limit, and he said that even if he still had the perfect game intact he probably would not have exceeded his limit. (Thanks to Baseball America for this info.)