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Tigers baseball preps for season-starting road trip

Thursday, February 19, 2009 | 8:57 p.m. CST
Preseason All-American Kyle Gibson watches his teammates practice while taking a break in the dugout in September 2008. Last season didn't end well for Gibson, one of MU's pitchers, who suffered close losses in the Tigers' last two games of regional play. "You just got to get it out of your head," Gibson said about how last season ended. "You've just got to flush it."

COLUMBIA — Missouri baseball coach Tim Jamieson has only one worry about starting the season with nine road games in 11 days: "I hope I don't run out of clothes," Jamieson said.

The Tigers, No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, start their quest for their seventh consecutive NCAA Regional at 8 p.m. Friday against Nevada in Phoenix.

Grand Canyon Classic

When: Feb 20-22

Where: Phoenix, Arizona

Radio: KTGR 1580

Missouri vs Nevada
When: Feb. 20 at 8 p.m.

Missouri vs Gonzaga
When: Feb. 21 at 4 p.m.

Missouri vs Nevada
When: Feb. 22 at 11 a.m.

Missouri vs Gonzaga
When: Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.



Preseason All-American Kyle Gibson will pitch for the Tigers against the Wolf Pack. Last season didn't end well for Gibson, who suffered close losses in the Tigers' last two games of regional play.

"You just got to get it out of your head," Gibson said about how last season ended. "You've just got to flush it." 

This summer, Gibson played for Team USA's collegiate program. Gibson went 5-0 for the United States at the FISU World Championships, including winning pitcher honors in the Gold Medal game. 

"The thing that I brought back is that fastball command is going to beat anyone," Gibson said.  "If you're able to locate your fastball, nobody can really hit it, if you put it where you want and in the right spot."

Senior Ian Berger will take the mound for the Tigers on Saturday against Gonzaga. Sophomores Kelly Fick and Nick Tepesch will start Sunday's doubleheader.

"We will find out a little bit more about our pitching," Jamieson said. The main thing between now and the beginning of conference is finding out who we want to have out there when we start playing Texas (in the first Big 12 series of the season)."

On offense, the Tigers return seven starters from last year's 39-21 team.  Junior outfielder Aaron Senne expects the Tigers offense to score a lot of runs this season.

"We have high expectations for ourselves," said Senne, who led the team with a .347 batting average and 67 RBIs last season. "We want to help lead our team in the postseason and accomplish the goals that we have."

Jamieson isn't the only one worried about running out of clothes.  Because airlines charge for extra bags, each player is restricted to one baseball bag and one clothes bag. 

On Tuesday, Senne wondered how he was going to fit his Nintendo Wii into his bags safely, while senior Kyle Mach said he had a solution to fitting enough stuff in for the trip.

"Just cram clothes into the baseball gear bag," Mach said.


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