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Taylor Stadium gets ready for a makeover

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 | 10:04 p.m. CST; updated 10:42 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 4, 2009

COLUMBIA — Missouri's 8-0 victory over winless Western Illinois on Wednesday night in front of a sparse home opener crowd was the last season premier for the old Taylor Stadium.

The Tigers (3-7) scored two runs in the first inning and two more in the fifth on RBI singles by junior Greg Folgia and senior Kyle Mach to stretch the lead to four runs. Missouri scored four times in the eighth, which featured a two-run single by Ryan Lollis and an RBI base hit from junior Aaron Senne.

Missouri got a scare when preseason All-American catcher Trevor Coleman was hit in the hand with a bat. Western Illinois' Cole Waddell caught him with his back swing. Coleman stayed in the game and appeared fine.

Next year, Taylor Stadium will have a different look. Earlier this month, Missouri coach Tim Jamieson and the athletic department finalized plans to expand and renovate the stadium. 

"We've been in the process of designing since September," Jamieson said. "We'll begin construction in June. It will be a great addition to our facility. Something that needs to happen. Everything we're getting, everyone in the conference already has, so we're just trying to get where they are."

The project will be completed in a couple of phases. The first phase will be completed for the 2010 baseball season. There is no timetable for the second expansion which will extend the grandstand down the first base side.

The first phase will be constructed down the third base line. MU plans to build a brand new clubhouse which will be roughly 40 to 50 percent bigger than the current clubhouse. In addition to the club house, the team will build an indoor/outdoor batting cage facility and expand the bullpen. Also, the team offices will move from under the first base grandstand to the new facility.

Missouri isn't the only baseball program around the country looking to expand or build new stadiums. During the past two years, nine BCS conference teams have either expanded, renovated or built new stadiums.

"It's an indication of the growth and demand for college baseball," Jamieson said.

Schools aren't the only ones with plans for new stadiums. The city of Omaha has committed to building a 24,000-seat stadium in its downtown area to be the new home of the College World Series. Omaha has hosted the Division I NCAA Baseball Championships since 1950 including the Tigers' 1954 Championship.

“The NCAA College World Series is one of the nation’s great amateur sports events and the benefits to Omaha serving as the host city for the next 25 years are far-reaching,” Omaha Mayor Fahey said in a news release. 

 This season, though, the Tigers hope Taylor Stadium remains home sweet home. Last season Mizzou finished 23-5 at home.


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