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Offense continues to sag for Missouri baseball team

Saturday, April 4, 2009 | 7:33 p.m. CDT; updated 7:53 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 4, 2009

COLUMBIA – Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said everything went wrong on Saturday. There was bad hitting, bad defense, bad base running, bad pitching and mental mistakes. A lot of the same things that have led the Tigers to a 14-16 record overall and a 4-7 record in the Big 12.

Missouri lost 7-4 to No. 10 Oklahoma on Saturday at Taylor Stadium in front of 1,588 sun-bathed fans.

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"We didn't play very well," Jamieson said. "We made some stupid plays defensively. They gave us a chance to win."

The entire team has been struggling at the plate this season. After 30 games, the Tiger team is hitting .250 and .179 in conference games. The opposing pitchers combined in Big 12 have a 2.46 ERA against Missouri. That would be Cy Young-worthy in Major League Baseball. 

"Trust me, we've tried everything," catcher Trevor Coleman said. "We're not throwing up the white flag. I don't know (how to fix it). We're not getting the job done."

Third baseman Kyle Mach hit a home run just over the left field fence in the bottom of the third off Oklahoma (25-6) starting pitcher J.R. Robinson. The pitch before, he took a called strike to make the count 3-2 and hung his head low with the look of, 'Here we go again.'

"I got a fastball down the middle," Mach said. "It gave us a little momentum, but we need to step up and get the job done."

The Tigers scored only one run after the second inning on a Greg Folgia home run. Missouri went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left 10 runners on base.

"We're not squaring the ball and not getting the leadoff man on base," Mach said.

Jamieson sees the  team problem as a set of little problems with each hitter in the lineup. After being named to the 2008 All-Big 12 team, right fielder Aaron Senne is hitting just .277 with no home runs after hitting 13 last season. Today, Jamieson dropped Senne to seventh in the lineup.

"Every guy has his own set of problems," Jamieson siad. "Confidence doesn't turn around in one at-bat. Not one guy makes a lineup."

The body language of the Missouri hitters stepping into the batters box and in the dugout while the team is hitting has been negative since the team's seven-game losing streak at the beginning of the year. 

When the Tigers get men on base, they continue to make outs on the base paths, getting picked off 14 times this season. Coleman made a costly mistake in Friday's game getting picked off at second base as the tying-run in the seventh inning.

"It's just bad base running," Jamieson said. "Just simple baseball."

The pressure continues to mount for the team to produce runs for the pitching staff. Mach said that the Tigers are starting to put too much pressure on themselves instead of just playing the game. 

"It's frustrating, I guess," Coleman said. "That's one word that sums it up."


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