Pitcher continues to earn wins in relief for Missouri baseball team

Friday, March 19, 2010 | 10:20 p.m. CDT; updated 12:29 a.m. CDT, Saturday, March 20, 2010
MU sophomore pitcher Ryan Clubb throws the ball during the first game of the doubleheader against North Dakota in Taylor Stadium on Friday afternoon. MU won the first game 7-3.

Pitcher Ryan Clubb is more than O.K. with being labeled the vulture of the Missouri baseball team.

Like the large, dark-feathered bird that sneaks up on its prey, the sophomore pitcher is building a reputation for coming into the fifth inning of games and snatching the victory away from the starting pitcher.

He did so in Missouri’s game on Thursday and in the first game of a doubleheader with North Dakota on Friday at Taylor Stadium. He threw a total of 18 pitches in the two games.

Clubb said some of his teammates are giving him a hard time about it.

“I had a couple guys poke me just saying how cheap it is, but at this point, I’ll take anything I can get it,” Clubb said.

Even though the Tigers were already ahead in both games when Clubb took the mound, the rule in baseball is that the starting pitcher must go five innings, or half of the game, in order to be eligible for the victory. After the starting pitcher departs with his team ahead, if the lead is not relinquished, the official scorer decides the winning pitcher.

Clubb, who has been a starter in the past, said that these things seem to even out.

“I kind of feel guilty, but I feel like in the past that I’ve been cheated out of some of those wins also,” Clubb said. “I’m over it.”

In Clubb’s appearance on Friday, he did not enter into an easy situation. The Tigers had a 5-2 lead, but the Fighting Sioux were threatening with runners on first and third and nobody out when pitcher Zack Hardoin was pulled.

Coach Tim Jamieson said Clubb can keep getting the wins as long as the team keeps winning.

“Yeah, whatever we got to do,” Jamieson said. “But he came in there and did a good job. That was a tough situation he came in … That was huge for us. He earned it.”

Missouri swept the doubleheader and has won three straight games. The Tigers (9-6) won the first game 7-3 and the second 6-0.

Brett Nicholas played third base and hit two home runs in the first game for Missouri. In the second game, Nicholas played catcher and said he would not have been surprised if Clubb had come into the game with the Tigers winning and a chance to steal a win.

“You expected him to come out of the bullpen in that fifth inning,” Nicholas said with a smile. “It speaks to him a little bit because it shows that the coaches have confidence in the fact that they can bring him out of the pen no matter what time. He really does his job and gets the outs. He may not start the game, but he deserves to win because he’s doing his job.”

Clubb is one of several Missouri pitchers attempting to earn a job in the starting rotation. Clubb said he is happy to play any role on the team.

“I’ll just take innings as they come,” Clubb said. “I’m happy being a spot starter or coming out of the bullpen. Whichever way, as long as there’s a W at the end of the game.”

The Tigers play North Dakota in the series finale at 1 p.m. Saturday at Taylor Stadium.


Related Media

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.