MU baseball team set for ninth straight Big 12 Tournament

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | 9:02 p.m. CDT; updated 11:03 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Missouri baseball team will make its ninth straight appearance in a Big 12 Conference Tournament when the Tigers play Texas on Wednesday afternoon in Oklahoma City.

The Longhorns (40-13), who are the top seed, finished the regular season tied atop the standings with Texas A&M at 19-8. They are trying for their fifth tournament title.

Missouri (24-30) earned the No. 8 seed at the tournament with a victory last Friday at Nebraska. Although the Tigers lost their final two regular season games Saturday at Nebraska, before then, they had used a string of four straight series victories put themselves in position to secure a spot at the tournament. Missouri finished at 11-15 in the conference. The Cornhuskers (9-17) and Kansas (9-18) did not make the tournament lineup.

The Tigers surge in conference play came after a lineup change in which junior Conner Mach was moved to the leadoff spot and sophomore Blake Brown was moved to the No. 5 spot. The Tigers have gone 9-5 in the last 14 conference games since the change.    

Texas led the league in pitching this season with a 2.21 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .196 average. Texas pitcher Taylor Jungmann has allowed just four earned runs in 49 innings.

Missouri went 0-3 this season against Texas, but won last season's tournament opener against the Longhorns 7-3. The Tigers have never won a tournament title but reached the championship game in 2004 and 2009.

The tournament returns to a double-elimination format this year after using a pool play system, in which all teams were guaranteed at least three games, for the past five years.

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