COLUMBIA — Missouri and Missouri State are undoubtedly the two most prominent Division I baseball programs in the Show-Me State. Both schools represented the state in the 2012 NCAA tournament and it was the Bears, not the Tigers, who last made it to the College World Series in 2003.
Still, Missouri coach Tim Jamieson, whose program leads the all-time series 24-22, doesn’t consider Missouri State a rival. Whether it’s competition on the field or in terms of recruiting in-state athletes, Jamieson said only the Bears harbor any animosity.
Missouri State (21-10)
at Missouri (12-20, 4-11 SEC)
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: Taylor Stadium
RADIO: KTGR/ 103.1 & 100.5 FM, 1580 AM
“I don’t really look at it as a rivalry,” Jamieson said. “But I think they look at it as that they have to knock off the bigger school.”
Before last Tuesday’s meeting between the teams in Springfield, Missouri State coach Keith Guttin said the balance between the teams over the years in head-to-head meetings has “obviously made for a good rivalry.” He also cited familiarity between the teams’ players — a combined 36 of whom hail from the state of Missouri — as a source of intensity during the in-state match-ups.
Missouri outfielder Case Munson, a native of St. Charles, agreed more with Guttin than Jamieson when asked about the “rivalry” with Missouri State.
“It’s like the other big Missouri team and it’s always fun to try and come out and beat those guys, kinda to establish who’s the better team between the two,” Munson said. “Last game was a good game. They’re a competitive team.”
The Tigers won last week’s contest at Hammons Field, holding off a late game Bears rally to squeak out a 5-4 win. Since then, Missouri dropped all three of its games over the weekend against No. 3 Vanderbilt, allowing a whopping 39 runs.
Following Missouri State on Wednesday, Missouri will host a three-game weekend Southeastern Conference series against Florida. Rivalry or not, Jamieson is hoping his team won’t gloss over its mid-week match-up with Missouri State.
“It’s just hard mid-week though, sandwiched between Vandy and Florida, or back in the days, Texas and Oklahoma,” Jamieson said. “It’s an important game, they’re all important and the guys have to recognize that."
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.