COLUMBIA — Missouri pitcher John Miles walked into the small auditorium in the team's shiny new clubhouse, his eyes wide, face expressionless and hat cocked up.
He was asked how he felt about the team's play in Saturday's game. He was silent for three seconds.
Five more seconds.
"We didn't battle enough. We can be a really good ball club if we want to, but it's a choice. Like everything in life, it's a choice. And we didn't make the choice today to be better than them. That's why we lost."
It may not be visible on the field, but the frustration is starting to boil over for the Missouri baseball team, especially after its 7-2 loss to Georgia on Saturday.
The Tigers had scoring opportunities, some that coach Tim Jamieson would call more "high-percentage" than others, but they consistently struggled to get any runs. The Tigers (13-16, 3-8 Southeastern Conference) left men on first and second in the second, third, fourth and ninth innings Saturday.
When those opportunities arose, Jamieson kept his place in and around the third-base coach's box: Sometimes he crouched over, sometimes he stood with hands on hips, sometimes he clapped lightly — trying to muster some enthusiasm when there seemed no reason to be any. When a strikeout or fly out or ground out or various combinations of the two ended the inning, Jamieson lowered his head and slowly walked back to the dugout.
Jamieson's lineup shakeup — bumping Eric Anderson out of the leadoff spot in favor of Jake Ring — didn't work. On Saturday, nothing did.
Catcher Dylan Kelly, the only other player who was made available to the media, was more downcast than Miles, his voice low and head down. He was also more scathing in his comments.
"It's very frustrating to lose, and it's become way too easy on this team."
"It just feels like the whole team is not in it sometimes," he said.
"We're either there, or we're not there," he continued. "You can pick a handful of guys that want to be there, and they don't want to be there, and they've got other stuff to do. ... It's just annoying. It can't be like this. We're playing at the highest level of college baseball, and if you're not there, then you're going to get embarrassed, just like we did."
Missouri finishes up its series with the Bulldogs on Sunday. The game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.