Rain or shine, the Scherzer family drives from St. Louis to watch the Missouri baseball team’s home games.
They sit in Taylor Stadium cheering the Tigers even when their son Max Scherzer doesn’t leave the dugout.
Scherzer wasn’t scheduled to pitch in Missouri’s 5-4 loss to Baylor on Saturday, but his family was still soaking in the stands.
A slight shower sprinkled the stadium, but by the fifth inning, full-fledged rain drops turned the ground outside MU’s dugout into a mud puddle. Then, when the ninth inning closed with two Missouri runners left on base, the rain turned into a downpour.
This characterized Missouri’s game. The Tigers (20-21, 8-12 Big 12) left a total of 13 runners stranded. MU’s loss to Baylor (27-18, 10-10 Big 12) evened the series heading into today’s game.
After the game, the drenched Missouri team pulled a tarp across the baseball diamond and walked from Simmons field as the Scherzers waited for their son.
Max Scherzer’s father, Brad, stood in a bright yellow parka. His younger brother, Alex, and mother, Jan, stood with an arm full of blankets and a Mizzou umbrella.
“It’s still fun,” Brad Scherzer said. “We had a close game, so that makes it exciting.”
He said it was raining when they left St. Louis that morning. So, the family checked the Columbia weather forecasts and came to the game prepared. As long as today’s game, scheduled for 1 p.m., isn’t rained out, they will be in the stands again, potentially watching their son on the mound.
Scherzer has been recovering from biceps tendonitis in his throwing arm.
“He got a complete MRI, now he’s just got to work his way back in,” Brad Scherzer said. “It’s like starting spring training.”
Coach Tim Jamieson expects Scherzer to pitch part of the game, and said he should be ready for next weekend’s non-conference home series against Mississippi Valley State.
“We’ll have him tomorrow for some innings,” Jamieson said. “And we’ll have him starting after that, so by the time we get back into conference, we should be at full-strength on the mound.”
Evan Frey gave MU a one-run lead in the first inning. Baylor responded in the top of the second with three runs, aided by two Missouri errors. The Tigers struggled to respond, but eventually tied the game 4-4 in the fifth.
Baylor gave up 11 walks in the game , tying the team’s conference record for walks. Five of those walks came in the fifth, which Jamieson said made tying the game easier. The Tigers went through the entire batting order in the inning.
“You tie the game and that’s a good thing, but everyone here knows that we’ve been doing this all year,” Jamieson said. “We didn’t take advantage and put up as big a number as we should have. We tied the game, but we’ve got to be a little bit better than that.”
Jamieson said the inability to finish the inning strong came back to bite the Tigers in the seventh. The Bears squeezed the win out in the seventh when Beamer Weems sent Kevin Russo home on a sacrifice fly.