He wasn’t named to the NCBWA’s Preseason Stopper of the Year watch list, like sophomore pitcher T.J. Sikkema.
He wasn’t named to the preseason All-SEC team, like sophomore outfielder/infielder Kameron Misner.
He wasn’t named to a “best of his age group” list, like seniors Brett Bond and Trey Harris or redshirt junior Bryce Montes de Oca.
After a stellar showing down in Florida, however, junior pitcher/infielder Brian Sharp was named SEC Co-Player of the Week on Monday.
Sharp had already proven himself to be a reliable arm out of the bullpen, going 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in nine appearances for Mizzou in 2017. He again showed off his abilities Sunday, turning in a stellar 4.2 innings in relief with six K’s and only three hits to keep the Tigers within striking distance of Northeastern, ultimately losing 4-2.
Taking the ball as a first-time starter Wednesday against Miami, though, Sharp also proved Missouri coach Steve Bieser could trust him on the bump at any point during a game.
The Hurricanes, ranked No. 24 in USA Today’s preseason coaches’ poll, could not muster up any offense against the junior. In five innings, Sharp gave up just four hits and struck out eight before getting pulled in the 9-0 blowout win. After two appearances on the mound this week, Sharp is now tied for the team lead with a 0.00 ERA — the only starter at the top of the list — and is second in strike outs with 14, behind only junior pitcher Michael Plassmeyer.
For as solid as Sharp’s pitching performances were, though, he was even better with the bat in his hands.
Through the game against Miami and four against Northeastern, Sharp tallied 17 plate appearances, reaching base in 10 of them. His hitting line on the week was an outstanding .563/.588/1.125 to go along with two home runs and 10 RBI.
On Saturday, Sharp put together not only the best hitting display of his career, but one of the best hitting displays Mizzou has seen in a while.
In the eighth inning of game two of the double header with Northeastern, Sharp stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, a double away from completing the cycle. He wouldn’t end up getting the double, instead blasting a shot to right for a grand slam and capping off a performance that saw him finish 5-for-5 with two home runs, nine RBI and four runs in the 20-1 Tigers’ win.
The nine runners Sharp pushed across the plate tied the school-record set by Jacob Priday in 2008 against Texas. Sharp also got a hit in his lone at-bat Sunday, raising his season average to .458.
After eight-games in The Sunshine State, Missouri is back in Columbia for a 10-game home stand starting Tuesday. Whether it’s at the plate or on the mound, expect Bieser to keep finding ways to get Sharp in the game.