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Mizzou’s postseason baseball slump reaches 6 seasons as the Tigers miss the NCAAs again

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Hey, guess who’s back! Thanks to those who filled in for me while I was galavanting around on a weeklong work trip-turned-vacation. But you’re not rid of me for good just yet.

Mizzou Baseball has made the NCAA Regionals only once this decade (2012), but for much of this season it looked like this would be the year that changed. But Kameron Misner’s injury triggered a slump, and despite a late rally to make the SEC Tournament, a 4-8 stretch late in the season and a one-and-done loss in Hoover sank Mizzou to 34-22, its RPI to 48th.

The result: another year at home during the NCAAs.

The Tigers, who finished 34-22 and 12-18 in the Southeastern Conference, missed out on the event for the sixth straight year. Missouri hasn’t appeared in the NCAA Tournament since joining the SEC; the Tigers’ last appearance marked MU’s last season in the Big 12.

Missouri struggled against its competition in the powerful SEC, which saw a nation-high 10 of its 14 teams qualify for the tournament. Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama will watch from home with the Tigers.

I find it odd that the tourney committees for baseball and softball evidently use entirely different criteria, and I think both are kind of used in extreme ways — I was floored that Mizzou Softball got a 2-seed in the tourney on the strength of its RPI alone, but RPI No. 32 Kentucky missed the baseball tourney simply because of a losing conference record.

Either way, Steve Bieser’s next task in his program rebuild is to figure out how to close seasons. This is two straight years a powerful start has been marred by a rickety finish. And he’ll have to come up with a strong finish without the following seniors (and perhaps some juniors, too — pitchers Michael Plassmeyer and Tyler LaPlante and infielder Brian Sharp could all get looks):

  • Trey Harris (.316 / .413 / .516 over 252 plate appearances)
  • Andy Toelken (6-3, 3 saves, 3.77 ERA over 57.1 IP)
  • Brett Bond (.268 / .347 / .337 over 232 plate appearances)
  • Alex Samples (.253 / .329 / .327 over 167 plate appearances)
  • Matt Berler (.226 / .338 / .323 over 145 plate appearances)
  • Nolan Gromacki (7.71 ERA over 4.2 IP)

We’ll be back. Road starts now. #CommitToExcellence

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This (long) weekend at Rock M

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Mizzou Track & Field senior Karissa Schweizer (Des Moines, Iowa) qualified for her second event in the NCAA Outdoor Championships on the final day of competition at the NCAA West Preliminary. Her time of 15:19.65 in the 5000m run was the fastest time in the nation this season, and the 14th fastest time in collegiate history.