Matt: Missouri State Baseball

Missouri state baseball hasn’t been as good the last few years as they were for a number of years. They were on par with the Hogs for awhile (but not now). What happened? (besides Arkansas getting better) Did their talent go down? There overall record has drifted downward for some time now.

I’m not sure. My first thought is they lost their ace recruiter, Nate Thompson. He did a good job of supplementing those 2015 and 2017 teams with some JUCO transfers.

Looks like that changed tonight…

Nothing changed, they had won 5 of last 9 at Baum. BIG game for MSU, Hogs between Ole Miss and Auburn. Looked disinterested to me.

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You cannot compare baseball teams on one game, especially not a college midweek game because of the way they are managed. It is a balancing act between playing well enough to win and getting experience for some players who don’t otherwise see the field much.

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You mean like Wallace, Slavens, Lanzilli, Turner, Moore, Battles, Webb, etc.?

I get what you are saying, Matt, but these are the guys in the lineup every day and they had 4 total hits for the entire game (actually 3 hits since Leach had one and he isn’t in the everyday lineup).

In this case, I would have much rather gotten some experience for those players who don’t otherwise see the field much, as I don’t think this game did anything to help our everyday players!

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I was talking more from a pitching perspective. Five of Missouri State’s runs tonight were against pitchers who are not throwing on the weekends, although McEntire is going to travel and might be needed Sunday. The other run was against Ramage, whose weekend innings have been greatly diminished.

I also think Arkansas takes a step back defensively when Leach replaces Turner at catcher. Turner needs the rest — you can see how tired his legs are when he runs toward first base — and Leach needs the playing time. Leach hits OK, but there were some times tonight when I thought some things might have gone better for Arkansas with Turner behind the plate — wild pitches that might have been blocked, a stolen base, maybe Turner sees something behind the plate that causes him to call or suggest a different sequence of pitches than what were being called from the dugout.

The hitters didn’t produce tonight, but it might have been a little different without the lineup changes. With Turner at DH, Diggs was out of the lineup. He had a nice AB in the ninth. Maybe he would have had a good game. It all has the potential to add up.

That’s why I say midweek games are tricky to judge a team on. It’s just managed differently than a game on the weekend.

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I understand. I think we all know that our mid week pitchers are going to give up some runs.

I think for the most part they have pitched well enough in these games. I’m encouraged from what I’ve seen from the pitching, mostly.

I’m more disappointed in the fact that our everyday hitters can’t seem to reach base against these mid week opponent’s pitching.


I think the coaches are disappointed with the hitting in heart of the lineup. It’s spotty. Some ok. Some not ok. Not like they looked in the fall.

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