As Mizzou baseball quickly approaches, fans are eager to see how their 10th ranked Tigers will do against tough competition.
They will find out quick enough, as the team travels to Arizona, starting off their season by playing 9 games in 11 days against some stiff competition, the likes of which include Arizona State, Oregon State, and Gonzaga.
Coach Tim Jamieson is eager and excited to watch his team go up against other competition.
"They are anxious to find out how good they are," Jamieson told InsideMizzou.com.
This season starts with Missouri ranked in the top ten by publications like Baseball America. Even with the high expectations, the team wants to go and have some fun in Arizona.
"It's nice to have the attention. I think this group is handling it better than we have in the past," said Jamieson. They have figured out how to deal with it now. It is nice to be ranked. We're going to have a target on our back, but we've been doing that for a while."
It certainly helps that Mother Nature has been kind to the Tigers, as they have been able to practice outside every once in a while. This can only help Jamieson's squad be better prepared for the season's first couple of games.,/p>
"Because of the ability to transition outside a lot earlier, we have a much greater comfort level with what they can give us outside this weekend," Jamieson said. "If we drop fly balls, it is not going to be because we haven't been outside…we have no excuses."
Heading into the road trip to Arizona, Jamieson realizes that the teams Missouri will be facing are all quality teams.
"One thing I can tell you about every team we're going to play these next 10 days is that they are all going be good, because they all still believe they are good… We'll see Nevada's best, we'll see Gonzaga's best, we'll see Arizona State's best."
The 11 day road trip doesn't seem to scare Jamieson, stating that running out of laundry is his main concern.
"I think we have the depth to handle it, I think we have the chemistry to handle it."
Coach Jamieson is using this road trip to gauge the identity of his team, and he hopes that the team will be able to do many different things.
"This is the time of year you try and find out where the limitations are, and then you go from there. But, right now, we feel like we have a lot of capability and flexibility to score runs.
Jamieson told the media that the sophomores are ready to break out. Some key names to look for as the season progresses, according to the coach, are catcher Ryan Ampleman and outfielders Jonah Schmidt and Rex Meyr. Jamieson also said that Ryan Gebhart, a freshman outfielder out of Waco, Texas, and Sam Lind, a freshman infielder from Hartford, SD are ready to contribute.
"The guys that are in your program need to get better. And they have. That's what leads me to think we have a lot more depth and a lot more capability to score runs. The biggest issue for me this weekend is finding a way to get all those guys playing time."