Warm weather is overrated.
If you don't believe it just ask the Mizzou Baseball team.
The Tigers returned home Sunday night after an 11 day road trip out where to Arizona where Missouri played nine games. Everyone must have thought they were on an early spring break, the Tigers found their way to an early 2-7 record, against pretty good talent.
The team returned to the cold windy confines of Taylor Stadium Wednesday night for the Tigers home opener, they responded by beating Western Illinois 8-0 behind solid pitching from nine of its pitchers. Each thrower got an inning and sophomore Kelly Flick got credited for the win.
"It's most definitely good to be back home," veteran coach Tim Jamieson said after the win. "It's a win and it's a good start, but we still played lethargic at times. It's definitely something we can build on."
Senior pitcher Ian Berger, who had struggled in his performances last week, got the start for the Tigers and showed improvement on the mound, not allowing any runs and no hits retiring the Leather Necks in order.
"I was proud for Ian," Coach Jamieson said. "He definitely pitched better tonight; we need for him to continue to get better every game."
The Tigers got their first run after two wild pitches advanced in a run.
Senior outfielder Ryan Lollis, who was three-for-four on the night, was the most consistent threat at the plate for the Tigers. He continued his hitting streak for seven straight games; he ended the game with three RBIs and three runs scored.
"I was seeing the ball well tonight," Lollis said. "We were just hungry for a win; we knew we were a lot better than we showed last week. It's great to come home and get this win."
Holding a 2-0 lead heading into the fifth inning, Mizzou's Greg Folgia and Kyle Mach each had RBI singles to extend the Tigers lead to 4-0.
The bottom of the eight inning is where the home team did the most damage. Lollis produced another run scoring single and right fielder Aaron Senne got an RBI single to put away the Western Illinois Leathernecks.
The Tigers continued to leave too many men left on base, Mizzou had back to back innings where they left three men stranded.
"We have to do a better job of getting timely hits," Jamieson said. "We struck out too many times in the early couple of innings to a guy we shouldn't strike out to. We did this last week and this is definitely an area we have to work on to improve."
While the Tigers dug themselves into an early hole with now a 3-7 early season record, Mizzou coach Jamieson realizes what his team must do.
"We just have to take one game at a time," Coach Jamieson said. "If we worry too much about it, things could get worse. We need to focus on each game one at a time and get some wins back. I'm confident that we can."
The University of Missouri is back in action this weekend at the friendly confines of Taylor Stadium with a four game series against Ball State, with games beginning Friday night, a double header Saturday and a finale on Sunday.
Kyle Gibson is expected to get the start for the Tigers Friday night.
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