HOOVER, Ala – The Missouri Tigers earned the No. 12 seed in its first entry into the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament and drew the No. 5 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs. The two will face off in the fourth game of the tournament on Tuesday directly following Game 3 between Florida and Texas A&M in Hoover, Ala. at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
An ironic twist to Tuesday’s game comes with the fact that both teams won their conference tournament last season and one team will be eliminated on Day 1 of the 2013 tournament. Missouri won the 2013 Big 12 Baseball Tournament before joining the SEC. Mississippi State won last season’s SEC Baseball Tournament.
Mississippi State (40-16, 16-14 SEC) will send sophomore right-handed pitcher Trevor Fitts to the mound in Tuesday’s elimination game. Fitts is 0-0 with a 1.65 ERA.
Mississippi State head coach John Cohen said it really benefited the Bulldogs to play in the night game because Missouri is a new team in the SEC and his team did not face the Tigers this season in the regular season.
Missouri (18-31, 10-20 SEC) won its final regular season series of the year against Kentucky and landed in its first SEC tournament as the bottom seed.
The Tigers will send junior lefty Rob Zastryzny to the mound on Tuesday to help fight for Missouri’s tournament life. Zastryzny is 2-9 on the season with a 3.64 ERA, but the Missouri coaching staff feels Tuesday’s game needs to be won with its bats.
"We're still going to have to score runs and that has been our biggest issue," said head coach Tim Jamieson. "Rob has been great for his entire career at our place. He is going to be a high draft at the end of the year and he has a good professional career ahead of him and he'll compete and do fine, but we have to score runs."
Game 4 of the Tuesday session will be broadcast on CSS with play-by-play being handled by Matt Stewart and color commentary being provided by Rusty Ensor.