By: Ben Burke
The Missouri baseball team had a disappointing end to its 2015 season after missing out on the NCAA tournament by the slimmest of margins. At media day Thursday, head coach Tim Jamieson and pitcher Tanner Houck discussed what they took from the experience.
“I think the recognition that we were literally one game short, hopefully that’s motivation enough to know that, you know, which game is it, is it this game, the next game?” Jamieson said.
“The emotion that you have, like that we had whenever we didn’t get called was, you know, it hit me a little bit. But the next thing I thought was ‘Alright, what can I do to help improve this team?’” Houck said.
Although last year was a let down for the team, it was anything but for Houck. After racking up the most wins by a Tiger freshman since 2007, Houck was named the top college baseball player in his class by perfectgame.com. Shortstop Ryan Howard had a few words about the sophomore.
“When you got Tanner at the front of the rotation, you know that’s gonna be, in my opinion he’s as good as it gets in the country, so that’s good for us,” Howard said.
Howard had a busy 2015 himself. As the junior was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 31st round of the 2015 MLB Draft. According to Jamieson, however, Howard is still flying under the national radar.
“If you look around some of the national publications, he’s still kind of a forgotten guy,” Jamieson said. “Which blows me away because he’s the best shortstop in our league and we’re the best league in the country and look what the league did last year, so I think he is on a mission which is really good for us and for him.”
PerfectGame also ranked Missouri No. 15 in its preseason rankings. Howard knows, however, that the ranking is not what’s important to success in the regular season.
“For us, it’s just taking one game at a time, and hopefully we get one of these banners up here this year, or a couple of them, is my goal and my plan,” Howard said.
The Tigers kick off their season Friday, Feb. 19 at 2:00 p.m. against Seton Hall.