Photo courtesy of The Maneater
Nathalie Jones, 23 Sports Reporter
Missouri Tigers baseball is hot, hoping to continue a 16-game winning streak. This is the longest streak in the program since 1981, and is tied for the longest active winning streak in the nation.
However, Mizzou has not yet faced some of the best competition in baseball, as they have met with teams like Chicago State and Eastern Illinois. The big time is on the horizon, though, as the Tigers prepare to take on their first SEC opponent, Alabama.
The SEC is a power conference in baseball, with nationally ranked teams such as No. 5 Florida, No. 8 South Carolina and No. 16 Ole Miss. Obviously, Missouri’s hopes to continue their winning streak will not be easy.
Coming up on the schedule, Mizzou will face some of the SEC’s nationally ranked teams, including No. 5 Florida, No. 16 Ole Miss, No. 17 Texas A&M and No. 8 South Carolina. Although none of the series will be cakewalks, the true test in strength will come in the form of the Florida Gators.
Coming off a 52-16 record (19-10 SEC) last year, the Gators are dangerous yet again this year. Thus far, Florida is 13-5 thanks to the golden bat of Dalton Guthrie, who has a .328 batting average. The key for a Tigers victory against the top five team will be to extinguish Guthrie’s flaming bat.
Not only are the Gators strong in batting, with strong support from Tyler Dyson and Garrett Milchin, who have 1.00 and 1.29 ERAs, respectively, Missouri must find a way to heat up their bats when Florida comes to Columbia.
Looking to the near future, however, the Tigers are preparing for a matchup against the Tide. Alabama is ranked at the bottom of Western Division by ESPN and has had a very up and down season, taking some hard losses to lower level teams such as Oral Roberts and Presbyterian College.
Despite the rolle rcoaster ride, the Tide has found hitting success. With studs such as Cobie Vance, who has a .391 average, and Chandler Avant, who has a .386 average, Missouri will have more hot bats to look out for.
As the Missouri Tigers look to extend their historic winning streak to 17 games, they will travel to Tuscaloosa to play in their first SEC game against Alabama on March 17 at 6:30 p.m.