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Eyes turn to Mizzou baseball future

A week ago after a 6-3 win over Kentucky, Missouri coach Tim Jamieson reiterated to his team the importance of winning its final regular season game.
Missouri entered its season finale at 29-25 and 15-14 in the Southeastern Conference. Jamieson, ever aware of NCAA Tournament history in his 21st season coaching the Tigers, threw out some compelling statistics for his players.
"We win tomorrow, we win 30 going into the SEC tournament," Jamieson told his team. "We win tomorrow, we win our 16th game in the SEC; there's never been an SEC team that's won 16 games and not gotten in the N-C-double-A tournament. We win tomorrow and we've won all our home series in the SEC. We win tomorrow, we've won five of the six against Eastern opponents. That's a lot to sell to people in terms of what we've accomplished. That all rides on whether we win or lose tomorrow."
The Tigers didn't win a week ago, falling 8-2 to Kentucky in their final 2015 game at Taylor Stadium. Missouri would open up the SEC Tournament with a win over South Carolina but blew leads to Vanderbilt and Alabama, finding itself eliminated from that tournament while firmly on the bubble for the next one.
Missouri fans can look to that Kentucky loss--among quite a few others--as a reason why, as announced Monday on ESPNU, the NCAA Baseball Selection Committee left the Tigers out of the 64-team NCAA Tournament.
More realistically than a single game, Missouri's 4-6 record in midweek games, 2-8 record in their last ten and RPI of 56 put an at-large bid out of reach. In addition, a fair share of automatic conference tournament bids were claimed by teams like Oregon and Texas that otherwise would likely not have made the NCAA Tournament.
It was the fifth time in six years the Tigers were not picked for a chance to play in Omaha. Missouri was listed as one of the last four teams out of the tournament during ESPNU's broadcast.
It seemed like Missouri would join the majority of its SEC brethren in postseason play for most of the 2015 season. The Tigers won series over Top 10 teams South Carolina and Florida, locked up four of six division series and cracked every major college baseball poll. All this after the Tigers were picked to finish last in the SEC East.
"It's awesome," third baseman Josh Lester said of the team's early success. "It's always fun proving people wrong."
There was even a time that the Tigers looked like they could host a regional. But the team's downward slide and lack of starting pitching depth caught up with the Tigers.
Now, the attention turns from the players who Jamieson coaches to the coach himself. Jamieson managed the entire season in the final year of his contract.
Many have speculated that this would be Jamieson's final season in charge of the Tigers. With a lackluster Southeastern Conference record the past three seasons and a new athletic director in Mack Rhoades (whose former school, Houston, will host a regional), there is some clamor among fans for Jamieson's exit.
Whether or not Jamieson returns, the future should be bright for Missouri baseball. The Tigers' freshman class is filled with talented hitters in Shane Benes and all-SEC Tournament selection Trey Harris, as well as a bona fide ace in Tanner Houck. In addition, people around the program have said this was the most happy and relaxed they'd seen Jamieson with his team.
Had Missouri won its final regular season game and made the NCAA Tournament, talks of Jamieson's future would be put on hold for the chance to watch this young team fight for at least a few more games. The Tigers won't get that chance, though. It remains to be seen if Jamieson is out of chances as well.
Quick Hits
- Seven SEC teams made the NCAA Baseball Tournament, tied with the ACC for most of any conference
- Mizzou won series against two of those teams, lost series against three and didn't play two (Arkansas and Auburn).
- Auburn made the field despite a 13-17 conference record
- The Tigers went 3-13 against teams that are hosting a regional
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