If the first few weeks have proved anything about first-year Missouri baseball coach Steve Bieser, it’s that he’s not often satisfied.
Wednesday was yet another example.
Although Missouri did snatch a 7-6 victory over Chicago State (3-10) in walk-off fashion in the 13th inning, Bieser said afterwards he didn’t know if he’d ever been part of “a more poorly played game.”
Regardless, the win was the Tigers’ 16th in a row, which propelled Missouri (16-1) to its best start in school history and did in fact allow the coach to shed a quick smile.
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“It’s hard to fathom when you think about the history of this program,” Bieser said. “I think about the way that we’ve played the first 17 games, and sometimes I scratch my head and wonder how do you win 16 in a row with some of the games that we’ve had?”
Missouri junior pitcher Tanner Houck, who will take the mound Friday in Missouri’s first Southeastern Conference series at Alabama (10-7), was also proud.
“It’s always nice to kind of leave your mark on history,” Houck said. “It’s cool to be a part of such a milestone, but we’ve also got a lot of work and we’ve got to continue to grow.”
When he took the job back on June 30, Bieser said he wanted his guys to “understand what it’s like to compete at the highest level.”
Excluding the year’s first contest that ended in a loss to Eastern Michigan in Fort Myers, Fla., and even bits and pieces in games like Wednesday night’s, his team has done that.
Weekends in the SEC like the one upcoming, though, will be the real test, Bieser said. And you best believe he and his team are excited about it.
“It’s a chance to go out in conference and show that we belong in the conference and that we can compete in the conference,” Bieser said. “I truly feel that way.”