Missouri Coach Steve Bieser Joins the College Podcast
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, presented by Rapsodo, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by Missouri coach Steve Bieser.
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The Tigers have shown improvement over the last couple of seasons. In 2019, they went 34-22-1 and 13-16-1 in SEC play, and were likely just a small handful of wins away from getting into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since joining the SEC. In 2020, they were 11-5, including wins over Texas and Oklahoma, at the time the season was shut down. We'll never know, but perhaps they were poised to be a real thorn in the side of the rest of the SEC.
Those accomplishments are made all the more impressive when you consider the cloud of NCAA sanctions that hung over the program for two years. The news of the sanctions broke just before the 2019 season got underway, which contributed to a slow start that season. Then, after an unsuccessful appeal at the end of 2019, the Tigers got the 2020 season underway knowing that they were not going to be able to compete in the NCAA Tournament.
Heading into 2021, with all of that now behind them, Bieser, his staff and his players have a new lease on life, and they may very well have the talent next season to make good on the promise they've shown the last couple of years.
The departures of righthander Ian Bedell, a fourth-round draft pick of the Red Sox, and slugger Peter Zimmerman, who signed as a free agent with the Astros, are significant, but otherwise, Missouri gets just about everyone back for another year.
Among the topics discussed with Bieser are:
- His takeaways from a successful, if truncated, 2020 season
- The discussions he had with his players after the season was canceled about weighing options in pro baseball versus coming back to campus
- Ian Bedell's development as a frontline starter in 2020 after two years of pitching out of the bullpen
- The challenge of pitching in college baseball as an early-enrollee freshman, as Bedell was in 2018
- The freeing feeling of being on the other side of NCAA sanctions after two years
- His years of teaching high school math after his playing career ended
- What he's looking forward to in the 2021 season
- What to expect from two high-end arms, Konnor Ash and Trey Dillard, next season
- How he expects to go about sorting through the depth to build the lineup in 2021