Senne continues hot streak

The senior first baseman is on a 13-game hit streak.
Missouri senior first baseman Aaron Senne avoids the tag as he slides into first during the game against Illinois on Wednesday at Busch Stadium. Senne went 3-4 and extended his streak of three hits per game to three games. Mike Ziegler/Special to The Maneater

ST. LOUIS — Missouri senior first baseman Aaron Senne extended his hit streak to 13 games with three hits in a 7-4 win against Illinois on Wednesday night.

The rivalry game with the Fighting Illini was played at Busch Stadium in St. Louis with wooden bats. Using a wooden bat instead of an aluminum bat did not slow down Senne, who came into the game batting .438, the second-highest batting average in the Big 12. Senne put together a three-hit game for the third game in a row, and also scored two runs and had one RBI.

"He's got tons of confidence at the plate," freshman centerfielder Blake Brown said. "He's got a great plan when he comes up to the plate. He knows what pitch he's looking for and what to do when he gets that pitch."

Senne became the all-time leader in career doubles at Missouri during a midweek series against Purdue last week and is closing in on some other records as well. Senne has hit eight home runs this season, bringing his career total to 34, which puts him at eighth all-time at MU. Senne is also fifth for career hits, and fourth for career RBIs.

"I've thought about it, but I'm not pressing to break records," Senne said. "I don't really think about anything while I'm at the plate other than what's going on between me and the pitcher and the situation."

Senne, who is from Rochester, Minn., chose to return to Missouri for his senior season after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins last spring. So far this season, he leads his team in almost every offensive category and has a .989 fielding percentage at first base.

"To know that you've got him coming up every two or three innings is big, because it takes the pressure off of the other guys," coach Tim Jamieson said. "I think part of his success is the fact that Brett Nicholas is hitting behind him, and he's getting more pitches to see because of that."

Nicholas is a versatile junior who has started at third base and catcher in his first season at MU. Senne had a base hit in the first inning against Illinois, and scored the first run of the game on a double by Nicholas.

Nicholas, who always bats behind Senne in the batting order, is hitting .363 this season with five home runs. The combination of Nicholas and Senne, the latter who is now batting .450 on the year, has scored 60 runs and driven in 66 runs for the Tigers this season.

Against Illinois on Wednesday night, Senne reached base in four of his five plate appearances.

"He's always been confident," Jamieson said about Senne. "He's been swinging the bat really well, but he's got a little bit of luck on his side as well. He's taking borderline pitches and swinging at good pitches, and that's what good hitters do."

With some important conference games coming up, Senne has no plans of slowing down.

"(I'm going to) keep being aggressive and keep swinging," Senne said.

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