MO State HS Sports

Baseball Bounces Back for Doubleheader Split With Purdue Fort Wayne

Carter Rustad

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Powered by a pair of Trevor Austin home runs and six shutdown innings by Carter Rustad, University of Missouri baseball bounced back with an 11-1 run-rule victory over Purdue Fort Wayne to earn a doubleheader split with the Mastodons Saturday afternoon at Taylor Stadium.

Austin belted solo shots in each of his first two at-bats to ignite an offense that scored in each of the first five innings to offset a pair of 9-7 losses to the Mastodons to open the four-game series.

Rustad (3-1) was equally as dominant on the mound, eclipsing his Mizzou career high with eight strikeouts while allowing just one unearned run on four hits over 6.0 innings. The right-hander retired nine of the first 10 batters of the game and didn’t allow a PFW hit until a leadoff single to open the fourth. He responded by retiring seven of the next nine hitters before the Mastodons broke up the shutout bid by taking advantage of a two-out error in the sixth.

The Tigers (7-8) scored in seven of the eight innings in the nightcap, as Jackson Lovich logged a 2-for-4 performance after matching a career high with three hits in Saturday’s opener. Jackson Beaman reached base safely in 7-of-9 plate appearances on the day, drawing a pair of walks and scoring three times in the game two victory for MU.

Following Austin’s opening salvo that put the Tigers on top, 1-0, in the first, Mizzou struck for two more in the second on RBI grounders from Kaden Peer and Matt Garcia. Austin’s second homer—his third in as many games in the series—made it a four-run game in the third, before Tucker Moore’s two-out single plated the fifth MU run in the fourth.

Jedier Hernandez’s ground ball to the right side brought in a fifth-inning tally, before the Tigers broke the game wide open with a four-run seventh. Mizzou took advantage of five walks in the inning, as well as Garcia’s two-run double, to stretch the margin to 10-1.

Peer, who registered a career-best three RBIs, drove in the final run of the game with a sac fly in the eighth that ended the contest.

Mizzou’s bounce-back victory followed a disappointing setback in game one, after Purdue Fort Wayne erased a three-run deficit with a big eighth-inning rally. Nick Sutherlin and Justin Osterhouse led the Mastodons charge, each finishing with three hits, including key homers in the deciding inning.

After scoring three runs in the ninth inning to claim Friday’s series opener, the Mastodons would pull out another late comeback in the second contest of the weekend. Trailing 6-3 following a pair of Mizzou home runs in the seventh, the visitors rode back-to-back round-trippers from Sutherlin and Osterhouse to a five-run inning.

Beaman started his big day with a 3-for-3 effort and three RBIs thanks to his first two-homer game as a Tiger. His first long ball came with a man aboard in the fourth, moments after Thomas Curry’s two-run double tied the game at 2-2.

Mizzou’s four-run inning held until the sixth, as Tigers starter Javyn Pimental turned in a solid performance that included a career-high seven strikeouts. The junior lefty scattered five hits over 5.0 innings, allowing just two runs (one earned).

Purdue Fort Wayne (6-10) plated a run in the sixth to close the gap to one run, but Beaman led off the seventh with a long drive that cleared the wall in center for his second home run of the game. Two batters later, Mateo Serna followed suit with his first homer in a Mizzou uniform, making it a 6-3 contest.

After the Sutherlin and Osterhouse solo shots to open the PFW eighth, a pair of walks from Mizzou reliever Jacob Peaden, followed by a Nate Simpson RBI single combined to bring home the tying run.

Next, a fielder’s choice on a squeeze attempt by Grant Sawa brought in the go-ahead run, before Grant Thoroman’s sacrifice fly to center made it an 8-6 contest.

The Tigers scratched out a run in the home half to pull to within one, but the Mastodons responded with a ninth-inning run, and Kevin Fee (2-1) closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth.

In addition to Beaman’s three-hit effort, Lovich helped pace the Tigers with a 3-for-4 game.


  • With the game two victory, the Tigers notched their first win over the Mastodons, improving to 1-3 all-time in the series.
  • Mizzou has now split each of its three doubleheaders this season, dropping the first contest before winning the second game in each one. (Feb. 16 at Cal Poly and Feb. 24 at UC San Diego).
  • MU also improved to 4-2 on Saturday’s this season.
  • Rustad topped his previous single-game Mizzou high of six punchouts, recorded February 16 at Cal Poly; he came within one strikeout of matching his overall career high of nine Ks (at Indiana on March 7, 2020) while pitching for San Diego.
  • Mizzou’s 11 runs scored in the second game marked its fourth double-digit run total on the season and the Tigers third such total in their last six games.
  • The Tigers drew 10 walks for the second time this season, just one shy of their season-high of 11 free passes (March 2 vs. Northern Kentucky).
  • Lovich extended his career-best hit streak to 10 games with his two multi-hit performances, his sixth and seventh of the 2024 season.
  • Lovich is now hitting .410 (16-for-39) over the course of his hit streak which dates back to February 24.
  • Mizzou tallied a pair of four-run rallies Saturday, marking the seventh and eighth times this season the Tigers have scored at least four runs in a single inning.
  • Austin ran his personal hit streak to six games, dating back to March 2.
  • Curry logged his fourth multi-RBI performance with his three RBIs in game one.

Mizzou will conclude its series with Purdue Fort Wayne, as well a its nine-game home stand, with a 1 p.m. (CDT) contest Sunday (March 10).

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics