MO State HS Sports

Baseball Concludes West Coast Swing at Tony Gwynn Legacy

Bryce Mayer

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Fresh off of a season-opening series win at Cal Poly, the Missouri Tigers will conclude their seven-game West Coast swing this weekend at the Tony Gwynn Legacy. The Tigers will take on Cal State Bakersfield Thursday (Feb. 22) at 8 p.m. (CST) to open play in San Diego.

The Tigers’ (2-1) matchup with the Roadrunners (0-4) at Tony Gwynn Stadium is the first of four contests this weekend, preceding Mizzou’s Friday (Feb. 23) game against host San Diego State (1-2) at 8 p.m. (CST) and a 3 p.m. (CST) Saturday (Feb. 24) doubleheader with UC San Diego (3-0) at Triton Stadium in La Jolla. 

Friday’s contest against San Diego State will be broadcast live by the Mountain West Network, while Saturday’s doubleheader at UC San Diego will be streamed live on ESPN+. All Mizzou baseball games in 2024 will be produced by the Tiger Radio Network and streamed live through the Varsity Network App (by searching ‘Missouri’).


  • Thursday, Feb. 22 (8 p.m. CST) –LHP Javyn Pimental (Mizzou) vs. TBD (Cal Poly)
  • Friday, Feb. 23 (8 p.m. CST) – RHP Bryce Mayer (Mizzou) vs. LHP Chris Canada (San Diego State)
  • Saturday, Feb. 24 (3 p.m. CST) – RHP Carter Rustad (Mizzou) vs. TBD (UC San Diego)
  • Saturday, Feb. 24 (6:30 p.m. CST) – RHP Logan Lunceford (Mizzou) vs. TBD (UC San Diego)


  • Mizzou brings a 2-0 series advantage over CSU Bakersfield into Thursday’s matchup.
  • The Tigers swept a two-game set from the Roadrunners in Columbia in May 2009 in the only previous meetings of the two schools.
  • SDSU has taken two of the previous three meetings from MU, including a 5-4 decision over the Tigers in the most recent matchup in San Diego on March 1, 2008.
  • The Tigers’ meeting with UC San Diego will be the first for the two programs.


  • Missouri posted a 30-24 finish last spring, including a 10-20 SEC mark.
  • Kerrick Jackson was named the 15th head coach in Mizzou history in June, returning to Columbia to lead a program for which he served as an assistant coach from 2011-15 under Mizzou Hall of Fame head coach (and current pitching coach) Tim Jamieson.
  • The Tigers return three regular starters from last season, led by senior INF/OF Trevor Austin, who batted .311 with eight homers and 10 steals to help bolster the MU offense.
  • Senior INF Matt Garcia turned in a solid debut season with the Tigers, providing clutch hitting and lock-down defense on the MU infield.
  • Additionally, junior INF Justin Colon returns for Mizzou and earning significant playing time at shortstop over each of his first two seasons in Columbia.
  • MU should also receive a lift from sophomore INF Jackson Lovich and junior OF Juju Stevens, who each made key contributions in limited duty in 2023.
  • Several newcomers could also make early contributions, including junior INF Danny Corona, who helped Wake Forest to a 2023 College World Series berth, C Jedier Hernandez, a standout behind the plate for Seton Hall the last two seasons, and sophomore OF Jeric Curtis, a Texas Tech transfer who brings significant speed to the Tiger outfield and batting order.
  • On the mound, sophomore RHP Logan Lunceford is back to help anchor Mizzou’s weekend rotation after posting 68 strikeouts to lead all SEC freshman hurlers last spring.
  • Junior LHP Javyn Pimental also contributed mightily to the Tigers’ mound efforts in 2023, making eight starts for the Tigers.
  • Mizzou should also benefit from the potential return of a trio veterans who missed significant time last spring; left-handers Ian Lohse and Tony Neubeck and RHP Carter Rustad missed significant portions of 2023 due to injury following promising starts to the campaign.
  • New arms like RHP Xavier Lovett and RHP Bryce Mayer could compete for starting rotation spots, while RHP Jacob Peaden may give the back end of the Tigers’ bullpen a strong presence.


  • Missouri is coming off a 30-win campaign last spring, which marked the 20th time the Tigers reached the 30-win plateau in the last 30 seasons, as well as the 35th time overall in program history.
  • Mizzou finished its 2023 home slate with a 19-7 mark at Taylor Stadium — its top home win total since 2019.
  • The Tigers also shattered the program’s single-season attendance record, drawing at total of 37,133 fans over 23 home dates to eclipse the previous mark of 31,450 spectators (2008).
  • Mizzou homered 79 times as a team in 2023, which represented the fifth-best season total in program history
  • The Tigers’ 2023 pitching staff ranked 37th nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (9.7).
  • 1B Jackson Lovich led the Tigers in their season-opening series at Cal Poly, hitting .417 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs.
  • OF Thomas Curry enjoyed a debut to remember at Cal Poly, as the freshman paced all Mizzou hitters with his .444 average, while homering and driving in four runs.
  • RHP Carter Rustad notched career victory No. 13 Friday at Cal Poly, combining with LHP Ryan Magdic and RHP Jacob Peaden on a one-hitter.


  • Under the direction of eighth year head coach Jeremy Beard, CSU Bakersfield enters Thursday’s game looking for its first victory of the season after dropping all four of its games at the College Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. over the weekend.
  • The Roadrunners are coming off an 18-34 season in 2023.
  • C Matthew Kurata returns to lead the CSUB offense after pacing the Roadrunners with a .369 batting average as a freshman last spring.
  • On the mound, RHP Ryan Verdugo is the top arm back for CSUB after winning four games and striking out 61 hitters in 75.0 innings in 2023.


  • The Aztecs dropped two of three games to Portland last weekend to start their 2024 campaign.
  • Under first-year head coach Shaun Cole, SDSU will be looking to bounce back from a 24-29 season a year ago.
  • OF Shaun Montoya is SDSU’s top returning hitter after batting .298 with 16 stolen bases last season.
  • RHP Omar Serrano returns after posting 62 strikeouts over 53.0 innings as a freshman last spring.


  • The Tritons are off to a 3-0 start under 13th year head coach Eric Newman, following a 2023 season that saw them capture the Big West Conference title.
  • UCSD hit .330 and averaged 10 runs per game in its three-game sweep of San Jose State last weekend.
  • A balanced Triton lineup features five different players who logged four hits last weekend, led by Michael Crossland’s .444 average. Brock Kleszcz also enjoyed a big opening series, hitting .364 with a home run and five RBIs.
  • On the hill Ryan Forcucci set the Tritons’ Division I single-game record with 11 strikeouts in his season debut vs. San Jose State.


  • Mizzou is off to a 2-1 start for the third consecutive season.
  • The Tigers have won at least two of their first three contests in nine of the last 11 seasons dating back to 2014.
  • Through their first seven games, the Tigers have won at least five games on six occasions over the last decade (since 2015).


  • Eleven different players made their Mizzou debuts last weekend at Cal Poly.
  • In the Tigers season opener, seven newcomers to the 2024 active roster found their names on the lineup card: RHP Bryce Mayer, 3B Danny Corona, C Jedier Hernandez, DH Thomas Curry, CF Jeric Curtis, SS Drew Culbertson and LF Tucker Moore.
  • Three freshmen starters in game one got their careers started in style, as Curry, Culbertson and Moore each recorded a hit in their first at-bats as Tigers.
  • Curry led the Mizzou offense all weekend, hitting a team-best .444 with a HR, two doubles and four RBIs.
  • On the mound, several new faces contributed to the Tigers’ series win, with LHP Ryan Magdic and RHP Jacob Peaden combining for 4.0 hitless innings of relief in Friday’s 3-1 victory, while RHP Charlie Miller and C Mateo Serna also saw action in Saturday’s series-clinching victory.


  • New Mizzou head coach Kerrick Jackson made his debut in the Tiger dugout last weekend, notching his first career victory as MU’s bench boss with Friday’s 3-1 win over Cal Poly.
  • Jackson has already enjoyed a personal moment of ‘NOW’ as the St. Louis product became the first Black head coach in SEC history with his appointment to MU’s top baseball job.
  • Jackson also picked up a significant honor from Baseball America in December, earning the publication’s 2023 Trailblazer of the Year honor.
  • Jackson has left his mark in just four seasons as a Division I head coach, including leading Southern to the 2019 Southwestern Athletic Conference crown and an NCAA Regional berth, as well as guiding Memphis to its first winning season in six years last spring.
  • Additionally, Jackson has impacted the college baseball landscape through his work on the American Baseball Coaches Association’s Diversity in Baseball Committee, a body for which he has served as chairman since its creation in 2018. The council works to improve diversity in the coaching ranks through a professional development program and an increased focus on youth baseball.


  • Mizzou powered up to hit three home runs in its first three games of the season, out-homering Cal Poly 3-0.
  • Three different Tigers went deep in San Luis Obispo, continuing a recent trend that was evident in 2023, when 14 different Tigers hit at least one homer.
  • MU clubbed 79 homers in 2023, which represented the program’s top total since the 1998 squad blasted a school-record 110 bombs.
  • Mizzou reached the 75-home run plateau on just four previous occasions — 1998, 1988, 1986 and 1985.


  • Mizzou claimed its first two nonconference victories of the season over the weekend at Cal Poly, continuing a string of recent dominance in nonconference play.
  • The Tigers logged a 20-3 mark against non-SEC foes last spring, after going 18-3 in nonconference play in 2022.
  • MU has overall mark of 40-7 in non-SEC competition since the start of the 2022 season.
  • Mizzou hit .300 against non-league foes and averaged nearly 10 hits per outing, while also posting a 3.95 team ERA.
  • Over the last decade, the Tigers’ dominance has been equally as pronounced, with MU winning 100 more nonconference games than it has lost (167-67), good for a .714 winning percentage.


  • Mizzou is in the midst of its first season-opening trip to California since 2011, when it topped Cal Poly (10-9) on a neutral field in Los Angeles (Feb. 18).
  • Most recently, the Tigers traveled to San Francisco for a three-game nonconference set against the Dons in February 2012.
  • The Tigers dropped all three of those contests to USF, as well as the final two games of their 2011 trip to Los Angeles.
  • Friday’s victory over Cal Poly snapped a six-game slide for Mizzou in the Golden State.
  • Overall, MU brings a 24-33 overall record against schools from California into the Tony Gwynn Legacy.
  • The Tigers did log arguably the biggest four wins of the 2000s in California when Mizzou posted victories over UC Irvine, UCLA and Pepperdine (twice) to claim the 2006 Malibu Regional title, advancing to their first NCAA Super Regional appearance.


  • Missouri is slated to appear in eight linear broadcasts on the ESPN family of networks over the course of the 2024 season.
  • Mizzou’s SEC matchups and select non-conference games will stream on SEC Network+.
  • Friday’s game with SDSU (Mountain West Network) and Saturday’s doubleheader against UC San Diego (ESPN+) will be streamed live.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics