MO State HS Sports

Baseball Hosts No. 14 South Carolina for Alumni Weekend

Mateo Serna

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri baseball opens the month of May with a three-game Southeastern Conference series against No. 14 South Carolina, beginning with a 6 p.m. (CDT) contest Friday (May 3). Mizzou will recognize the 70th anniversary of its 1954 NCAA College World Series championship prior to Saturday’s game as part of Alumni Weekend at Taylor Stadium.

The Tigers (20-26, 6-15 SEC) employed a balanced attack that featured 10 different players logging a hit in a 13-1 seven-inning victory over Lindenwood in their final nonconference contest of the season on Tuesday (April 30).

Each of this weekend’s contests will be streamed live on SEC Network+ with Nate Gatter and Noah Reed calling the action. Additionally, each of this weekend’s games will be produced by the Tiger Radio Network for broadcast locally in Columbia via KTGR AM/FM (105.1 FM/100.5 FM/1580 AM) and streaming via the Varsity Network app (by searching ‘Missouri’), with Tex Little and Matt Michaels once again handling broadcast duties.



  • Alumni Weekend/Star Wars Night (Saturday) – Replica 1954 Mizzou baseball national championship jersey giveaway (first 200 fans)/Star Wars-themed promotions
  • Family Day/Cinco de Mayo (Sunday) Kids run the bases, postgame autographs and Mizzou cup giveaway (first 700 fans)


  • Game 1 (Friday, May 3 – 6 p.m.) – RHP Logan Lunceford (Mizzou) vs. RHP Roman Kimball (South Carolina)
  • Game 2 (Saturday, May 4 – 3 p.m.) – LHP Javyn Pimental (Mizzou) vs. RHP Eli Jones (South Carolina)
  • Game 3 (Sunday, May 5 – 1 p.m.) – TBD (Mizzou) vs. TBD (South Carolina)


  • Friday’s contest will mark the 34th all-time meeting of the Tigers and Gamecocks, with USC holding a 20-13 edge entering the series.
  • Mizzou has been dominant at home against South Carolina, however, claiming series wins in each of the last four matchups at Taylor Stadium (2015, 2017, 2019 and 2022).
  • The Tigers hold a 10-5 advantage over the Gamecocks at home, including wins in eight of the last 10 games played at Taylor.
  • USC swept Mizzou in a three-game set in Columbia, S.C. last March in the most recent matchup of the two programs; the Gamecocks notched a pair of one-run victories, rallying for a 9-8 win in the opening game, before completing a doubleheader — and series — sweep of the Tigers the following day with a 5-4 decision in 12 innings.


  • Missouri posted a 30-24 regular-season 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.
  • 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 pair of veterans who missed significant time last spring; left-hander Ian Lohse 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.


  • RHP Bryce Mayer has locked into a groove over his last three outings, allowing just one earned run on eight hits while striking out eight hitters in 8.0 combined innings.
  • INF Brock Daniels was Mizzou’s most consistent hitter in the month of April, batting .343 (24-of-70) with 22 RBIs and seven steals in helping the Tigers go 10-8.
  • Daniels, who ranks fourth in the SEC with four sacrifice flies on the season, logged a career-best 10-game hit streak, April 7-23. The sophomore hit .390 (16-for-41) and drove in 12 runs over the course of the streak.
  • Daniels leads all Mizzou regular position players with a .400 batting average at Taylor Stadium this spring.
  • C Mateo Serna is hitting .381 (8-for-21) with two homers and seven RBIs over the Tigers’ last 10 games.
  • Serna powered the Tigers in their season sweep of Missouri State, clubbing home runs in each of the two games and driving in a career-best five runs April 23 in a 10-6 victory over the Bears.
  • Serna belted a critical grand slam in the win, marking the first by a Tiger since Luke Mann’s slam vs. Ole Miss on May 6, 2023.
  • INF Danny Corona has been the Tigers’ hottest hitter, bringing a season-best five-game hit streak into the weekend.
  • Corona has logged three multi-hit performances while hitting .563 (9-for-16) during the course of his streak, which is four games shy of his career-best nine-game hit streak (April 29-May 18, 2023 for Wake Forest).
  • batting .538 in four games, raising his season average 51 points by recording hits in seven of his last 12 at-bats for the week.
  • Corona launched his first home run as a Tiger — a fourth-inning solo shot — April 23 vs. Missouri State, then went deep for the second game in a row in MU’s series opener at Tennessee (April 25).
  • INF Trevor Austin logged his team-leading 13th multi-hit game of the season and the 31st of his Mizzou career April 25 at Tennessee.
  • Austin belted his club-leading 10th home run of the season at UT (April 26) hiking his career total to 26 round-trippers.
  • Austin has been hit by 16 pitches so far this season, ranking second in the SEC; additionally, his total of six sacrifice bunts is tied for fourth in the conference.
  • Austin brings a six-game hit streak into Friday’s game, over which the Jefferson City product has hit .450 (9-for-20).
  • In 77 career games at Taylor Stadium, Austin has batted a blistering . 363 (87-for-240) with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs.
  • LHP Javyn Pimental has allowed just four earned runs on 16 hits while fanning 28 hitters over 26.0 innings (six appearances) at Taylor Stadium this season.
  • The Tigers are batting .288 and averaging 8.3 runs per game at Taylor Stadium this spring.
  • 1B Jackson Lovich and 2B Matt Garcia share the No. 2 spot on the SEC triples leaderboard (3).
  • As a team, the Tigers’ 10 triples this season rank second in the SEC.
  • LHP Ryan Magdic has proven to be a valuable weapon out of the bullpen, securing either a save or a victory in each of his last three relief appearances (April 6-20).
  • LHP Ian Lohse has logged four consecutive scoreless outings on the mound, including 3.0 innings April 21 vs. LSU in his first start since March 25, 2023.
  • The Tigers are 9-7 in one-run contests this spring, including a 6-3 mark in SEC play.


  • Under the direction of seventh-year head coach Mark Kingston, the Gamecocks are 30-14 overall and 11-10 in SEC play, with a No. 14 national rank in this week’s NCBWA poll.
  • After knocking off East Tennessee State in a seven-inning contest Wednesday, South Carolina enters Friday’s series opener riding a hot streak that has included wins in nine of its last 13 games.
  • USC’s offense boasts a deep cast with nine different position players totaling at least 20 RBIs on the season to date; the Gamecocks are batting .274 as a club and averaging 7.8 runs per contest.
  • OF Ethan Petry leads the pack with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs, while posting an OPS of 1.134, while C Cole Messina has belted 12 homers and driven in 42 runs.
  • The Gamecocks also feature three players who have racked up double-figure steal totals, led by INF Will Tippett’s 13 stolen bases.
  • On the mound, USC has registered a 4.48 ERA and .235 batting average against, while surrendering the fourth-fewest hits (336) among all SEC pitching staffs.
  • RHP Dylan Eskew brings a 3-3 mark and 3.78 ERA, while RHP Eli Jones (3-2, 3.91 ERA) helps anchor the weekend rotation.
  • RHP Ty Good has been the Gamecocks most productive performer out of the bullpen, logging a team-best 2.95 ERA, while LHP Garrett Gainey has recorded six saves, which is good for second overall in the SEC.


  • On the 70th anniversary of Mizzou’s 1954 national championship, the Tigers are hosting all former baseball lettermen as part of Alumni Weekend.
  • Former Mizzou players will be recognized prior to Saturday’s contest.
  • The 1954 Mizzou baseball team still holds a distinct place in University of Missouri lore. Led by John ‘Hi’ Simmons, the Tigers won a Big Seven Championship and advanced to the College World Series for the second time in three seasons.
  • After finishing as the national runner-up in 1952, Simmons’ team went 5-1 at the CWS and defeated Rollins, 5-4, to claim Mizzou’s first national championship in any sport.
  • After opening the CWS with a 5-3 victory over Lafayette, the Tigers dropped a 4-1 decision to Rollins. MU then reeled off wins over Massachusetts (8-1), Oklahoma State (7-3) and Michigan State (4-3) to set up the rematch with Rollins.
  • The 1954 Tigers were one of six MU teams Simmons took to Omaha during his Hall of Fame tenure as Mizzou’s head coach (1937-74).
  • Led by All-American OF Jerry Schoonmaker’s .425 batting mark, the 1954 team hit .311 and boasted a team ERA of 2.30.


  • Mizzou will host its sixth ranked conference foe in a weekend SEC series when No. 14 South Carolina comes to town.
  • Entering Friday’s game with the 20th-toughest schedule nationally, the Tigers have faced five top 25 SEC foes — including four ranked in the top 10 — in their first seven league series.
  • MU could face as many as seven ranked SEC foes this spring.
  • With their three wins over 2023 NCAA College World Series runner-up Florida, the Tigers can now boast of four total SEC wins over ranked opponents in 2024.
  • Mizzou notched its first win over a top 25 foe March 23 with a 2-1 victory over No. 21 Kentucky.
  • The victory over UK also marked head coach Kerrick Jackson’s first conference win — as well as the first SEC win for a Black head coach in the circuit’s history.
  • With its 8-7 win over defending national champion LSU, the Tigers have recorded wins over the reigning national titlists in three consecutive years.
  • Mizzou claimed two of three home meetings from 2022 CWS champion Ole Miss last May, after taking a pair of games from 2021 national champion Mississippi State at Taylor Stadium the previous spring.
  • Additionally, the Tigers won a road SEC regular-season series against Mississippi State in May 2021, prior to the Bulldogs embarking on their national title run.


  • Mizzou has found the friendly confines of Taylor Stadium much to its liking, not only throughout the 2024 season, but extending a full calendar year to including the last seven home games of the 2023 campaign.
  • In 23 games at Taylor this season, the Tigers have batted .288 as a team, which is 69 points higher than their road batting split.
  • Since May 2 of last year, the Tigers have hit .304 as a team while homering 53 times and averaging 9.0 runs per outing in their 30 games at Taylor.
  • Over the same stretch, Mizzou has scored in double-digits 14 times and registered at least 10 hits 17 times in going 19-11 at Taylor.
  • INF Trevor Austin, who has batted .392 in 22 home games this spring, has been the key linchpin in the Tigers’ power surge at Taylor, clubbing eight of MU’s 53 home runs over the 30-game span.
  • For his career, Austin has hit .363 with 15 of his 26 career home runs in his 77 games at Taylor Stadium.


  • For the second season in a row, Mizzou baseball fans are leaving their collective mark on the Tigers record book.
  • Entering the final two home series of the regular season, MU has drawn a total of 30,206 fans to Taylor Stadium in 22 home dates.
  • The Tigers’ per-game average of 1,373 fans ranks second all-time in Mizzou history, trailing only last season’s 1,614 average on the program’s single-season attendance chart.
  • Mizzou shattered its all-time record for total home attendance last spring, drawing 37,133 fans over 23 dates to eclipse the previous program mark of 31,450 (2008).
  • MU would need to draw 6,928 fans, or an average of 1,155 per game for the remaining six home dates, to eclipse last year’s cumulative season attendance record.


  • Mizzou has received contributions from up and down its roster, and the Tigers’ talented crop of freshmen have been some of their most consistent performers.
  • MU’s five primary freshman position players — SS Drew Culbertson, DH Thomas Curry, OF Tucker Moore, OF Kaden Peer and C Mateo Serna — have each made significant contributions in their rookie seasons.
  • Culbertson logged hits in six straight games (April 7-16), including three consecutive two-hit performances.
  • For the year, Culbertson has recorded seven multi-hit outings to date, swiping 10 bases (in 12 attempts) to become the first MU freshman to reach double digits in steals since Kameron Misner in 2017.
  • Curry has hit four homers, which is good for fourth on the club, and notched four multi-RBI efforts, while drawing 18 walks.
  • Curry, who has logged time as the Tigers’ cleanup hitter while starting 24 contests to date, recorded a four-RBI afternoon vs. Northern Kentucky (March 3) and registered four multi-hit performances in his first 10 collegiate games.
  • Moore has spent time in the leadoff spot in the MU batting order, recording four multi-hit performances and reaching base safely in 21 of the 27 games in which he has recorded a plate appearance.
  • Peer heated up in April, reaching base safely in six straight SEC games (April 5-13) with a pair of three-RBI games in 10 conference contests this month.
  • Serna has drawn 18 starts as a rookie. The Floridian has recorded all 14 of his RBIs in nonconference play and has at least one hit in 12 of his last 14 starts.


  • Mizzou concluded a 10-8 month of April with its run-rule victory over Lindenwood on Tuesday, making it the Tigers’ most successful month of the 2024 season to date.
  • In SEC play, the Tigers won five April contests, including a three-game sweep of No. 6 Florida (April 5-7), an extra-innings road win over Georgia (April 12) and an 8-7 victory over defending national champion LSU last weekend.
  • With its .556 winning percentage this month, April also marks MU’s best overall month since Marce 2023, when the Tigers finished 13-5 (.722).
  • The Tigers had not posted a .500 month of April since 2019, when they went 12-5 (.706).
  • As a team, the Tigers batted .279 and averaged 6.5 runs per April contest.
  • INF Brock Daniels was MU’s most productive hitter this month, going 24-for-70 (.343) with three home runs and 22 RBIs.
  • INF Matt Garcia was red hot in April as well, raising his average from .167 to .246 by going 21-for-66 (.318) with 17 RBIs this month, including five multi-hit performances.
  • INF Trevor Austin reached base safely in 16 of 17 April games, recording hits in 14 of those, while logging a team-high .494 on-base percentage.
  • LHP Ryan Magdic has emerged as a dominant force out of the MU bullpen in recent weeks, including three April relief outings over which he fanned 10 hitters and allowed just two runs in 6.0 combined innings, earning a victory and two saves.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics