MO State HS Sports

Baseball Opens Home Stand With Pivotal SEC Series Against LSU

Ryan Magdic

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri baseball returns to Taylor Stadium to open a four-game home stand this weekend, beginning with a three-game Southeastern Conference series against defending national champion LSU.

Coming off a Tuesday nonconference road victory over in-state rival Missouri State, Mizzou (17-21, 5-10 SEC) will be hunting for another strong showing in an SEC home series following its series sweep of Florida in its last league set at Taylor Stadium.

Friday’s series opener will be broadcast live on the SEC Network, with Derek Jones and Gregg Olson calling the action. Each of the final two games of the series will be streamed through SEC Network+ (Max Thoma and Ben Arnet). 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.



  • Whiteout (Friday) – Wear white; St. Louis Cardinals tickets raffle
  • Bark at the Park/CPS Day (Saturday) – Foldable dog water bowl giveaway (first 100 fans)
  • Family Day/Movie Day at the Ballpark (Sunday) Kids run the bases, postgame autographs and MizzouNOW blanket giveaway; post-game screening of Disney movie ‘Soul’


  • Game 1 (Friday, April 19 – 7 p.m.) – RHP Logan Lunceford (Mizzou) vs. LHP Gage Jump (LSU)
  • Game 2 (Saturday, April 20 – 4 p.m.) – LHP Javyn Pimental (Mizzou) vs. RHP Luke Holman (LSU)
  • Game 3 (Sunday, April 21 – 2 p.m.) – TBD (Mizzou) vs. TBD (LSU)


  • LSU brings a commanding 18-3 series edge against Missouri into Friday’s contest.
  • Mizzou is 2-7 vs. LSU in Columbia, claiming the final two games of the two clubs’ 2019 SEC set at Taylor Stadium for its only series win against LSU.
  • Most recently, LSU won all three meetings in Baton Rouge two years ago, despite all three contests being decided by two runs or less.
  • Only four current Tigers saw action in MU’s 2022 series with LSU in Baton Rouge, led by INF Trevor Austin’s .417 career average vs. the Tigers; Austin’s 2022 series in Baton Rouge included a pair of two-hit games, including a 2-for-4, 4-RBI effort (April 23).
  • RHP Carter Rustad worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief (April 21), while LHP Ian Lohse tossed 3.0 hitless innings against the Tigers (April 22).
  • Additionally, INF Matt Garcia went 3-for-11 (.273) with three RBIs against LSU in a three-game set while playing for Bethune-Cookman in 2022.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 1B Jackson Lovich leads the SEC and ranks 47th nationally with three triples.
  • The sophomore recorded a career-best 13-game hit streak, February 24-March 15, batting .388 (19-for-49).
  • SS Drew Culbertson has recorded three consecutive two-hit performances as part of a career-best six-game hit streak.
  • OF Jackson Beaman has been one of the Tigers’ most dangerous hitters at home, bringing a .435 batting average with four home runs and a 1.665 OPS in eight contests at Taylor Stadium this spring.
  • C Jedier Hernandez paces the Missouri offense with a .288 batting mark in SEC play.
  • Hernandez played a pivotal role in MU’s series sweep of No. 6 Florida (April 5-7), hitting a club-best .417 with key RBIs in each of the three games.
  • Hernandez drove in the game-winning run in the 11th inning of game one vs. UF, then brought home the tying run in the sixth inning of MU’s 4-3 win in game two.
  • As a team, the Tigers rank 44th in the nation in WHIP (1.43) and 55th in walks allowed per 9.0 IP (4.00).
  • INF Brock Daniels has been Mizzou’s hottest hitter in the month of April, batting .400 (16-of-40) with 17 RBIs and five steals in helping the Tigers go 7-3.
  • Daniels, who ranks fourth in the SEC with four sacrifice flies on the season, brings a career-best six-game hit streak into Friday’s series opener; the sophomore from St. Louis has hit .385 (10-for-26) and driven in eight runs over the course of the streak (dating back to April 7).
  • INF Matt Garcia turned in his best weekend of SEC play to date at Georgia (April 11-13), leading the Tigers with a .500 batting average, including a career-best four-hit performance in the series opener.
  • Garcia drove in a pair of runs in that contest, then went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the finale, belting his first home run of the season as well.
  • For the week of April 8-14, Garcia went 8-of-17 (.474) with a .824 slugging percentage.
  • OF Jeric Curtis also turned in a big weekend in Athens, hitting .333 for the series, with a career-best three hits in the finale.
  • Curtis swiped two bases to run his season total to 14 bags, which ranks sixth overall in the SEC.
  • The Tigers rank fourth in the conference in stolen bases (51).
  • INF Trevor Austin leads the club with nine home runs, topping his previous season high (2023) with a three-run blast April 12 at Georgia, hiking his career total to 25 round-trippers.
  • Austin has been hit by 13 pitches so far this season, ranking third in the SEC; additionally, his total of six sacrifice bunts is tied for third in the conference.
  • As a team, Mizzou has cut down 11 would-be base-stealers to rank fourth in the SEC.
  • Mizzou is hitting .295 as a team with two outs, logging 91 of its 208 RBIs on the year after the second out in an inning has been recorded.


  • Led by third-year head coach Jay Johnson, the Tigers enter the series with a 23-15 overall record, but just a 3-12 SEC mark.
  • The defending NCAA Men’s College World Series champions are hitting .281 as a team while scoring at a 6.9 runs per game clip.
  • On the mound, the Tigers staff has racked up 429 strikeouts, which ranks as the No. 2 total in the SEC, trailing only Arkansas’ 449.
  • 3B Tommy White leads LSU with a .333 average with 51 hits and 34 runs scored. He also shares the team lead in RBIs (35) with 1B/C Jared Jones, with the duo combining for 27 home runs through the first 38 games of the season.
  • The LSU pitching staff is anchored by RHP Luke Holman, who has compiled a 6-2 mound mark while ranking second in the conference in strikeouts (75) and third in ERA (2.15).
  • LHP Griffin Herring has been the Tigers’ top bullpen option, logging a 2-0 record and team-leading three saves while tallying 35 punchouts in 24.2 innings.


  • 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 has been arguably the Tigers’ hottest hitter of late, logging hits in six straight games (since April 7), including three consecutive two-hit performances, entering Friday’s series opener.
  • For the year, Culbertson has recorded seven multi-hit outings to date, swiping nine bases (in 10 attempts), while making 28 starts for the Tigers.
  • Curry has hit four homers, which is good for fourth on the club, and notched four multi-RBI efforts, while drawing 16 walks.
  • Curry, who has logged time as the Tigers’ cleanup hitter while starting 22 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 20 of his 27 games.
  • Peer has heated up in April, hitting .278 with two home runs and a pair of three-RBI games in SEC play.
  • Serna has drawn 13 starts behind the plate as a rookie; the Floridian has recorded hits in each of his last four starts, including a key homer in Tuesday’s win at MSU.


  • Mizzou is off to a 7-3 start to the month of April, making it the Tigers’ most successful month of the 2024 season to date.
  • In SEC play, the Tigers have won four of their six April contests, including a three-game sweep of No. 6 Florida (April 5-7), as well as an extra-innings road win over Georgia (April 12).
  • With its .700 winning percentage, this April also marks MU’s best overall month since March 2023, when the Tigers finished 13-5 (.722).
  • The Tigers have not posted a .500 month of April since 2019, when they went 12-5 (.706).
  • As a team, the Tigers have hit .288 and averaged 7.8 runs per April contest.
  • INF Brock Daniels has been MU’s most productive hitter this month, going 16-for-40 (.400) with a pair of home runs and 17 RBIs.
  • INF Matt Garcia has been red hot in April as well, raising his average from .167 to .253 by going 15-for-39 with 13 RBIs this month, including four multi-hit performances.
  • INF Trevor Austin has reached base safely in all 10 April games, recording hits in eight of those while logging a team-high .480 on-base percentage.
  • RHP Logan Lunceford has been rock solid on the mound in his two April starts, striking out 12 while permitting just four hits over 10.0 innings.
  • LHP Ryan Magdic has emerged as a dominant force out of the MU bullpen in recent weeks, including two April relief outings over which he fanned nine hitters and allowed just one run over 5.1 combined innings.


  • The Tigers have been clutch this season with two out, both at the plate and on the mound.
  • Mizzou’s offense has recorded 91 two-out RBIs in just 38 games, while hitting .295 (133-for-451) after the second out has been recorded in an inning.
  • Last weekend at Georgia, the Tigers hit .325 (13-for-40) with two out, producing 11 RBIs.
  • Against vs. No. 6 Florida, Mizzou recorded eight two-out RBIs, including all four of its runs in its game two victory (April 6).
  • INF Brock Daniels and OF Jackson Beaman have been MU’s most consistent two-out threats, hitting .500 (10-for-20) and .409 (9-for-22) in such situations, respectively.
  • Mizzou pitchers have been equally dominant, holding the opposition to a collective .211 (87-for-413) two-out batting average.
  • RHP Brock Lucas has allowed just one two-out hit in 29 official at-bats; LHP Ryan Magdic has been nearly flawless as well, limiting MU’s opponents to just three hits in 23 two-out at-bats (.130).


  • The Tigers’ April resurgence has been boosted significantly by a pair of Brocks: RHP Brock Lucas and INF Brock Daniels.
  • Lucas, a sophomore from St. Elizabeth, Mo., enters the weekend with a 4-0 mound mark and team-best 2.36 ERA.
  • Earlier this spring, Lucas posted a string of 11 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings (March 17-April 2).
  • Lucas has limited the opposition to a minuscule .188 opponent batting average.
  • In his 11 outings, Lucas has logged seven scoreless outings, including three extending at least 4.0 frames.
  • Similarly, Daniels has been a dominant force at the plate for the Tigers, particularly in the month of April, when the St. Louis native has registered five multi-hit performances in his 10 games.
  • Daniels has produced 17 of his 22 RBIs over the same stretch and has raised his overall season batting average 128 points (from .211 to .339).
  • Daniels brings a career-best six-game hit streak into Friday’s series opener.


  • Several Tigers have reached or are approaching significant career milestones this season.
  • INF Matt Garcia and INF Trevor Austin sit atop the Tigers’ leaderboard for career hits among active players with 146 and 145, respectively.
  • Austin, who played in his 150th career game April 7 vs. Florida, ranks fourth all-time at Mizzou in HBP (42) to go along with his 25 career homers, the latter of which is just seven shy of cracking the Tigers’ all-time top 10 list.
  • RHP Logan Lunceford surpassed the 100-strikeout milestone for his career last weekend at Georgia; the sophomore enters the weekend with 103 punchouts to his credit.
  • LHP Ian Lohse enters the weekend within striking distance of the 100-K plateau as well, with 95 K’s on his resume.
  • C Jedier Hernandez’s game-winning hit vs. Florida on April 5 marked the 100th hit of his collegiate career.
  • Mizzou’s April 2 contest with UT Martin marked Kerrick Jackson’s 200th career game as a Division I head coach.
  • INF Danny Corona recorded the 100th hit of his collegiate career March 19 vs. Kansas at Kauffman Stadium.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics