MO State HS Sports

Baseball Opens SEC Home Slate Against No. 25 Kentucky

Jeric Curtis

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri baseball opens the home portion of its 2024 Southeastern Conference schedule this weekend with a three-game league set against No. 25 Kentucky at Taylor Stadium.

The Tigers (9-12, 0-3 SEC) and Wildcats (18-3, 3-0 SEC) will open the series with a 6 p.m. (CDT) contest Friday (March 22), before squaring off in single games Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.) to conclude the weekend.

Sunday’s contest will be broadcast live on the SEC Network, with Sam Ravech and Gregg Olson calling the action. Each of the first two games of the series will be streamed through SEC Network+ (Casey Roehl/Dylan Kelly). 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.



  • SEC Home Opener/Mizzou Baseball Stickers (Friday) – Free stickers
  • St. Louis Day/Beverage Bat Giveaway (Saturday) – Beverage bat giveaway to first 250 fans; Cardinals ticket drawing
  • Family Day and Egg Hunt (Sunday) – Kids run the bases, postgame autographs and egg hunt


  • Game 1 (Friday, March 22 – 6 p.m.) – RHP Logan Lunceford (Mizzou) vs. TBD (Kentucky)
  • Game 2 (Saturday, March 23 – 3 p.m.) – LHP Javyn Pimental (Mizzou) vs. LHP Dom Niman (Kentucky)
  • Game 3 (Sunday, March 24 – 11 a.m.) – TBD (Mizzou) vs. RHP Mason Moore (Kentucky)


  • Mizzou and Kentucky will meet for the 31st time to open the series Friday.
  • The Wildcats hold an 18-13 advantage over the Tigers, despite Mizzou winning two of the three meetings in Columbia the last time UK paid Taylor Stadium a visit in 2022.
  • Mizzou holds an 8-7 edge over the Wildcats in Columbia.
  • Last year, the Wildcats swept the Tigers in a three-game set in Lexington (March 31-April 2), outscoring Mizzou by a 25-3 margin in the series.
  • In the two clubs’ 2022 series, the Tigers won the final two games, totaling 19 runs over the two victories.


  • 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.


  • 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 Tigers with 20 RBIs and a .342 batting mark. The sophomore saw his career-best 13-game hit streak come to an end last Saturday at
    No. 1 Arkansas.
  • Lovich reached base safely via a hit or walk in the Tigers’ first 18 contests of the season before that streak ended last Saturday as well.
  • During the course of his 13-game hit streak, Lovich batted .388 (19-for-49).
  • LHP Daniel Wissler has allowed two runs of fewer in all three of his starts this season, including March 12 at KU, allowing two earned runs and three hits over his 4.0 frames.
  • INF Matt Garcia has a pair of multi-hit games since returning from injury March 2.
  • OF Tucker Moore has hits in 10 of his last 14 games and has reached safely in 15 of his 19 games as a Tiger.
  • LHP Javyn Pimental has fanned at least five batters in three of his four outings to date, including a career-best nine punchouts vs. Purdue Fort Wayne (March 9).
  • Pimental was lights-out vs. No. 1 Arkansas last Saturday, holding the Hogs hitless through four innings and striking out four in 5.0 shutout innings.
  • INF Justin Colon registered his first four-hit game as a Tiger vs. Northern Kentucky (March 3). The junior also posted career bests for runs scored (4) and RBIs (5) vs. NKU.
  • INF Trevor Austin leads the club with seven home runs after binging on Purdue Fort Wayne pitching with four round-trippers in four games, March 8-10.
  • Austin has enjoyed a solid month of March, hitting .333 (14-for-37) with four homers and 12 RBIs. He has also reached base safely in 12 consecutive March contests.
  • OF Jackson Beaman has been lethal at the plate over the same stretch as well, batting .348 (8-for-23) with three homers, 13 RBIs and a club-leading .556 on-base percentage.
  • LHP Ryan Magdic has proven to be a valuable weapon out of the bullpen, logging three scoreless two-inning outings to date. The graduate transfer has struck out at least three hitters in four of his six appearances.
  • RHP Charlie Miller has been equally as dominant from the right side, recording six scoreless appearances and four hitless outings in nine total games.
  • C Jedier Hernandez has gunned down three would-be base-stealers on the season, while hitting a team-best .429 in the month of March.
  • RHP Ben Pedersen logged three consecutive scoreless relief outings as part of his return from a two-year absence due to injuries. The 6-foot-6 Minnesota native notched his first collegiate save in MU’s 10-inning victory over Kansas on March 12.
  • OF/DH Thomas Curry enjoyed a debut to remember in Missouri’s season-opening series at Cal Poly (Feb. 16-17), 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. 15 March 9 with 6.0 strong innings in MU’s win over PFW.
  • RHP Jacob Peaden ranks third in the SEC in saves (3) and fourth in games finished (6).
  • The Tigers rank seventh in the conference in stolen bases (26), led by OF Jeric Curtis’ six steals.
  • Curtis was the Tigers’ top hitter last week, going 3-for-9 with hits in each of his three games.


  • Under eighth-year head coach Nick Mingione, the Wildcats enter the weekend with an 18-3 overall mark, as well as a 3-0 start to SEC play after sweeping Georgia at home to open conference play last weekend.
  • Checking in at No. 25 in this week’s NCBWA and coaches’ polls, the Wildcats bring one of the top pitching staffs in the SEC into the series, led by the duo of RHP Mason Moore (4-0, 2.28 ERA) and LHP Dom Niman (4-1, 3.51 ERA).
  • UK pitching ranks fifth in the SEC with its 3.66 team ERA, while Moore and Niman share the top spot on the conference’s leaderboard for victories. The Wildcats have allowed the third-fewest hits (137) and the third-lowest batting average (.208) among all SEC staffs.
  • At the plate, UK has relied heavily on the trio of Nick Lopez (.426 BA), Emilien Pitre (.378) and Ryan Walderschmidt (.486 OBP) to shoulder the offensive load.
  • Lopez ranks third in the SEC in hitting and second in doubles (9), while Pitre paces the club in RBIs (24) and steals (11).
  • As a team, the Wildcats have stolen 49 bases (in 56 attempts) to rank second in the SEC.


  • Junior LHP Javyn Pimental has been one of the Tigers’ key linchpins on the mound through the first five weeks of the season, bringing a team-leading 2.04 ERA into the weekend.
  • Last Saturday, Pimental held No. 1 Arkansas hitless through four innings and posted 5.0 scoreless frames overall before yielding to his bullpen.
  • The Hawaii native has fanned 21 batters in 17.2 innings spanning four total appearances.
  • In his last three appearances (two starts), Pimental has surrendered just one earned run while striking out 16 batters over 14.0 innings, good for an ERA of 0.64.
  • Over the same stretch dating back to March 1, the lefty has limited the opposition to a .170 batting average.


  • Several Tigers have reached or are approaching significant career milestones this season.
  • INF Danny Corona recorded the 100th hit of his collegiate career in Tuesday’s contest vs. Kansas at Kauffman Stadium.
  • INF Trevor Austin and INF Matt Garcia share the clubs’ top spot on its active leaderboard for career hits, each entering Friday’s game with 130 hits.
  • Austin ranks fourth all-time at Mizzou in HBP (37) to go along with his 23 career homers, which is nine shy of cracking the Tigers’ all-time top 10 list.


  • Mizzou has found the friendly confines of Taylor Stadium to its liking over a recent surge spanning the last seven home games of the 2023 campaign and its first nine home contests of the new season.
  • Since May 2 of last year, the Tigers have hit .335 as a team while homering 42 times and averaging 11.0 runs.
  • Over the same stretch, Mizzou has scored in double-digits nine times and registered at least 10 hits 10 times in going 10-6 at Taylor.
  • INF Trevor Austin has been the key linchpin in the Tigers’ power surge at Taylor, clubbing seven of MU’s 42 home runs over the 16-game span.


  • Mizzou has historically enjoyed strong results in the month of March, particularly at home.
  • The Tigers have gone a combined 206-73 at Taylor Stadium in the month of March since 2000, posting a .500 or better home record in 23 of those 24 seasons.
  • Last spring, the Tigers won 10 of their 11 March home games.


  • 2B Trevor Austin has made a habit of reaching base throughout his four-year career with the Tigers, particularly when it comes to serving as a target, logging 37 free bases due to hit by pitches.
  • Austin, the SEC’s active leader in HBPs, was hit by a pitch four times during Mizzou’s initial home stand of the season, running his 2024 total to eight HBPs, which ranks third in the SEC.
  • As a result, the Jefferson City native has climbed to fourth on Mizzou’s career HBP chart, passing Brock Bond and Dan Opel Tuesday when he was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of MU’s 5-4 victory.
  • Austin is six HBPs away from matching Jacob Priday’s career total of 43 in the No. 3 position on the list.
  • John McKee (2004-07) owns the Tigers’ all-time mark of 70 HBPs, and John Hay (1989-93) ranks second with 51 HBPs.


  • Missouri is slated to appear in eight linear broadcasts on the ESPN family of networks over the course of the 2024 season.
  • Sunday’s series finale will mark the first Mizzou contest featured on the SEC Network this spring.
  • Mizzou’s SEC matchups, including the first two games of the series, and select non-conference games will stream on SEC Network+.

Mizzou baseball 2024 season and single-game tickets are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the ticket office at 1-800-CAT-PAWS or by visiting

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics