MO State HS Sports

Baseball Primed for Weekend Matchup With No. 4 Florida

Luke Mann

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Missouri baseball returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game set against No. 4 Florida, beginning with a 6 p.m. (CDT) contest Friday (April 28) at Condron Family Ballpark.

The Tigers (24-16, 5-13 SEC) dropped all three games of its SEC home series with Alabama last weekend, but righted the ship with an 8-3 road victory over SIUE on Wednesday.

After being swept at No. 6 South Carolina last weekend, Florida rebounded with a 6-2 victory over North Florida on Tuesday and enter the weekend 32-10 overall and 11-7 in the SEC.

Fans can once again catch Mizzou baseball on the airwaves all season long on KTGR and the Tiger Radio Network. Tex Little and Matt Michaels return to the booth for the call. Additionally, Saturday’s contest will be televised live on the SEC Network, with Connor Onion and Gregg Olson calling the action. The first and third games of the series will be streamed live on SECN+.


Game 1 – RHP Chandler Murphy (Mizzou) vs. RHP Brandon Sproat (Florida)
Game 2 – TBD (Mizzou) vs. RHP Hurston Waldrep (Florida)
Game 3 – TBD (Mizzou) vs. TBD (Florida)


  • Florida brings a commanding 28-5 advantage over Mizzou into this weekend’s series.
  • The Gators have won 17 of the previous 18 meetings—and all 12 SEC contests—in the series in Gainesville, with the Tigers’ lone road victory against UF coming in February 2006.
  • UF claimed two of the three meetings in Columbia last season, but the Tigers stopped a 16-game skid in the series with a 5-3 win in the middle game.
  • Seven of the last nine games in the series since 2019 have been one or two run affairs, with the Gators winning six of those.


  • Missouri is off to a 24-16 overall start, as well as a 5-13 start to SEC play this season.
  • The Tigers received votes in at least one major poll for seven straight weeks (Feb. 27-April 10), peaking as high as No. 15 in Collegiate Baseball’s March 20 poll.
  • Mizzou’s 2023 roster features a heavy helping of talent from within the state of Missouri’s borders, with 16 players from the Show-Me State.
  • Additionally, Mizzou head coach Steve Bieser has brought in players from a total of 16 different states, plus the territory of Puerto Rico.


  • Missouri has six wins over RPI Quadrant I clubs to its credit, including five vs. teams rated among the top 25.
  • Mizzou is 13-6 at home thanks in part to a pitching staff that has limited the opposition to a .218 batting average and 4.1 runs per game at Taylor Stadium.
  • As a team, Mizzou ranks fourth in the SEC in hit by pitches (65) and fifth in triples (10) and sac flies (21).
  • The Tigers pitching staff ranks 19th nationally in hits allowed per nine innings (7.85).
  • Mizzou has out-hit the competition in 26 of its 40 games, going 22-4 in those contests.
  • Matt Garcia went 3-for-4 with a Mizzou career-high three RBIs in Wednesday’s win at SIUE, extending his hit streak to five games.
  • Tre Morris has been one of the Tigers’ top two-out hitter this season, logging eight hits in 25 at-bats (.320).
  • Trevor Austin has driven in runs in 13 of his 14 chances with runners on third base and less than two out.
  • Ty Wilmsmeyer’s total of 18 steals ranks second in the SEC, while Mizzou ranks fifth as a team (55).
  • Luke Mann is hitting a team-best .378 in road/neutral-site games, with eight of his 12 home runs coming in such contests this spring; the fifth-year third baseman currently sits in the No. 5 spot on the Tigers’ all-time home runs list with 40 career round-trippers.
  • Dylan Leach has reached base safely in 14 straight games since March 28, logging a .415 OBP, which ranks third on the club over the same span.
  • Rorik Maltrud ranks 20th nationally in strikeouts/9.0 IP (13.07) and seventh among all SEC pitchers in overall strikeouts (61).
  • Hank Zeisler has been one of the Tigers’ most consistent offensive threats, totaling 11 home runs and 42 RBIs to date, while ranking third in the SEC in triples (3) and ninth in walks (34); the first baseman has produced 19 two-out RBIs this season.
  • Zach Franklin leads the club with six victories and two saves in 15 total appearances; the graduate transfer has allowed just one run in his last five appearances spanning 8.2 IP since April 7.
  • The Tigers are 21-2 when scoring at least six runs, but just 3-14 when failing to do so.
  • The Mizzou pitching staff has logged double-digit strikeout totals in 20 of its 40 games and ranks 21st nationally in K’s/9.0 IP (10.4).


  • Under the direction of 16th-year head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, the Gators bring a 32-10 overall record and 11-7 SEC mark into the weekend.
  • The Gators feature one of the SEC’s top offenses, hitting .307 as a club while averaging nearly nine runs per contest.
  • The UF lineup features three of the nation’s top hitters, with Josh Rivera leading the way with his .386 average, to go along with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs.
  • Jac Caglianone leads the nation in home runs (23) and brings a .372 batting mark and team-best 60 RBIs into the series.
  • Wyatt Langford ranks second in the SEC in on-base percentage (.527) and runs scored (52) to lead the Gators.
  • On the hill, Hurston Waldrep has gone 6-2 with a 4.50 ERA and the second-most strikeouts (92) and innings pitched (58.0) in the SEC.
  • Brandon Neely has been a force at the back end of the Gators bullpen, logging an SEC-best seven saves to date.


  • Luke Mann continued his climb up the Mizzou home run chart (see above), hitting the 39th and 40th homers of his career in Mizzou’s April 15 win at Texas A&M to gain sole possession of the No. 5 spot on the list.
  • Mann became the second Tiger in 10 days to hit three home runs in a game March 24 at No. 4 South Carolina as part of a career-best four-hit performance.
  • Mann needs two more long balls to match the career totals of Aaron Senne and Ryan Fry, currently tied in the No. 3 position with 42 round-trippers.
  • The St. Louis native logged a career-best 12-game hit streak (Feb. 24-March 15).
  • The fifth-year third baseman hit .400 (18-for-45) with four homers and 11 RBIs during his hit streak.
  • Mann was tabbed for first-team preseason laurels, becoming the first Tiger honoree since Kameron Misner’s second-team selection five years ago.
  • Mann’s 17 home runs in 2022 were the most by a Tiger since Ehlers hit 18 round-trippers in 2004.


  • Mizzou’s pitching staff has received a needed boost from its talented freshman class, which features five hurlers—Sam Horn, Brock Lucas, Logan Lunceford, Nic Smith and Daniel Wissler—who have combined to post a 10-3 mound mark through the first 40 games of the season.
  • Lunceford has been a revelation for the Tigers, ranking fourth in the SEC in opposing batting (.175) and 11th in overall strikeouts (56) while earning a role in Mizzou’s weekend rotation.
  • Led by three victories apiece from Lunceford and Lucas, the group has posted a combined 112 strikeouts over 103.2 innings.


  • Mizzou’s 19-3 mark against non-SEC foes continues a string of recent dominance in nonconference play.
  • The Tigers went 18-3 in nonconference play last spring as well, giving them an overall mark of 37-6 in non-SEC competition since the start of the 2022 season.
  • The SEC continues to dominate the top spot in the conference RPI ratings, bringing a Division I best 0.5946 rating into the weekend; the league’s 256 nonconference victories and 0.8094 win percentage are tops among all conferences as well.
  • Mizzou is hitting .296 against non-league foes and averaging nearly 10 hits per contest, while also posting a 3.85 team ERA.
  • Individually, Luke Mann is hitting .352 with six homers and 17 RBIs during nonconference play.
  • During Steve Bieser’s tenure as head coach, the Tigers have posted a cumulative 118-39 record in nonconference play, good for a .752 win percentage.


  • Missouri’s strong start to the 2023 season has brought with it plenty of attention, as the Tigers received votes in at least one national poll for seven straight weeks (Feb. 27-April 10).
  • Mizzou checks in at No. 39 in Thursday’s RPI ratings.
  • The Tigers spent two weeks ranked among the top 25 clubs in the nation, peaking at No. 15 in Collegiate Baseball’s March 20 poll.
  • Mizzou has opened the home portion of its schedule by winning 13 of its first 19 games at Taylor Stadium, drawing 13 different crowds of 1,000 or more and a total of 25,005 fans over 16 home dates, good for an average of 1,562 spectators per date.
  • That marks a 57-percent increase in year-to-date home attendance compared to the first 16 home dates of the 2022 season, when Mizzou drew six crowds of 1,000 or more and an average of 993 fans per game over the same stretch.


  • Mizzou’s pitching staff is off to a blazing start, with 20 double-digit strikeout totals in 40 games.
  • With 387 K’s, the Tigers could threaten the program’s single-season record for strikeouts (559 in 2019).
  • The Tigers rank 21st nationally as a staff in strikeouts per nine innings (10.4).
  • Mizzou’s team WHIP of 1.38 ranks 47th among all Division I pitching staffs, while the Tigers’ 7.85 hits allowed per game ranks 19th in the nation.
  • As a staff, the Tigers have limited the opposition to a collective .230 batting average, with nine different pitchers logging averages against below that figure.
  • Individually, Zach Franklin’s season total of six wins is tied for 30th among all Division I pitchers.
  • Franklin, who leads the SEC in games finished (14), has logged all six of his victories out of the bullpen, fashioning a 3.45 ERA and 45 of his 46 strikeouts in relief appearances.
  • Rorik Maltrud has been dominant as well, turning in a 1.17 ERA over six relief outings, striking out 23 hitters in 15.1 innings.
  • Maltrud rates among the conference’s leaders in total strikeouts (61), strikeouts/9.0 IP (13.07) and strikeout-walk ratio (5.08).


  • Ty Wilmsmeyer has enjoyed a strong start to his senior season, bringing a .298 batting average and 18 stolen bases into the weekend, the latter of which represents the top season total for a Tiger since 2019.
  • The Springfield, Mo., product was a perfect 4-for-4 on the basepaths last week and ranks second in the SEC in steals.
  • Wilmsmeyer has been at his best when the lights have been brightest, hitting .333 vs. ranked opponents.
  • The Tigers centerfielder has logged seven multi-hit performances in SEC play, homering in back-to-back games vs. No. 4 Vanderbilt (April 6-7) and going 2-for-3 in each game for a combined four runs and five RBIs.
  • Wilmsmeyer logged a career-best four hits in a Feb. 19 win over No. 16 TCU, as well as a pair of two-hit performances against No. 9 South Carolina (March 25).
  • He also worked the final 5.0-plus innings of the series finale vs. South Carolina to bolster a depleted Mizzou pitching staff and keep the Tigers even with the Gamecocks in the 12-inning contest.
  • Wilmsmeyer struck out a career-best four batters and held one of the nation’s top offenses scoreless over his first five innings of work.


  • Mizzou head coach Steve Bieser is in his seventh year guiding the Tigers, entering the weekend with a 182-147-1 record as MU’s bench boss.
  • Bieser topped the 300-victory mark with Mizzou’s 10-4 win at FIU on Feb. 25, and enters Friday’s game with a career 320-244-1 mark in 11 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
  • The Tigers have finished with an overall record above .500 in five of Bieser’s six seasons.
  • Bieser’s 104 wins from 2017-19 were the most ever by a Mizzou baseball coach in his first three campaigns.
  • Additionally, Bieser’s win total marked the winningest three-year stretch by the Tigers since 2008-10 (103 victories).
  • Mizzou produced 39 wins in Southeastern Conference play from 2017-19 as well, marking its top three-year stretch in league play since joining its new conference in 2013.


Single-game tickets for all Mizzou baseball home games in 2023 are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS, or by visiting

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics