MO State HS Sports

Baseball Rallies for Doubleheader Split With UCSD

Jackson Lovich

LA JOLLA, Calif. – Jackson Lovich’s infield single brought home the go-ahead run with two out in the 11th inning, as Missouri battled back for a 5-4 victory to earn a doubleheader split with UC San Diego Saturday at Triton Ballpark.

Trailing by a run entering the ninth inning, the Tigers (4-3) tied it up on a Thomas Curry sacrifice fly, before Lovich beat out a chopper to short to bring in Tucker Moore from third with the decisive two innings later. With one out, Moore drew a walk from Julian Custer (0-1), then executed a perfect hit-and-run with Trevor Austin who laced a single through the vacated right side of the UCSD infield. Following a pop up for the second out, Lovich worked a full count from Custer before beating shortstop Noah Sudyka’s throw to first by a step.
Jacob Peaden (1-0) played a pivotal role on the mound in the victory, pitching the Tigers out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth and working around a leadoff single in the 10th. He received a sizable boost from his defense in the ninth with two out and the bases loaded, when Danny Corona fielded a slow bouncer to third and fired to Lovich at first, who stretched to receive the throw, just beating the baserunner for the final out and stranding the potential winning run at third.

After taking the lead in the 11th, the Tigers got another lift from its defense—specifically Jedier Hernandez—in the home half, after Bradlee Preap drew a leadoff walk for UCSD. Pinch runner Luke Saunders attempted to steal second, but Hernandez gunned him down, with Austin applying the tag for a huge first out.

Doyle Kane popped up to center on the ensuing pitch, and—after a Matt Halbach double—Peaden got Ryson Ujimori to bounce out to second to end the game. Peaden pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits while striking out a pair of Triton hitters.

Lovich’s deciding hustle single capped a day that saw the sophomore first baseman log a pair of two-hit games, finishing the twin bill 4-for-10 with a homer and three RBIs. Austin also delivered in the clutch for the Tigers, belting a game-tying solo shot in the top of the seventh inning as part of a 2-for-5 nightcap.

UCSD reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the eighth, getting singles from Halbach and Delshaun Lanier, as well as a walk to Brock Kleszca to set up the rally. Noah Sudyka then bounced a fielder’s choice grounder to the right side, handing the Tritons (4-3) at 4-3 advantage.

But the Tigers mounted a comeback in the ninth, keyed by a trio of freshmen. Drew Culbertson singled to lead off the frame, before Moore coaxed a walk and Curry brought home the equalizing tally with a long fly to right-center after Austin laid down a successful sacrifice bunt.

Culbertson finished with his third multi-hit performance of the weekend, finishing the Tigers’ stay at the Tony Gwynn Legacy series with a team-best .471 (8-for-17) batting mark.

The comeback effort in the nightcap followed an 8-4 setback in Saturday’s opening game, as the Tritons rallied from an early two-run deficit.

Lovich’s two-run homer in the first staked the Tigers to an early lead, but the duo of Zack Ernisse and Anthony Eyanson would combine to strike out 11 Mizzou hitters. The After three scoreless innings from Mizzou starter Carter Rustad to start the game, the Triton offense caught fire, scoring a pair of runs in the fourth to tie it up, before a three-run rally in the fifth turned the tide for good.

A Missouri error opened the door for UCSD in the fourth, before Halbach’s two-run blast to right evened the score at 2-2. Sudyka, who finished 2-for-4, sparked the key fifth-inning rally with a one-out double, before Preap singled him home with the go-ahead run. Next, a wild pitched chased home the second UCSD run of the rally, and a fielder’s choice chopper to third, coupled with another Tiger error, brought in the third for a 5-2 Triton advantage.

UCSD tacked on three more runs in the seventh to stretch its lead to four runs. Preap drove in a second run with a sacrifice fly to center after Benjamin Rosengard doubled to start the rally for his second it of the contest. A pair of walks and a hit batsman set up Nick Costello’s two-run double down the right-field line that capped the scoring.

Eyanson (2-0) would need little help, as the right-hander fanned seven and allowed just two runs while scattering five hits over his 5.0 innings of relief.

Rustad (1-1) took the loss for the Tigers after surrendering five runs (three earned) on six hits over 4.1 innings.

Jeric Curtis powered the Mizzou offense, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two stolen bases, while Lovich added two hits and two RBIs.


  • The Tigers and Tritons split their first two meetings as Division I programs.
  • With their game two victory, the Tigers improved to 169-69 in non-conference action since 2014, including a 42-9 mark since the start of the 2022 campaign.
  • Mizzou got home runs from Lovich (his second) and Austin (third) to hike its season total to nine round-trippers.
  • Culbertson extended his hit streak to four straight games, with three of those being multi-hit performances.
  • Austin stretched his hit streak to five in a row, over which he has batted .364 with three homers.
  • Corona logged his first multi-hit game as a Tiger in game two, going 2-for-5.
  • Curtis swiped three bases on the day, including two in the first game for the first time as a Tiger.
  • The losing team in each game finished with an advantage in hits; Mizzou out-hit UCSD by a 10-8 count in game one, before the Tritons logged 13 hits to the Tigers’ 11 in the nightcap.
  • After missing the last two seasons due to injuries, Tiger RHP Ben Pedersen made his first mound appearance since May 2021 in game one, working one-third of an inning in the seventh.

The Tigers return to the Show-Me State Tuesday (Feb. 27) to open their 2024 home slate with a 5 p.m. contest against SEMO at Taylor Stadium.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics