MO State HS Sports

Baseball Travels to Athens for SEC Showdown With Georgia

Jeric Curtis

ATHENS, Ga. – University of Missouri baseball looks to continue building momentum in Southeastern Conference play this weekend when the Tigers travel to Athens for a three-game series with Georgia at Foley Field.

Despite a Tuesday evening setback against SIUE that ended its five-game win streak, Mizzou (15-19, 4-8 SEC) is coming off its first conference series sweep of the season last weekend, when the Tigers claimed three consecutive one-run contests against No. 6 Florida in Columbia. The Tigers’ most-recent conference series sweep occurred against Georgia (May 12-14, 2023), and MU has claimed four of its five road series against the Bulldogs (25-8, 5-7 SEC) in Athens since joining the SEC.

Thursday’s series opener will be broadcast live on the SEC Network, with Sam Ravech and Gregg Olson calling the action. Each of the final two games of the series will be streamed through SEC Network+ (Matt Stewart/Jason Jacobs). 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.


  • Game 1 (Thursday, April 11 – 6 p.m.) – RHP Carter Rustad (Mizzou) vs. LHP Jarvis Evans (Georgia)
  • Game 2 (Friday, April 12 – 5 p.m.) – RHP Logan Lunceford (Mizzou) vs. RHP Leighton Finley (Georgia)
  • Game 3 (Saturday, April 13 – 2:30 p.m.) – LHP Javyn Pimental (Mizzou) vs. TBD (Georgia)


  • The Tigers and Bulldogs have evenly split their previous 30 meetings.
  • Mizzou swept last season’s series from Georgia after putting up 32 runs in three games at Taylor Stadium (May 12-14).
  • The Tigers have won five of the last six meetings, including two of three contests two years ago in their most-recent trip to Foley Field.
  • Overall, MU is 9-6 vs. Georgia on its home field, with SEC road series wins in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 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.


  • Despite being sidelined for much of the last two weeks due to injury, 1B Jackson Lovich leads all Mizzou qualifying batters with his .307 average and 21 RBIs, while his six home runs are second on the squad.
  • The sophomore recorded a career-best 13-game hit streak, February 24-March 15, batting .388 (19-for-49).
  • Lovich leads the SEC and ranks 32nd nationally with three triples.
  • Lovich has reached base safely via a hit or walk in 25 of his 27 games, including the Tigers’ first 18 contests.
  • RHP Brock Lucas turned in a string of 11 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings spanning four appearances, March 17-April 2.
  • Lucas has posted six scoreless relief outings in nine total appearances this spring.
  • LHP Javyn Pimental has been outstanding in SEC play, limiting four top 25 clubs to a combined batting mark of .156.
  • Pimental held No. 1 Arkansas hitless through four frames as part of 5.0 shutout innings on March 17. He also notched his first win of the season against No. 21 Kentucky (March 23), allowing just one run on four hits over 6.0 innings.
  • INF Brock Daniels went a combined 5-for-7 (.714) with two homers and nine RBIs, nearly tripling his career RBI total, in the Tigers’ two-game sweep of UT Martin last week.
  • Daniels led the Tigers with a .474 average in five games last week, driving in 10 runs and swiping five bases to lead all SEC base-stealers.
  • As a team, Mizzou stole five bases in back-to-back games vs. UT Martin, achieving the feat for the first time since April 11, 2023 vs. Missouri State.
  • INF Justin Colon has been a driving force for the Mizzou offense in the Tigers’ 15 wins, hitting .438 (7-for-16) with eight RBIs and a .571 OBP.
  • OF Kaden Peer enjoyed a big week in helping the Tigers go 5-0 (April 2-7), hitting .353 with five RBIs and seven runs scored.
  • Peer went 3-for-3 with two walks and three RBIs Sunday to help Mizzou to its first-ever series sweep of Florida.
  • INF Trevor Austin leads the club with eight home runs, matching his personal season high (2023) and upping his career total to 24 round-trippers.
  • Austin hit .438 (7-for-16) in helping the Tigers go 5-0 last week. The senior from Jefferson City scored three runs in three different contests last week.
  • LHP Ryan Magdic has proven to be a valuable weapon out of the bullpen, logging four scoreless two-inning outings to date. The graduate transfer picked up his first save as a Tiger in last Saturday’s 4-3 win over No. 6 Florida.
  • C Jedier Hernandez played a pivotal role in MU’s series sweep of No. 6 Florida over the weekend, 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. The junior capped his week with a pair of RBIs on a first-inning double in the finale.
  • The Tigers rank fourth in the conference in stolen bases (47), led by 12 steals from OF Jeric Curtis.
  • As a team, Mizzou ranks fifth in the SEC in fielding double plays (20).
  • The Tigers’ pitching staff ranks 32nd nationally in walks allowed per nine innings (3.68).


  • Led by first-year head coach Wes Johnson, the Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 25-8 overall mark and 5-7 SEC record to date.
  • As a team, Georgia leads the SEC with a .448 on-base percentage and 89 home runs. The Bulldogs rank second in the circuit in runs scored (316), hitting (.323) and slugging (.634).
  • Sophomore All-American Charlie Condon rates as one of the nation’s top offensive threats, bringing the SEC’s top batting average (.468), slugging percentage (1.081) and totals for hits (58), home runs (21) and total bases (134) into the weekend.
  • Corey Collins has been a standout in the Bulldogs’ lineup as well, hitting .382 with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs through just 25 appearances.
  • On the mound, RHP Christian Mracna eads the rotation with a 3-2 record, 40 strikeouts and 3.86 ERA in a league-leading nine starts.
  • RHP Brian Zeldin anchors the bullpen, entering Thursday’s game with a sparkling 0.95 ERA to go along with three wins and four saves in 12 appearances.


  • Mizzou completed its second SEC series sweep of a top 10 conference foe in as many seasons on Sunday, securing its first-ever sweep of No. 6 Florida.
  • The Tigers, who also swept Georia (May 12-14) and No. 4 Tennessee at Taylor Stadium (March 17-19) last spring, logged three consecutive one-run victories over the Gators.
  • Mizzou pitching limited a potent UF lineup to a .196 batting mark for the series.
  • RHP Logan Lunceford turned in 6.0 shutout innings in the opener, holding the Gators to a single hit, while combining with RHP Carter Rustad on a two-hit, 2-1 victory in 11 innings.
  • The Tigers fanned a season-high 14 hitters in Sunday’s finale and averaged 12.0 strikeouts per game for the series.
  • At the plate, C Jedier Hernandez turned in a series to remember, hitting a club-best .417 while driving in key runs in each victory. He plated the game-winning run on an 11th inning single in Friday’s opener, plated the tying run in the sixth inning of game two, then drove home two more runs in the finale.


  • In the Tigers’ 15 wins this season, MU baserunners have been successful on 29-of-30 steal attempts.
  • Mizzou posted five stolen bases each of its two wins over UT Martin (April 2-3), going 10-for-10 in steal attempts against the Skyhawks.
  • The Tigers’ last five-steal performance came on April 11, 2023 at Missouri State.
  • INF Brock Daniels was a perfect 5-of-5 in steal attempts last week, including the first three-steal effort by a Tiger since 2022.
  • For the season, Mizzou ranks fourth in the SEC with 47 steals (in 54 attempts) this season.
  • OF Jeric Curtis leads the Tigers with 12 steals, which is good for seventh overall in the SEC.
  • Additionally, freshman INF Drew Culbertson is a perfect 7-for-7 in steal attempts this spring.


  • Junior LHP Javyn Pimental has been one of the Tigers’ key linchpins on the mound through the first eight weeks of the season as well, bringing a 2.48 ERA into the week.
  • Pimental has registered dominant starts against top 25 teams in three straight weekend starts to open SEC play; the lefty notched his first victory of the season with 6.0 strong innings vs. No. 21 Kentucky (March 23), allowing just one run on four hits while fanning five; the previous week, he held No. 1 Arkansas hitless through four innings and posted 5.0 scoreless frames overall before yielding to his bullpen.
  • For the season, the Hawaii native has fanned 33 batters — a single-season best for the junior — in 32.2 innings spanning seven total appearances.
  • In his last six outings (five starts), Pimental has surrendered just six earned runs while striking out 28 batters over 29.0 innings, good for an ERA of 1.86.
  • Over the same stretch dating back to March 1, the lefty has limited the opposition to a .177 batting average.


  • Several Tigers have reached or are approaching significant career milestones this season.
  • Last Tuesday’s game 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 in last March 19 vs. Kansas at Kauffman Stadium.
  • INF Trevor Austin sits atop the Tigers’ leaderboard for career hits among active players with 142.
  • Austin, who played in his 150th career game on Sunday vs. Florida, ranks fourth all-time at Mizzou in HBP (41) to go along with his 24 career homers, the latter of which is eight shy from cracking the Tigers’ all-time top 10 list.
  • Both LHP Ian Lohse and RHP Logan Lunceford enter this weekend’s series within striking distance of reaching the 100-K plateau for their collegiate careers; Lunceford has 91 strikeouts to date, while Lohse enters Thursday’s opener with 93 punchouts to his credit.
  • C Jedier Hernandez’s game-winning hit vs. Florida on Friday marked the 100th hit of his collegiate career.


  • The Mizzou pitching staff has met the challenge of SEC play, logging a team ERA of 3.84 over the Tigers’ last three league series.
  • Against three ranked opponents (Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Florida), the Tigers have limited the opposition to .223 hitting and an average of just 4.6 runs per game over the nine-game stretch.
  • Mizzou’s three weekend starting pitchers — RHP Logan Lunceford, LHP Javyn Pimental and RHP Carter Rustad — have combined to hold the opposition to 20 earned runs over their 48.0 total innings, while striking out 42 hitters.
  • Additionally, the MU bullpen has been equally as effective, holding the Wildcats and Commodores to a .211 average. RHP Bryce Mayer has turned in 5.1 scoreless innings, combining with LHP Daniel Wissler, LHP Ryan Magdic and RHP Victor Quinn for 12.0 scoreless frames of relief work.


  • With their three wins over the sixth-ranked Gators, the Tigers can now boast of four total SEC wins over ranked opponents this season.
  • 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.
  • Mizzou recorded seven wins over ranked opponents last season, but suffered 18 of its 24 overall losses against ranked clubs.
  • This year, the Tigers could face as many as nine ranked SEC foes in weekend series, as each of their scheduled league opponents have spent time in at least one top 25 poll this spring.


  • The Tigers have been clutch this season with two out, both at the plate and on the mound.
  • Mizzou’s offense has recorded 80 two-out RBIs in just 34 games, while hitting .291 (116-for-399) after the second out has been recorded in an inning this season.
  • This past weekend vs. No. 6 Florida, Mizzou produced eight two-out RBIs, including all four of its runs in Saturday’s game two victory.
  • The Tigers also rallied for three runs with two out in the bottom of the ninth in the finale, overcoming a 10-8 defict to complete their first-ever sweep of the Gators.
  • Jackson Lovich and Kaden Peer have been MU’s most consistent two-out threats, hitting .310 (13-for-42) and .364 (12-for-33) in such situations, respectively.
  • Mizzou pitchers have been equally dominant, holding the opposition to a collective .206 (75-for-364) two-out batting average.
  • Brock Lucas has yet to allow a two-out hit, holding the opposition hitless in 25 official at-bats. Jacob Peaden has been nearly flawless as well, limiting MU’s opponents to just two hits in 26 two-out at-bats (.077).


  • 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 streamed via the Varsity Network app.
  • Thursday’s series opener will be broadcast live on the SEC Network. Each of the final two games of the series will be streamed through SEC Network+.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics