MO State HS Sports

Baseball Treks to Auburn for Final SEC Series

Ty Wilmsmeyer

AUBURN, Ala. – Missouri baseball closes its 2023 regular season with a three-game Southeastern Conference road series against No. 19/29 Auburn this weekend, beginning Thursday (May 18) with a 6 p.m. (CDT) contest at Plainsman Park.

Mizzou enters the weekend tied with Georgia for the No. 11 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament. The Tigers need either one victory or one Mississippi State loss vs. Texas A&M this weekend to secure their first trip to Hoover since 2019.

The Tigers (30-20, 10-17 SEC) have cranked up their offense in May, averaging 11.3 runs per game while hitting .355 as a team with 27 home runs in just seven contests this month.

Auburn (30-19-1, 14-13 SEC), ranked as high as No. 19 in one national poll this week, enters the final weekend of SEC play winners of five in a row after sweeping Ole Miss last weekend and taking two of three from No. 1 LSU the previous week.

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, each of the three games this weekend will be streamed live on SEC Network+.


Thursday, May 18 (6 p.m.) – RHP Chandler Murphy (Mizzou) vs. RHP Chase Allsup (Auburn)
Saturday, May 19 (6 p.m.) – LHP Javyn Pimental (Mizzou) vs. LHP Tommy Vail (Auburn)
Sunday, May 20 (2 p.m.) – RHP Logan Lunceford (Mizzou) vs. TBD (Auburn)


  • Mizzou and Auburn will meet for the 19th time in Thursday’s series opener.
  • The Tigers hold an 11-7 series edge over Auburn, including a 7-3 mark against AU on its home turf.
  • Auburn claimed two of the three meetings in the last meeting of the two programs; Mizzou won the finale, 7-6 on May 22, 2021, in the most recent contest in the series.
  • Mizzou has won each of its three previous series at Auburn (2012, 2014 and 2018), taking two of three contests in each trip to the Plains.


  • Missouri is off to a 30-20 overall start this season, with wins in six of its last seven games on its final home stand of the 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 10 wins over RPI Quadrant I clubs to its credit, including four vs. teams rated among the top 25.
  • Mizzou finished its home slate this past weekend, concluding the season with a 19-7 mark at Taylor Stadium — its top home win total since 2019.
  • The Tigers have reached the 30-win plateau for the fourth time in seven years under Steve Bieser.
  • Mizzou has clubbed 27 home runs and tallied an average of 11.3 runs per game in seven May contests.
  • The Tigers pitching staff ranks 32nd nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (9.9).
  • Mizzou has out-hit the competition in 30 of its 50 games, going 26-4 in those contests.
  • Tre Morris has been the Tigers’ top two-out hitter this season, logging 14 hits in 38 at-bats (.368).
  • Trevor Austin has driven in runs in 14 of his 16 chances with runners on third base and less than two out.
  • Ty Wilmsmeyer’s total of 21 steals ranks second in the SEC, while Mizzou ranks fifth as a team (63).
  • Luke Mann homered in six straight games May 2-13, to move within one home run of matching Jacob Priday’s all-time Mizzou record of 49 career long balls.
  • Dylan Leach has reached base safely in 19 of his last 21 games since March 28, logging 14 of his 21 hits on the season during the same stretch.
  • Austin Troesser has posted four of his five wins during SEC play, logging 34 K’s in 28.0 conference innings while holding the opposition to a .210 batting average.
  • Hank Zeisler has been one of the Tigers’ most consistent offensive threats, totaling 15 home runs and 57 RBIs to date, while ranking fourth in the SEC in triples (3) and ninth in walks (40); the first baseman has produced 27 two-out RBIs this season.
  • Zach Franklin leads the club with six victories and two saves in 19 appearances; the graduate transfer ranks fifth among all active NCAA Division I pitchers in career victories (22) and 10th in career strikeouts (270).
  • The Tigers are 26-5 when scoring at least six runs, but just 4-15 when failing to do so.
  • The Mizzou pitching staff has logged double-digit strikeout totals in 23 of its 50 games.


  • Under the direction of eighth-year head coach Butch Thompson, Auburn enters the weekend 30-19-1 overall and 14-13 in SEC play and ranked as high as No. 19 in this week’s national polls.
  • The Tigers have won five in a row, including a three-game sweep of Ole Miss last weekend in Oxford.
  • Auburn’s lineup has been one of the SEC’s best this spring and features two of the conference’s top hitters in Bobby Peirce (.377 BA) and Ike Irish (.366).
  • The Tigers can also boast of two of the SEC’s top power threats in Bryson Ware and Cooper McMurray, who have each hit 10 home runs during league play.
  • On the hill, Auburn draws from a deep staff that has included 13 different hurlers who have made starts this spring; topping that list is Tommy Vail, who brings a 5-1 season mark and team bests of 72 strikeouts and a 3.34 ERA into the weekend.


  • Luke Mann continued his climb up the Mizzou home run chart by clubbing three home runs in the Tigers’ series sweep of Georgia to move to within one homer of the program’s all-time home runs leader, Jacob Priday (49).
  • Mann’s career-best 20 homers this spring rank third on MU’s single-season list, trailing only Dave Silvestri (21) and Ryan Fry (27).
  • Mann, a First-Team Preseason All-SEC preseason pick, homered in six consecutive games, May 2-13, falling just one shy of Griffin Moore’s MU record of seven-straight games with a home run (March 22-29, 1997.
  • Mann was named SEC Co-Player of the Week, as well as one of Collegiate Baseball’s national players of the week on May 8, after totaling five homers and 27 total bases and helping the Tigers average just under 12 runs per game while logging a 3-1 week.
  • The St. Louis native logged a career-best 12-game hit streak (Feb. 24-March 15).


  • Missouri’s offense has blossomed in the month of May, with the Tigers’ bats heating up to the tune of a .355 team average in seven games this month.
  • Luke Mann has been a key linchpin, hitting .481 and slugging 1.481 with eight homers over the same stretch.
  • Since the calendar last turned, the Tigers have upped their season home run total from 49 to 76, with nine different players going deep through the first seven May contests.
  • Mizzou has scored 79 runs in May, nearly equaling its total from the entire month of April, when the Tigers plated 81 runs in 17 games.
  • Mizzou has scored at least one run in 35 of the 53 innings in which it has come to bat in the month of May.
  • MU’s series win over Ole Miss (May 4-6) featured a breakout performance by the Tiger offense, which plated 38 runs in the three-game set.
  • Mizzou rallied from a seven-run deficit for an 11-9 win in game one of the series, marking the Tigers’ largest comeback win since May 5, 2019 at Tennessee.
  • The Tigers’ run total vs. Ole Miss represented its best ever in an SEC series, and the most scored by a Mizzou offense over a three-game stretch since April 2009, when MU totaled 42 runs in a three-game Big 12 Conference series against Texas Tech.


  • Mizzou has powered up in the month of May to club 27 home runs in just seven contests, hiking its season total to 76 homers.
  • Mizzou has reached the 75-home run plateau on just four previous occasions and this year’s club needs seven more long balls to move up to the No. 4 spot on the program’s single-season chart.
  • Luke Mann has been the primary catalyst for the Tigers, having hit eight homers in MU’s first seven games of the month.
  • Eight additional Tigers have homered in May, including six players who have gone deep on multiple occasions through the first seven games of the month.


  • Junior outfielder Ross Lovich made Mizzou history last Friday in the Tigers’ 13-3 win over Georgia, becoming the first Tiger to hit for the cycle since 1995.
  • Lovich accomplished the feat in just seven innings; he doubled to lead off the game, tripled in the second, added a single in the third and homered in the seventh to notch the first Mizzou cycle since Jeff Terrell accomplished the feat vs. Iowa State on May 5, 1995.
  • Lovich, who hit .429 with two homers and five RBIs against the Bulldogs, was honored as SEC Co-Player of the Week on Monday after homering as part of a second multi-hit performance on Saturday to help pave the way to a three-game sweep of Georgia.


  • The Tigers kicked off the 2023 awards period with a bang, netting SEC Co-Player of the Week honors in each of the last two weeks, with the selections of Ross Lovich (May 15) and Luke Mann (May 8).
  • Mann and junior pitcher Austin Troesser earned CSC Academic All-District recognition earlier this week as well; the duo became the first Tigers to earn the honor from the College Sports Communicators organization since 2010, when Aaron Senne earned the same award.
  • Mann and Troesser are now eligible for selection to CSC’s Academic All-America team, which will be announced June 7.
  • Hank Zeisler joined the honor train on Wednesday, earning a spot on the SEC’s 2023 Baseball Community Service Team, which honors student-athletes who give back to their community through superior service efforts.

30 FOR NO. 29

  • Missouri head coach Steve Bieser is in his seventh year guiding the Tigers, entering the weekend with a 188-151-1 record as MU’s bench boss.
  • Mizzou locked up its fourth 30-win season in seven years under Bieser this past weekend.
  • This year’s 30-win campaign marks the first for Mizzou since a 34-win 2019 season, which followed a 36-win year in 2017, and a 34-win campaign in 2018.
  • Tigers’ No. 29 has registered 30 wins in seven of his 11 seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach, including a string of six seasons in a row from 2014-19.
  • In all, this year marks the 35th time in program history the Tigers have notched 30 or more victories.
  • Bieser topped the 300-victory mark with Mizzou’s 10-4 win at FIU on Feb. 25, and enters Thursday’s game with a career 326-248-1 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.
  • Additionally, Mizzou is 119-39 in nonconference contests during Bieser’s tenure.
  • 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).
  • Mizzou produced 39 wins in SEC play from 2017-19 as well, marking its top three-year stretch in league play since joining its new conference in 2013.


  • Mizzou shattered its program record for total home attendance this season, drawing 37,133 fans over 23 home dates to eclipse the previous mark of 31,450 fans (2008).
  • MU finished its 2023 home campaign Sunday with its 20th crowd of 1,000 or more spectators —and its 17th in a row.
  • In its 23 home dates at Taylor Stadium, the Tigers drew five crowds of at least 2,000 fans, as well as an average of 1,614 spectators per date, both of which represent high-water marks for the program.
  • This season’s attendance growth marks a 43-percent increase in average home attendance from last spring, when MU drew 1,127 fans per home date (and 28,181 for the entire season).


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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics