MO State HS Sports

Braggin’ Rights on the Line, as Baseball Takes on Illinois Tuesday


COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri baseball opens a four-game road trip Tuesday (March 26) with a 6 p.m. contest against Illinois at Grizzlies Ballpark in Sauget, Ill.

The Tigers (10-14) have gotten the better of the Fighting Illini (10-12) in neutral-site Braggin’ Rights venues, bringing a 10-4 mark vs. Illinois in such contests into Tuesday’s game, including back-to-back wins over the Illini the past two seasons in Sauget.

Tuesday’s game will be televised live on the SEC Network, with Clay Matvick and Mike Rooney calling the action. All Mizzou baseball games in 2024 will be produced by the Tiger Radio Network and streamed live through the Varsity Network App (by searching ‘Missouri’) with Tex Little and Matt Michaels once again handling broadcast duties.


  • RHP Josh McDevitt (Mizzou) vs. RHP Jake Rons (Illinois)


  • Mizzou and Illinois meet for the 32nd time on the diamond when the Braggin’ Rights series returns to Grizzlies Ballpark Tuesday.
  • The Tigers hold a slim 16-14-1 all-time series edge.
  • Mizzou claimed a 6-5 victory last year (March 28, 2023) in Sauget, after taking an 11-7 decision in 2022.
  • MU has won 10 of the last 14 contests in the series (dating back to 1988) averaging 6.4 runs per outing during the same stretch.
  • The Tigers bring a 221-161-1 all-time mark vs. the current membership of the Big Ten Conference into Tuesday’s game.
  • Mizzou owns a .500 record or better against all but two Big Ten programs (Ohio State and Purdue).


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • RHP Brock Lucas brings a streak of 9 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings (spanning three appearances) into the week.
  • Lucas worked a pair of 4.0-plus inning relief outings last week, including 4.1 hitless innings against Kansas last Tuesday.
  • 1B Jackson Lovich leads the Tigers with 20 RBIs and a .322 batting mark. The sophomore recorded a career-best 13-game hit streak, February 24-March 15.
  • Lovich leads the SEC and ranks 12th nationally with three triples.
  • Lovich has reached base safely via a hit or walk in 21 of his 23 games, including the Tigers’ first 18 contests of the season.
  • LHP Daniel Wissler has allowed two runs of fewer in all three of his starts this season, including his most recent start March 12 at KU, allowing two earned runs and three hits over his 4.0 frames.
  • OF/INF Danny Corona turned in his best stretch as a Tiger last week, hitting .308 with a pair of RBIs in three total games vs. Kansas and Kentucky.
  • LHP Javyn Pimental has fanned at least five batters in four of his five outings to date, including a career-best nine punchouts vs. Purdue Fort Wayne (March 9).
  • Pimental has been lights-out in his last two starts, holding No. 1 Arkansas hitless through four frames as part of 5.0 shutout innings. He also notched his first win of the season against No. 21 Kentucky on Saturday, allowing just one run on four hits over 6.0 innings.
  • 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 has enjoyed a solid month of March, hitting .333 (18-for-54) with five homers and 14 RBIs. He also reached base safely in 12 consecutive March contests.
  • Austin ranks second among all SEC fielders in defensive assists (61) this season.
  • OF Jackson Beaman has been lethal at the plate over the same stretch as well, batting .310 (9-for-29) with three homers, 13 RBIs and a .523 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.
  • Miller owns a 12.38 K/9.0 IP ratio, which leads all qualifying pitchers on the Mizzou staff.
  • C Jedier Hernandez is hitting a club-best .390 in March, logging five multi-hit performances in 10 games.
  • 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 Jacob Peaden ranks fifth in the SEC in saves (3) and sixth in games finished (6).
  • The Tigers rank sixth in the conference in stolen bases (28), led by six steals apiece from INF Drew Culbertson and OF Jeric Curtis.
  • As a team, Mizzou ranks third in the SEC in fielding double plays (15).


  • Under 19th-year head coach Dan Hartleb, the Fighting Illini bring a 10-12 overall mark into Tuesday’s contest after opening Big Ten Conference play by claiming two of three games from Indiana over the weekend.
  • The Illini, winners of three of four games overall last week, are hitting .252 as a team entering the week, led by junior C Camden Janik’s .341 batting average.
  • Junior INF Drake Westcott, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, leads the club with a .453 on-base percentage and six home runs, while leading the Big Ten in walks per game (1.1).
  • On the mound, Illinois is paced by graduate LHP Cooper Omans with his 2.28 ERA. Senior RHP Jack Crowder leads the staff with 33 punchouts in 31.0 innings.


  • Several Tigers have reached or are approaching significant career milestones this season.
  • INF Danny Corona recorded the 100th hit of his collegiate career in last Tuesday’s contest vs. Kansas at Kauffman Stadium.
  • INF Trevor Austin sits atop the Tigers’ leaderboard for career hits among active players with 134.
  • Austin ranks fourth all-time at Mizzou in HBP (37) to go along with his 24 career homers, which is eight shy of cracking the Tigers’ all-time top 10 list.
  • C Jedier Hernandez enters Tuesday’s game four hits shy of 100 for his career.


  • Mizzou has claimed nine nonconference victories over the first six weeks of the season, continuing a string of recent dominance in nonconference play.
  • MU logged a 20-3 mark against non-SEC foes last spring, after going 18-3 in nonconference in 2022.
  • MU has an overall mark of 47-14 in non-SEC competition since the start of the 2022 season.
  • Over the last decade, the Tigers’ dominance has been equally as pronounced, with MU winning 100 more nonconference games than it has lost (174-74), good for a .702 winning percentage.


  • Sophomore RHP Brock Lucas brings a string of 9 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings into Tuesday’s contest.
  • Lucas has turned in three straight scoreless relief outings, dating back to March 17.
  • This past week, the St. Elizabeth, Mo., product logged a pair of 4.0-plus inning efforts out of the MU bullpen, including a 4 1/3 inning hitless stint vs. Kansas (March 19), and four additional scoreless frames, allowing just one hit, against Kentucky on Sunday.
  • For the season, Lucas has compiled a club-best 1.89 ERA, while holding the opposition to a .176 batting average.
  • In his seven outings, Lucas has recorded five scoreless appearances, three of which have extended four innings or more.


  • The Tigers notched their first win over a top 25 foe Saturday with their 2-1 victory over No. 21 Kentucky.
  • Saturday’s victory 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.


  • Mizzou, just 6-10 this March entering Tuesday’s game, has historically enjoyed strong results in the month of March.
  • The Tigers have gone a combined 207-75 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.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics