MO State HS Sports

Garcia Leads Baseball’s Comeback Bid in Series Opener at Georgia

Matt Garcia

ATHENS, Ga. – Despite a 4-for-5 night from Matt Garcia and nearly battling all the way back from a 10-run deficit, University of Missouri baseball dropped a 15-10 decision to Georgia in the opening contest of the two clubs’ Southeastern Conference series Thursday evening at Foley Field.

The Bulldogs scored 11 runs over a three-inning stretch, then held off the Tigers’ late comeback bid behind a 15-hit attack that produced at least one run in five of the final six innings, as well as a combined 17 strikeouts from its pitching staff.

Led by Charlie Condon’s 4-for-4 performance, Georgia (26-8, 6-7 SEC) scored four times in the fourth inning, then appeared to break the game wide open after plating six more in the fifth to stretch its lead to double-digits. Condon, who reached base safely in all six of his trips to the plate, hiked his NCAA Division I-leading home run total to 23 with two round-trippers in the contest, finishing the night with five RBIs to go along with three runs scored.                  

Despite facing the double-digit deficit, Mizzou (15-20, 4-9 SEC) battled back behind a Mizzou career-high four-hit effort by Garcia, who logged hits in three separate MU scoring rallies. The Tigers plated five runs in the sixth inning, keyed by Kaden Peer’s two-run homer and a two-run double by Brock Daniels. MU scored again in the seventh on Drew Culbertson’s RBI triple, then pulled to within three runs in the eighth after Peer singled home a run and Garcia brought in two more with his fourth hit of the game.

That proved to be as close as the Tigers would get, as Georgia scored two in the seventh on Condon’s second homer of the night, before another two-run rally in the eighth capped the scoring.

Georgia’s pitching staff held off the Tigers’ comeback effort, thanks in part to nine strikeouts over the first 5 1/3 innings by starter Jarvis Evans (3-1), and four relievers who joined forces to fan eight more hitters over the final three innings.

Despite the setback, the Tigers notched a 2024 SEC season high 13 hits, with both Daniels and Peer turning in multi-hit and multi-RBI performances. Additionally, Thomas Curry came off the MU bench to go 2-for-3 with a walk.

Mizzou opened the scoring with a two-out rally in the top of the first, capitalizing on a walk to Trevor Austin, a wild pitch and Jedier Hernandez’s run-scoring single off Evans. Tigers starting pitcher Carter Rustad (4-5) helped fuel the strong start by striking out the side in the home half of the first, then working out of a bases-loaded jam in the second to preserve the one-run lead.

But Condon led off the third inning with his 22nd home run of the season to negate the early Mizzou run, and Kolby Branch’s second hit of the night sparked the Bulldogs’ fourth-inning rally, as Georgia put six of its first seven hitters on base. Clayton Chadwick followed with an RBI double that chased Branch home from first to hand the Bulldogs the lead, before Fernando Gonzalez added a run-scoring single that made it a 3-1 game.

Next, Corey Collins kept the momentum going with a double to left and an intentional walk to Condon loaded the bases. Dylan Goldstein then delivered the biggest blow of the inning, driving a two-run double to right to extend the UGA advantage to four runs.

The Bulldogs’ scored all six of their fifth-inning runs with two out, including four unearned runs after a two-out Mizzou miscue extended the rally. Run-producing hits by Collins and Condon preceded the biggest blow—a three-run double off the bat of Slate Alford that extended the Georgia lead to 10-1.

In addition to Condon’s big night, four additional Georgia hitters logged two-hit performances, led by Gonzalez’s 2-for-5 effort that included a home run, three runs scored and two RBIs.


  • With the win, Georgia seized a 16-15 overall series advantage against the Tigers, but Mizzou still holds a 9-7 edge against the Bulldogs in Athens.
  • Garcia’s four hits represent a Mizzou career high, matching his overall career-best four-hit effort vs. FGCU on March 1, 2020, while playing for Bethune-Cookman.
  • Despite drawing three walks and scoring two runs, Austin saw his six-game hit streak end with his 0-for-3 night.
  • Jackson Lovich saw his streak of consecutive games reaching base end at seven with an 0-for-2 night.
  • Daniels (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) drove in multiple runs in a game for the fourth time in seven April games.
  • Daniels logged his fifth multi-RBI game of the season, and extended his hitting streak to three games, over which he has driven in at least one run in each game, totaling six RBIs.
  • Culbertson’s seventh-inning triple represented his first as a Tiger.
  • Peer matched his career best RBI performance with three runs batted-in, marking the third time he has achieved the feat (and his second in the last three games).
  • Peer launched his second home run of the year and first in SEC play.
  • Mizzou’s 10 runs is its best run total in SEC play since scoring 14 times in a victory over Georgia on May 13, 2023.
  • The Tigers’ 13 hits marked their top single-game total in conference play since a 15-hit night vs. Georgia on May 12 of last year—a 13-3 MU win to kick off an eventual three-game sweep for the Tigers.
  • MU pitchers recorded 13 strikeouts, giving the Tigers 49 punchouts in their last four SEC games (since April 5); Mizzou has totaled at least 13 K’s in three of those outings.
  • Kaden Jacobi made his first appearance in conference play; the right-hander has recorded a strikeout in each of his four appearances this year.
  • Curry recorded his fifth multi-hit game this year.
  • Rustad struck out an SEC season-high six batters in his 3 1/3 innings.
  • Curtis (1-for-5) has reached safely in seven-straight games. 
  • The loss is the Tigers’ second this season when scoring at least 10 runs.

The Tigers and Bulldogs will square off for game two of the series Friday (April 12) evening with a 5 p.m. (CDT) contest at Foley Field.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics