The TCU baseball team will close out the 2023 College Baseball Showdown with a Big 12 vs. SEC matchup against Missouri on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. It will mark the first meeting between the Horned Frogs and the Tigers on the baseball diamond since March 6, 2010, when TCU defeated Missouri 4-3. The Horned Frogs are 3-1 all-time against the Tigers, who went 28-23 overall and placed seventh out of seven schools in the SEC East last season.
Luke Mann will lead the group, but the departures of Torin Montgomery and Josh Day have left voids in the infield. Who will the Tigers call on to fill those voids? @KortayVincent writes about it here. https://t.co/RM6EmxyCGO pic.twitter.com/WYkRmEgTK6— ROCK M NATION (@RockMNation) February 13, 2023
Missouri slashed .283/.384/.443 last season, ranking near the bottom of the SEC in home runs (62) and outpacing only Alabama and South Carolina in runs scored (356). The Tigers finished with 496 hits, which ranked second-worst in the conference behind the Gamecocks. Missouri’s pitching staff struggling during the 2022 campaign, posting a 5.58 ERA with a .265 opposing batting average and the fewest strikeouts (428) in the SEC. Despite the winning record on the season, Missouri had a difficult time in conference play, going 10-20 during SEC competition and suffering three-game sweeps against Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss. The Tigers lost two out of three games against Florida and Arkansas.
For the first time in five years, Mizzou landed a player on the preseason All-SEC baseball team: first-team choice 3B Luke Mann. St. Louis native from Vianney HS hit 17 HRs last year, most for an MU player since 2004.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) February 9, 2023
Infielders Trevor Austin and Luke Mann are two of the top hitters returning for the Tigers this season. Mann slashed .270/.401/.595 with a team-high 17 home runs and 43 RBIs during the 2022 campaign. Austin slashed .297/.417/.476 with six home runs and 22 RBIs. Outfielder Ross Lovich was one of the top base stealers for the Tigers, going 12-for-13 in steals last season. Missouri will be looking for players to step up after losing leading hitters Torin Montgomery (.365/.462/.547 - seven home runs and 49 RBIs) and Josh Day (.340/.435/.508 - seven home runs and 29 RBIs) from the 2022 roster. Both were MLB Draft selections.
WATCH: @MizzouBaseball right fielder Ross Lovich (@Rlovich25) made an UNBELIEVABLE diving grab against Tarleton State this afternoon ⬇️@KOMUsports pic.twitter.com/DXYtb4FP0M— Kyle Helms (@khelms2023) March 7, 2022
Missouri saw a slew of pitchers start last season. Several arms are back for the 2023 season including right-hander Carter Rustad, who made 16 appearances with three starts, and left-hander Tony Neubeck, who made 15 appearances with nine starts. Right-hander Austin Troesser recorded a 3.64 ERA across 13 appearances and seven starts, while left-hander Ian Lohse made 17 appearances last season, notching a 3.80 ERA. The Tigers lost several experiences arms from the 2022 roster including 13-game starter Spencer Miles as well as 40-plus-inning pitchers Nathan Landry and Austin Mazoras.