MSU locks down borders with talented class that includes nine of the top 31 prep players in the Show-Me State
Maroon team scores six times in 8th to overcome deficit, take 3-1 series lead
Challenging 56-game slate awaits Bears in 25th Missouri Valley Conference season
Returning Bears Competing in Leagues From California to Massachusetts
Cheray Taken by Oakland in 17th Round, St. Louis Picks Schumacher in 36th Round
Eric Cheray Discusses Anticipation for 2014 Season
Coors MSU Player of the Week Eric Cheray Discusses His Move to Third Base
2014: Cheray emerged as one of the top offensive players - and perhaps the most versatile defensively - in the Missouri Valley Conference as a junior, hitting .290 with three home runs and 32 runs batted-in while starting all 57 contests for the Bears...An Honorable Mention All-MVC pick as a utility player, Cheray ranked among the league's top 10 individuals in assists (4th), walks (6th) and triples (10th)...Posted career-best numbers in nearly every offensive category, including steals, in which he went 6-for-10 on the season...Excelled in the field as well, logging a personal-best .983 fielding percentage to earn MVC All-Defensive squad recognition while splitting time between catching and second-base duties; made 47 starts at second and 10 behind the plate late in the season...Walked 40 times to rank 44th in all of Division I baseball, becoming just the second Bear to draw at least 40 free passes in consecutive seasons; enters his senior year tied for third with J.J. Scerba on MSU's career walks chart with 104...Also sits in third on the Bears' all-time sacrifice hits list with 24, nine behind teammate Joey Hawkins' school record of 33 sacs, and eighth in career defensive assists (434)...Enters the season as the Bears' active leader in games played (169), starts (160), runs scored (90), hits (155), doubles (25), triples (6), RBIs (65) and walks (104)...Broke out of a 1-for-12 slump at the start of the season by going 4-for-5 with a double, two triples and three runs batted-in in a 9-8 win over Northern Illinois (Feb. 21) at the Lobo Invite to kick off an eight-game hit streak; continued his hot stretch at the plate the next day with a 2-for-4 effort against NIU that included an inside-the-park home run and three runs scored, as well as another two-hit performance against host New Mexico in which he clubbed a pivotal grand slam to seal MSU's 6-1 victory...Batted .529 (9-for-17) with nine RBIs and six extra-base hits in his four games at the Lobo Invite...Logged three consecutive multi-hit games, going 2-for-3 at Abilene Christian (Feb. 28) and vs. Kansas State (March 1), before a three-hit effort vs. ACU in Arlington (March 7) in which he scored a career-high four runs and drove in two more in a 12-2 win, raising his average to a season-high .419 in the process...Batted .548 (17-for-31) with 14 RBIs over his eight-game streak...Had three-hit games against Dallas Baptist (May 15) and Saint Louis (April 1), driving in a pair of runs and reaching base on all four of his trips to the plate in the 8-0 win over the Billikens...Followed that effort with a 2-for-2 night at Oral Roberts in which he also drew two walks to stretch his string of reaching safely to nine consecutive at-bats...Topped his previous career best with a 12-game hit streak, March 26-April 18; batted .442 (19-for-43) with four multi-hit performances...Turned in three straight two-hit games, April 25-29, driving in two runs in the Bears' 7-5 victory at UT Martin (April 26)...Doubled twice and drew three walks to score two runs and drive in another, as the Bears knocked off MVC champ Evansville (May 16)...Went 2-for-4 with a run scored in MSU's 7-2 win over Bradley (May 22) at the MVC Championship...Homered and drove in a pair of runs in MSU's elimination contest with eventual tourney champ Dallas Baptist (May 23)...Named to CoSIDA's Capital One Academic All-District 6 squad in recognition of his work in the classroom...Selected in the 17th round of the MLB Draft by Oakland before electing to return for his senior year...Played summer ball with the Forest City Owls of the Coastal Plain League, hitting three homers and driving in 14 runs in just 77 at-bats.
2013: Served as a stabilizing force at the top of the Bears' lineup and on the right side of the infield as a sophomore, hitting .285 and leading the club with a .436 on-base percentage en route to earning First-Team All-MVC honors...Made 48 starts, including 38 at second, posting a solid .960 fielding average and assisting on a team-high 26 double-plays...Ranked second in the MVC and 45th nationally in walks (41), finishing the year tied for eighth on the Bears' single-season list...Also rated fifth in the Valley in on-base percentage (.436) and climbed to second on MSU's career list for sacrifice bunts (22) with eight for the year...Reached base safely in 23 consecutive games, April 12-May 18, hitting .368 (28-for-76) and recording an on-base percentage of .515...Logged a personal-best nine-game hit streak (April 20-May 5)...Batted .379 in league play to lead club and .342 with runners on base...Hit .600 (6-for-10) in three games at the Southern Miss Invitational (Feb. 22-24), going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in MSU's victory over No. 28 Southern Miss before driving in two runs and registering his first three-hit game as a Bear in a 5-4 win over Eastern Illinois...Also posted three-hit games against Northwestern (March 9), Indiana State (March 31) and Wichita State (May 5)...Eclipsed previous career highs for hits (4) and runs scored (3) in MSU's 14-6 win at Southern Illinois (April 13)...Earned a team-best three Coors MSU Player of the Week honors in 2013 (Feb. 25, April 29 and May 6)...Named First-Team MVC Scholar-Athlete...Played for the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League over the summer.
2012: Enjoyed a standout first year as a Bear, hitting .278 with a homer, 17 RBIs and a school-record 14 sacrifices over 58 games...Shared the MVC lead in sacrifice hits and ranked eighth in triples...Hit a team-high .333 (29-for-87) in 28 games at Hammons Field...Posted perhaps his best game as a Bear Feb. 29, at Oklahoma State, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, a walk and his first career stolen base to help MSU defeat the Cowboys, 7-1...Went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a steal in the Bears' 3-0 win over SIU Edwardsville on March 9...Recorded hits in six of nine contests, Feb. 26-March 10, including four multi-hit games...Registered a .368 batting average (7-for-19) over the same stretch...Went 3-for-6 with a double, triple and two RBIs in two wins over Creighton, March 24-25...Saw his errorless streak of eight games (27 chances) come to an end March 25...Doubled to start the Bears' ninth-inning rally vs. Kansas (March 27), then scored the game-winning run on Kevin Medrano's bases-loaded single...Notched his sixth-multi-hit game of the season in an 8-4 win at Dallas Baptist (March 31), finishing the day 2-for-3 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt...Had two hits, a walk and an RBI in the Bears' 12-5 win over Arkansas State (April 4)...Registered a Bears' season-high eight assists in MSU's 12-2 win at Bradley (April 7)...Went 3-for-8 (.375) and scored four times to help the Bears to a two-game sweep of Illinois State, April 13-14...Hit a team-high .462 (6-for-13) and slugged 1.000, April 25-29; hit his first homer as a Bear and recorded his first game-winning RBI April 29 in MSU's 12-6 win over SIU...Earned all-tournament honors at the Jayhawk Classic (May 4-6) after going 4-for-12 with four runs scored to help the Bears claim the title...Batted a team-high .438 (7-for-16) in four games to earn All-MVC Tournament honors...Limited to five at-bats in the NCAA Tournament due to injury...Batted .336 with 12 doubles, four triples and 29 RBIs over the summer to help the Topeka Golden Giants advance to the NBC World Series.
Background: Cheray came to Missouri State from Seaman High School in Topeka, Kan., where his teams went 70-5 his first three years and became the first team in Kansas Class 5A history to win three consecutive state championships...Was a first-team all-state, all-league and all-city selection while earning Topeka Co-Player of the Year honors...Named first-team all-league and all-city after his sophomore season and was the only freshman to make the varsity team in 2008, helping the Vikings to the first of their three-straight state titles.
Personal: Eric Alan Cheray is the son of Steve and Lois Cheray...Born December 11, 1992, in Topeka, Kan...Majoring in psychology.