Bears Fall to Tennessee Tech in Season Opener, 3-2
Feb. 17, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Despite out-hitting Tennessee Tech and getting a strong outing from starting pitcher Nick Petree, the Missouri State baseball team dropped a season-opening 3-2 decision to the Golden Eagles Friday afternoon at Rip Griffin Park. Tennesse Tech took advantage of a pair of MSU fielding errors and got six shutout innings from starter Tristan Archer to post the opening-day win.
Archer (1-0) was in command throughout, giving up just four singles and striking out five over his six innings. The right-hander repeatedly worked out jams to preserve the TTU lead despite walking six batters and hitting another.
Luke Voit's seventh-inning two-run homer supplied all of the Bears' scoring, which stranded 12 baserunners in the contest despite recording eight hits and drawing seven walks from TTU pitchers.
Petree (0-1) suffered the tough-luck loss after surrendering just one earned run on seven hits over seven innings. The right-hander fanned five hitters while walking just one.
Tennessee Tech opened the scoring in the top of the second by taking advantage of a Missouri State misuce on Ben Burgess's lead-off grounder. Freshman Eric Cheray fielded the slow roller cleanly, but his throw was wide of the bag, allowing Burgess to move into scoring position. Petree retired the next batter on a ground ball to short, but Michael Morris floated a soft liner that dropped into shallow centerfield to bring in Burgess with the first tally of the afternoon.
Petree, who worked around a lead-off single in the top of the first, would settle into a groove and give up just two hits until the fifth inning, when Austin Wulf and Chad Hayes would come through with back-to-back two-out singles to drive in Zephan Guyear for a 2-0 Golden Eagle advantage.
Missouri State's offense generated scoring opportunities in both the third and fifth innings against Archer, but never could break through. Spiker Helms's one-out single in the third, coupled with a two-out walk to Brent Seifert gave the Bears their first true threat of the game. But Voit tapped out to first to stall that rally, then flied to center with the bases loaded to end the fifth.
The Bears mounted their biggest scoring threat in the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out courtesy of a walk, hit batsman and a Brock Chaffin bunt single. But Archer would strike out Cheray and pinch hitter Dylan Becker, then coax a fly ball to center from Helms to end the inning and preserve the two-run lead.
Tennessee Tech would tack on another unearned run in the bottom half of the sixth when Guyear's two-out grounder scooted through Seifert's legs to chase home Evan Frazier with what would prove to be the deciding run and a 3-0 Golden Eagle lead.
Voit's two-run shot came after a lead-off double by Kevin Medrano against reliever Nick Price. Koby Peebles kept the rally going with a base hit to right, but Zane Morton got Joey Hawkins to bounce back to the mound for an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play.
MSU would threaten one more time in the top of the ninth, getting a hit and stolen base from Medrano to put the tying run in scoring position with nobody out. But once again, Tennessee Tech slammed the door shut, as Morton finished off the save by retiring Seifert on a fly to right, Voit via a strikeout and Peebles on a grounder to second.
Clay Murphy finished the game for the Bears, striking out a pair of Golden Eagles in a scoreless inning of work.
Helms and Medrano led the way for MSU with two hits apiece, while Wulf went 3-for-4 at the plate to pace Tennessee Tech's offensive attack.
The Bears turn right back around and face host Texas Tech at 4 p.m., before squaring off against Tennesse Tech again at Noon Saturday (Feb. 18).