Bears Rally Late for 9-4 Victory over UTA
Feb. 25, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas - After watching a three-run lead slip away, the Missouri State Bears scored five runs in the top of the ninth to pull out a 9-4 victory over UT Arlington Saturday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark. Senior first baseman Brock Chaffin led the way with a 5-for-5 day at the plate and provided the critical blow in the Bears' late rally with a three-run double, as MSU ran its win streak to five games.
Chaffin, who also drove in the tying run in the top of the eighth inning, matched his career high for hits and totaled five RBIs on the afternoon, as the Bears out-hit the Mavericks 10-6. His one-out double in the ninth came after the Bears scored the go-ahead runs on a Luke Voit slow roller up the first base line that allowed both Trey Massenberg and Spiker Helms to score on an erratic throw to the plate. UTA issued an intentional walk to Dylan Becker that loaded the bases, and Chaffin drove an Adam Boydston pitch into the right-centerfield gap to clear the bases and effectively seal the victory.
Freshman left-hander Tyler Burgess earned the victory with two shutout innings in relief of Pierce Johnson, who was dominant early in the contest, holding UTA hitless into the sixth inning. The duo combined to strike-out 10 UTA batters.
Missouri State built an early three-run lead, scoring once in the top of the second and twice in the third. The Bears got a lead-off hit from Voit and a one-out, RBI-single from Chaffin to open the scoring against UTA right-hander Collin Reynolds. The Bears benefitted from a lead-off hit batsman, a Kevin Medrano base hit and a Reynolds balk to set up their third-inning rally. Brent Seifert drove home Patrick Drake with a ground ball to short, and Voit followed with his second straight hit to bring in Medrano for a 3-0 MSU advantage.
Johnson kept the Mavericks out of the hit column and off the scoreboard until the sixth, when Derek Miller led-off the frame with a triple to right and scored on a grounder to first off the bat of Preston Beck. UTA put the tying run on base via a two-out walk, but Johnson retired Jordan Vaughn to end the inning and preserve the MSU lead.
UTA finally got its offense going in the seventh, as Greg McCall led-off with a walk and pinch hitter Jake Pinchback singled to right off Johnson. The Bears nearly got out of the inning unscathed, as Voit picked-off McCall at second for the first out, and Johnson fanned Stewart Hill for the second. But the Bears' junior right-hander beaned Miller and gave up an RBI-single to Ryan Walker, before Beck cleared the bases with a two-run triple that handed the Mavericks their first lead of the game.
MSU wasted little time in evening the contest, as Seifert walked and Voit singled for the third time to get the rally going. Becker moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt, and Chaffin drove in Seifert with a single to center to square the score at 4-4.
Burgess (3-0) held the Mavericks in check, striking out two in the eighth and another in the ninth on the heels of MSU's key rally to win for the third time in as many outings as a Bear. Johnson allowed four runs on four hits, while striking-out seven in 7.0 innings of work.
Voit also came up big for the Bears, going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored, while Beck paced the UTA attack with a three-RBI day.
The Bears (5-2) will conclude play in Arlington Sunday with an 11 a.m., matchup against Houston Baptist.