Bears Rally For 3-2 Extra-Inning Win Over ORU
Feb. 25, 2014
TULSA, Okla. - Missouri State scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th inning to post a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over Oral Roberts Tuesday afternoon at J.L. Johnson Stadium. Tate Matheny accounted for three of the Bears' five hits on the day, while Bryan Young turned in 2 1/3 innings of solid relief to earn his second win of the year.
The Bears (6-2) rallied from a 2-0 deficit, then relied on its bullpen to escape several late jams and give their offense time to push the deciding run across the plate with one out in the 10th. Patrick Drake got the ball rolling with a lead-off double left-center, moved to third on Joey Hawkins sacrifice and raced home on Jordan Romano's wild pitch with an 0-2 count on Matheny.
Adam Anawalt, the last of three Missouri State relievers on the day, closed out his third save as a Bear with a scoreless home half of the 10th, sending MSU to its sixth win in eight outings to start the 2014 season.
Matheny and Drake, who each missed the Bears' last three games at the Lobo Invite over the weekend following a collision in the outfield on Friday, teamed up to give the Bears' offense a boost in their return to the lineup. Matheny reached base in all five of his plate appearances, walking in the first before delivering hits in three straight at-bats to finish 3-for-4 with a double, stolen base and a run scored. Drake's fifth double of the season jump-started a stagnant MSU offense that had recorded just one hit since its game-tying rally in the sixth.
Clutch pitching was the story for the Bears, as Jake Powers logged five innings in his first start since May 2012, striking out four and holding ORU to two runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Junior lefty Tyler Burgess followed with his best outing of the season, a scoreless inning-and-two-third stint over which he gave up one hit and a walk. Young (2-0) was equally as effective, allowing a pair of hits and a walk and working out of jams in three consecutive innings after the Golden Eagles put their leadoff man on base.
After each starting pitcher permitted a pair of first-inning baserunners for the opposition, both settled in to turn in dominant stretches in the early stages of the game. Powers surrendered a two-out double to Matt Brandy and issued a walk to Logan Domenico in the opening frame, but struck out Tyler Boss to end the threat, then set down 10 of the next 11 ORU hitters, including seven in a row from the second through the fourth innings.
Powers's counterpart, Pepe Gomez, was equally as impressive in his first start of the season, retiring 14 of 15 MSU hitters - including eight straight at one point -- after walking two hitters in the opening frame. Gomez struck out three and allowed just one MSU hit - a Tate Matheny single in the third - through the first five innings.
ORU (1-6) broke the scoring seal in the fifth, as Brandon Healy's two-out, two-run double put the home team on top, 2-0. Jose Trevino started the inning with a solid single to left, moved into scoring position on Joey Migliaccio's sac bunt, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Powers induced a one-hopper to third, and Becker threw home to nail Trevino for the second out. But Healy drove a 1-0 offering deep into the gap in right-center to chase home both baserunners for a 2-0 ORU lead.
The Bears had an answer, however, as Matheny started a two-run rally in the sixth with a lead-off double to right. Dylan Becker's bouncer to second base was mishandled for an error to put runners on the corners, and Eric Cheray snapped a 17-inning scoring drought for MSU with an RBI single through the right side of the infield. ORU reliever Kyler Stout fanned Spencer Johnson for the first out of the inning, but Matt Fultz's long sac fly to center allowed Becker to trot home with the equalizing run.
From that point, both bullpens did the heavy lifting to keep the game even through nine innings. The Bears threatened in the eighth, using Matheny's third straight hit to put a runner in scoring position with one out. But the relief combination of Hayden Holley and Colin Hightower escaped danger by getting MSU's No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Cheray and Johnson, to pop up and strikeout, respectively.
ORU's offense kept the heat on the Bears in the late innings as well. The Golden Eaglers put their leadoff man on base in each of the last four innings, only to see three MSU relievers come up big in each instance. Following another lead-off hit by Trevino and a two-out walk by Burgess in the seventh, Young entered the game and promptly struck out Healy to end the inning. The freshman right-hander delivered in the clutch again in the eighth, rolling a 6-4-3 double-play ball following a hit by Brandy to begin the inning.
With the game on the line in the ninth, Young faced his biggest challenge of the day, as the Golden Eagles put two on with one out thanks to a lead-off walk and a one-out single by Migliaccio. Young coaxed a fly ball from Austen Colt, then completed his outing with another key strikeout, this time getting Emmanuel Forcier to chase a third strike.
Anawalt gave up another lead-off hit in the home half of the 10th when Healy lined a single to right-center, but the junior got a one-out grounder to second before fanning Boss to end the game.
Hightower (0-1) suffered the loss for ORU, allowing the go-ahead run on just one hit over 1.2 innings. Healy, who drove in the only ORU runs of the afternoon, was one of four Golden Eagles to register two-hit games.
Up next, the Bears open the home portion of their 2014 schedule Friday (Feb. 28) at Hammons Field with a 3:05 p.m. contest versus Purdue.