Murphy, Medrano Lead Bears to Fourth-Straight Win Over Oklahoma State, 7-1
Feb. 29, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla. - Behind another dominant pitching performance from Clay Murphy and a four-hit game by Kevin Medrano, the Missouri State Bears earned their second win of the season versus a Big 12 opponent with a commanding 7-1 victory over Oklahoma State Wednesday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. The Bears (6-3) ran their win streak in the series with the Cowboys to four consecutive games and handed head coach Keith Guttin his 998th career victory, moving him into a tie for 46th on the NCAA Division I coaching wins list.
Highlighting the victory was another shutdown performance by Murphy, who ran his streak of consecutive innings versus Big 12 opponents without giving up an earned run to 23 1/3 innings. The junior right-hander held the Cowboys in check throughout the contest, allowing just one unearned run while scattering seven hits and striking-out four batters over 6.2 innings to notch his first win of the year.
With Murphy taking care of business on the mound, Medrano turned in his best offensive effort of the young season, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. The senior second baseman recorded safeties in each of his first four trips to the plate to run his streak of hits in consecutive at-bats to six.
Both starting pitchers worked out of first-inning jams, then settled into keep the game scoreless through two innings. Missouri State put its first three batters of the game on base, as Spiker Helms drew a lead-off walk before Medrano and Luke Voit deposited base hits into leftfield to load the bases. But OSU right-hander Blake Barnes struck-out the next three hitters to escape the frame unscathed.
Murphy also found himself in early trouble when the Cowboys put a pair of runners on base with one out in the first. He followed his OSU counterpart's lead, reaching back to get two strikeouts to end the threat.
Missouri State broke on top in the third when Medrano delivered his second hit to start the inning, advanced to second on a passed ball and came around on a Brock Chaffin single to right-centerfield.
The Bears' fourth began innocently enough with a Dylan Becker fly ball to center, but Trey Massenberg kicked the MSU offense into gear with a triple into the gap in right-center. MSU utilized some small ball, recording three infield hits and three stolen bases to extend its lead. Bunt singles by Eric Cheray and Medrano drove in runs and sandwiched a line-drive single by Helms off the leg of Barnes. Voit plated the third and final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center for a 4-0 Bears lead.
Oklahoma State (5-4) finally got to Murphy for a run in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of a two-out error and a Wes Jones base hit to cut its deficit to 4-1. Freshman left-hander Tyler Burgess relieved Murphy and promptly squashed the rally by getting Trey Whaley to ground to short.
MSU responded with three more runs in the top half of the eighth, scoring twice on a two-out bouncer to third off the bat of Voit that OSU third baseman Mark Ginther fielded cleanly, but fired wide of the bag at first. Chaffin capped the scoring with a hard single up the middle to chase home Voit and make it a six-run game.
That would be more than enough cushion for Burgess, who would close out the win with two more scoreless innings for his first career save.
In addition to Medrano's big day at the plate, Chaffin finished 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, and Helms chipped in two hits and scored two runs as well.
Barnes (1-1) was saddled with the loss for the Cowboys after allowing four runs (three earned) on 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Missouri State wraps up its season-opening 12-game road swing with a three-game set at Northwestern State, beginning Friday with a 6:30 p.m., game at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches, La.