Bears Take Series Opener from Northwestern State, 8-3
March 2, 2012
NATCHITOCHES, La. - The Missouri State Bears built an eight-run lead, then rode the right arm of Nick Petree to cruise to an 8-3 win over Northwestern State Friday night at Brown-Stroud Field. Petree allowed just three hits over seven innings, and Brent Seifert drove in four runs with a pair of two-out doubles to power the Bears to victory--the 999th of head coach Keith Guttin's career.
Petree (2-1) held the Demons scoreless on just two hits through six innings to give the Bears' offense ample time to build an 8-0 lead. The junior finished the night with five strikeouts, while allowing just a single earned run to win his second straight start.
Seifert was one of four Bears to finish with two hits on the night. Spiker Helms went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored, while Luke Voit was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Trey Massenberg finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
After Northwestern State starter Joe Scanio held Missouri State in check through the first two innings, the Bears broke through for two runs in the top of the third to take the early lead. Massenberg led-off with a hard single up the middle for MSU's first hit of the contest, then moved into scoring position on an Eric Cheray sacrifice bunt. Helms drilled a 2-2 pitch back through the box to drive in Massenberg, and Voit delivered a two-out knock to center to plate Helms and give Petree a 2-0 lead.
The Bears (7-3) added two more runs in the fifth to up their lead to 4-0, after Scanio and reliever Jacob Williford combined to walk the bases loaded. With one out, Seifert made the Demons pay, lining a Williford offering down the leftfield line to bring in Helms and Voit and make it a 4-0 game.
Missouri State essentially put the game away in the sixth, scoring four times with two outs to stretch the margin to eight runs. Voit chased home Helms with a base hit through the right side, and Chaffin singled up the middle on a 3-2 pitch to bring home Kevin Medrano to push the lead to 6-0. Seifert followed with one-hopper off the wall in left-center for his second two-run double of the night.
Northwestern State (2-7) broke up the shutout bid with three runs in the seventh, thanks to a pair of MSU errors. Mitch Huckabay gave the Demons their first run on a bases-loaded ground out, and Will Watson drove in the third and final NSU run with a two-out double to right.
Grant Gordon would relieve Petree in the eighth and close out the victory with two perfect innings.
The Bears and Demons will meet for game two of their three-game set Saturday at 5 p.m.