Northwestern State Turns the Tables on the Bears to Even Series
March 2, 2013
CONWAY, Ark. - Northwestern State pounded out 13 hits and took advantage of four Missouri State errors to stop the Bears' four-game win streak with an 11-3 decision Saturday evening at Bear Stadium. Five different Demons registered two-hit games to help NSU record a season-high run total for a Missouri State opponent.
Toby Cornejo paced the NSU attack by going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored, and Matt Baca also contributed two hits and drove in two runs.
The Demons got a solid effort on the mound as well, with Robert Baker turning in six strong innings to improve to 2-0 on the year. He yielded just three MSU runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out two hitters. Relievers Steven Spann and Cameron Brewer slammed the door on the Bears, combining for three scoreless innings in which they gave up just one hit and struck out five.
The lopsided final margin followed another strong start for the Bears, who claimed a 14-3 win in Friday's series opener. For the second consecutive day, MSU jumped all over Northwestern State in the first inning to grab an early lead. With one out, Tate Matheny got things started with a single to left-center, and Keenen Maddox coaxed a walk. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base, and Luke Voit put MSU on the board with a bad-hop double to center that chased home both baserunners for a 2-0 Bears' lead.
Bears' starter Cody Schumacher was strong in his two-inning stint before yielding to Tyler Thompson after reaching his pre-determined pitch count. The right-hander struck out the side in the first, then worked around an error and a walk in the second, getting his fourth strikeout of the game to end the inning.
After a rough start in the first, Baker was equally effective for the Demons. The righty settled into a groove to retire eight straight hitters before Voit led off the fourth with the second of his three hits on the night.
NSU began its comeback in the third, taking advantage of a pair of two-out errors to cut the margin in half. The Demons delivered their biggest blow the following inning, scoring three times to take their first lead of the series. Cort Brinson singled with one out, and Mitch Huckabay drew a walk to set the table for NSU. Cornejo drove a double into the gap in right-center to bring in Brinson with the tying run, and a double steal by Huckabay and Cornejo put the Demons on top, 3-2. With two out, Thompson unleashed a wild pitch to allow Cornejo to trot home with the Demons' third run of the inning.
Baker would keep the Bears off the scoreboard until his sixth and final inning, when Travis McComack pulled a two-out triple up the right field line to drive home Conor Smith and cut the deficit to 4-3.
But the Demons answered right back in the seventh, scoring on a Will Watson grounder and a Baca RBI single to claim a 6-3 edge. NSU then iced the win in the ninth, striking for five runs on five hits and another Missouri State error.
Brewer would load the bases in the bottom half, but the Bears would come up empty and finish the game with 10 runners left on base, in addition to hitting into three double plays.
Voit led the MSU offense with a 3-for-4 night, and McComack added two hits in four trips to the plate.
Thompson (0-2) shouldered the loss for MSU after allowing five earned runs over four innings, despite striking out six Demons.
The Bears and Demons will concluded their three-game set Sunday (March 3) morning with a 9:30 a.m. contest.