Oklahoma State Rallies for 5-4 Win Over Bears in 10 Innings
March 5, 2013
STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State erased a late two-run deficit to walk off with a 5-4 victory over the Missouri State Bears Tuesday evening at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. Randy McCurry pitched the 27th-ranked Cowboys out of a pinch in the top of the 10th inning, then drew a bases-loaded walk with one out in the bottom half of the frame to force home the game-winning run.
After the Cowboys loaded the bases with nobody out for the second time in three innings, McCurry capped a night in which he went 2-for-4 by drawing his second walk of the game on a full-count offering from Erik Shannahan. McCurry (2-1) also picked up the victory on the mound, moving from his shortstop position in the top half of the 10th and working the Cowboys out of a tight spot after the Bears (7-3) put a pair of runners on base with just one out.
The walk-off win for OSU (10-2) was made possible by a late two-run rally for the Cowboys, who trailed 4-2 entering the eighth inning. Despite allowing just three hits over the last five innings and only seven for the night, MSU pitchers were hampered by an uncharacteristic bout of wildness, as four Bear hurlers combined to issue 10 walks in the contest, including five in the key Cowboy rallies in the eighth and 10th innings.
Burgess (2-1) suffered the setback for the Bears after giving up two hits and a pair of walks over two innings of relief work.
The victory for OSU snapped MSU's string of five straight wins in the series, as well as the Bears' two-game road win streak against ranked opponents.
Bears starter Cody Schumacher worked his way into and out of trouble in each of the first two innings to give MSU an early lift. After using just one pitch to retire lead-off man Jarrett Higgins on a bunt attempt to begin the first, Schumacher issued back-to-back walks to Saulyer Saxon and Randy McCurry to open the door for the Cowboys. The senior hurler came up with a big strikeout of cleanup man Tanner Krietemeier, but Zach Fish's grounder to second eluded Dylan Becker for a two-out error that loaded the bases. Schumacher made it a moot point, however, coaxing a come-backer off the bat of Victor Romero to end the threat.
The Cowboys went back to work in the second, as Schumacher plunked Gage Green and walked nine-hole hitter Brendan McCurry with one out to set up another scoring opportunity for the home club. But Schumacher got the second out on a Higgins fly to right, then struck out Saxon to get out of the inning unscathed.
Schumacher would not be as fortunate in the third, however, as Krietemeier doubled to left-center with one out to give the Cowboys their first hit of the day, and Fish drove him home with a single to center for a 1-0 OSU lead.
OSU starter Mark Robinette would hold the Bears' bats in check through the first four innings, despite allowing at least one baserunner in every inning. He would hold MSU to just one hit - a two-out Keenen Maddox single in the first inning -- until an infield single by Travis McComack kicked off the Bears' critical fifth-inning rally. Following a Patrick Drake sacrifice, Tate Matheny extended his personal hit streak to eight games and knotted the score at 1-1 with a run-scoring double into the right-field corner. The Cowboy bullpen complicated matters, as Phil Wilson and Vince Wheeland combined to walk four straight MSU hitters to force in three more runs and hand the Bears a 4-1 advantage.
OSU immediately went to work on trimming the gap, getting a two-out, RBI double from Romero plated a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it a two-run game. Schumacher avoided further damage in the frame by retiring Robbie Rea on a fly ball to center, before giving way to Grant Gordon to start the sixth inning.
Wheeland and a fourth OSU reliever, Kyle Gehrs, combined to slow the Bears' offense to a crawl over the ensuing four innings to grant the Cowboy bats time to chip away at the MSU lead. After McComack's lead-off single in the sixth, the duo joined forces to set down 12 straight Bears' hitters.
Gordon turned in two scoreless innings of his own for MSU to keep it a 4-2 game through seven. But the senior right-hander ran into trouble in the eighth, as put their first three batters on base courtesy of a pair of walks and a Rea base hit. Burgess entered the fray and got back-to-back fly outs to center, but the Cowboys plated runs on each to even the score at 4-4.
After another one-two-three inning from OSU pitching in the top of the ninth, Burgess avoided trouble in the home half after a single by Randy McCurry to start the inning. Following a sac bunt that moved the runner into scoring position, Burgess got Romero on a liner to left and Rea on a fly to right to end the threat.
It was MSU's turn to rally in the top of the 10th, as Maddox's lead-off single and Koby Peebles's one-out hit generated a scoring chance for the Bears. However, McCurry worked out of the jam by rolling a pair of grounders to second.
OSU started its decisive rally with another walk by Green, followed by a hit batsman and a bunt single by Higgins. Shannahan struck out the first batter he faced in Craig McConaughy, but his 3-2 offering to McCurry was wide of the plate to force in Green with the game-winner.
Maddox led the Bears with two hits, a walk and a run scored, while McComack finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Up next, the Bears open the home portion of their schedule Friday (March 8) afternoon at 3 p.m., when they begin a three-game series against Northwestern at Hammons Field. Friday has been designated Dollar Day at Hammons Field, with MSU student tickets available for $1. Students must show a valid and current student ID along with a student ticket to gain entry to Hammons Field. Bears' single-game tickets are priced at $5 for the general public, $2.50 for Missouri State faculty and staff, $2 for students and $4 per person for groups of 20 or more for the 2013 season. All children ages 12 and under will require a $2 ticket for admission.
Advance tickets for this weekend's series, or any Bears baseball game in 2013, may be obtained in person at the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena, or by calling (417) 836-7678 or (417) 836-3302.