Murphy Stops Cowboys Again to Run Bears' Win Streak to Five Games
March 6, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - For the second time in seven days, Missouri State got a dominant performance from junior pitcher Clay Murphy to knock off Oklahoma State, this time by a 5-2 score Tuesday in the Bears' home opener at Hammons Field. Murphy turned in his first career complete game, limiting the Cowboys (6-7) to two runs on seven hits while striking-out eight to help the Bears (10-3) run their win streak to five games.
With the victory, Murphy (2-0) ran his career record versus the Cowboys to 3-0, as MSU won for the fifth time in-a-row in the series. The right-hander allowed single runs in the third and fourth innings, but limited OSU scoring chances from that point forward to hand the Bears their third win of the season against a Big 12 foe.
With Murphy doing the heavy lifting on the mound, the quartet of Brock Chaffin, Luke Voit and Trey Massenberg provided much of the offense for the Bears, who out-hit the Cowboys, 9-7. Chaffin went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Voit drove in MSU's fourth run of the day and later tallied another himself in the eighth to give Murphy added breathing room. After a Chaffin lead-off double in the second gave MSU its first hit of the day, the Bears grabbed the early momentum when Massenberg unloaded on a Blake Barnes offering for a two-run homer--the first of his Missouri State career.
Murphy extended his string of consecutive innings against Big 12 opponents without giving up an earned run to 26.0 innings, before Jared Womack drove a two-out home run over the wall in right in the third to pull the Cowboys to within 2-1. OSU evened the score in the fourth after Zach Fish tripled to deep center to lead-off the frame, then trotted home on Robbie Rea's base hit to left.
Missouri State took to the offensive again in the fifth, getting hits from Spiker Helms and Dylan Becker to set up what would prove to be the decisive rally. Reigning MVC Player of the Week Brent Seifert doubled to chase home Helms, and Voit delivered a sacrifice fly to bring in Becker for a 4-2 MSU advantage. The Bears would add another run in the seventh thanks to a two-out hit and a steal of second base by Voit, followed by an RBI single by Chaffin that made it a three-run affair.
Murphy would work his way out of trouble in each of the final two innings to wrap up the decision. He would fan Rea to end the eighth with the bases full of Cowboys, then retiring Jarrett Higgins to end the game after a pair of singles brought the tying run to the plate.
Barnes (1-2) suffered his second defeat in as many games against the Bears, allowing all five runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. Mark Ginther paced the OSU offense with two hits in four trips to the plate.
Becker and fellow freshman Eric Cheray also made major contributions to the MSU cause. Becker reached base three times in four plate appearances, while Cheray went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.
The Bears will continue their homestand with a three-game set against SIU Edwardsville this weekend, beginning with a 3 p.m., contest Friday (March 9).