Dallas Baptist Sweeps Twin Bill to Continue Bears' Dry Spell
March 15, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Dallas Baptist used a pair of ninth-inning rallies to complete a doubleheader and series sweep of Missouri State Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field, topping the Bears 2-0 in the opener before getting a two-out home run from Austin Listi in the nightcap to pull out a 1-0 decision.
DBU starting pitchers Cy Sneed and Cory Taylor combined for 15.0 shutout innings in the two victories, striking out 18 Bears while permitting just nine hits and three bases on balls to extend MSU's scoreless drought to 32 consecutive innings.
Listi's two-out blast to left on a 1-0 offering from MSU starter Matt Hall (1-3) provided the winning margin in game two, spoiling a dominant performance by the sophomore left-hander. Hall allowed just five hits and one walk, striking out six Patriots in his first complete game as a Bear.
Taylor was even more dominant, fanning 11 Bears and giving up just four hits, as DBU completed a shutdown series against a Missouri State offense that entered the weekend leading the Missouri Valley Conference in extra-base hits. In their three games against the Patriots, the Bears were held to just 11 hits -- all singles - and failed to score in three consecutive games for the first time in the 51-year history of the MSU program.
After going 1-for-4 in game one, Tate Matheny led the Bears with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate in the series finale to extend his hit streak to a career-best 13 games.
Listi paced the Patriots' attack with a 2-for-4 game, while Josh Urban (3-0) picked up the win with a scoreless inning in relief of Taylor. Brandon Koch locked down his second save in as many days by striking out Matt Fultz with the tying run on base in the ninth.
DBU (15-4) completed a perfect 4-0 week, stretching its win streak to five games overall with their third straight ninth-inning rally against the Bears. In game one, shortstop Trevin Sonnier got things started for Dallas Baptist in a scoreless game when he came through with a lead-off ground-rule double to deep right-center. Bears starter Jon Harris then walked third baseman Nash Knight on four pitches before a critical error allowed Dallas Baptist to score the eventual deciding run.
First baseman Mike Wesolowski laid down a bunt to try to advance the runners, but Harris overthrew first base to allow Sonnier to score and put runners on second and third with nobody out. After loading the bases on a walk to Listi, Harris's day was done. Right-hander Adam Anawalt coaxed Daniel Salters to ground into a force play at the plate for the first out, but Justin Wall beat out a potential inning-ending double-play grounder that allowed Wesolowski to cross the plate for the final 2-0 margin.
Sneed (3-1) picked up the win for the Patriots with eight shutout innings. The right-hander controlled the Bears from the outset, as he struck out seven, allowed only five hits and two walks before handing the ball over to Joseph Shaw, who closed out the Bears in order in the ninth to pick up his third save of the season.
The Bears' offense wasted a solid outing by Harris (1-2), who allowed only three hits and the two runs (one earned) over eight-plus innings. Harris struck out seven, walked two, and threw 67 strikes out of 101 pitches.
Harris retired the first 16 Patriots before second baseman Drew Turbin singled on a sharp line drive to center field to end the Bears starter's bid for a perfect game. Sonnier then extended the threat when he singled on a grounder in the hole between first and second.
However, Matheny turned in a crucial running catch in center field to save at least one run in the sixth. Knight belted a long drive to left-center, but the sophomore center fielder made the grab on the run before crashing into the fence. Harris got out of the inning by inducing Wesolowski to ground into a force out.
As part of an ongoing trend, the Bears had precious few opportunities to break through and score a run against the visitors from Texas. One opportunity came in the fifth inning when, with one out, junior shortstop Joey Hawkins walked before Aaron Meyer laid down a sacrifice bunt to get him to second base.
Matheny delivered an infield single to shortstop, which put runners on the corners with two outs. However, Sneed utilized the fake-to-third, move-to-first pickoff play to perfection, catching Matheny off first base to end the frame and the threat.
For his part, junior second baseman Eric Cheray had three of Missouri State's five hits in the opener.
Game two followed a similar refrain, as Hall andTaylor engaged in a scoreless duel for seven innings before the DBU hurler gave way to his bullpen. Hall retired the first eight hitters of the game in order, while Taylor yielded a lead-off single to Matheny before setting down 12 of the next 13 MSU hitters he faced.
MSU threatened against Sean Stutzman in the eighth, as pinch hitter Conor Smith drew a one-out walk before Spencer Johnson's short fly to left-center field fell in for an apparent hit. But a critical call by third base umpire Tim Cordill turned the tide, as Sonnier retrieved the ball promptly and made an alert throw to second, which was ruled to have beaten pinch runner Matt Dezort to the bag for the second out of the inning. Matheny then flew out to right, halting yet another MSU threat.
Up next, the Bears (8-9) will conclude their four-game homestand with a 6:35 p.m. contest against No. 19 Oklahoma State Tuesday (March 18) at Hammons Field.