Bears Click on All Cylinders in 8-1 Win Over SEMO
March 20, 2012
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Missouri State used a pair of big innings and another strong effort from its mound corps to defeat SEMO, 8-1, Tuesday afternoon at Capaha Field. MSU (16-6) scored seven of its eight runs during critical rallies in the fourth and seventh innings, while four Bears pitchers combined to hold the Redhawks' offense in check throughout the contest.
Luke Voit led Missouri State's 11-hit offensive attack with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, while Keenen Maddox drove in a season-high three runs with a 2-for-3 day to help the Bears notch their fourth-straight victory.
Three Bears relievers teamed up to keep the Redhawks (7-15) off the scoreboard for 4 2/3 innings to run the MSU bullpen's scoreless streak to 16 1/3-consecutive innings. Grant Gordon (3-0) picked up the victory by working 2.2 innings in relief of Cody Schumacher, striking-out three while allowing just two hits. Erik Shannahan followed with two more shutout innings, and Jake Powers turned in a scoreless ninth to close out the win.
Additionally, Missouri State ran its string of games without an error to six straight, a span of 226 defensive chances without a miscue.
Pitching was the name of the game over the first third of the contest, as Schumacher and SEMO starter Dylan Lynn gave up just one hit between them through three innings. Things would change in the fourth inning, however, as neither starter would survive to see the fifth. Lynn was lifted for reliever Michael Patman, who promptly recorded two outs before the next five Bears' hitters reached base via three singles and a pair of walks. Brock Chaffin started the rally with a laser beam off the right-field wall, and Brent Seifert and Dylan Becker followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases.
Maddox made the Redhawks pay, drilling a 1-1 Patman offering into left field to drive in both Chaffin and Seifert with the first two runs of the afternoon. The Bears weren't quite done, as Trey Massenberg lined a base hit to left-center to bring in Becker and make it a 3-0 contest.
The three-run cushion would not last long for Missouri State, as Trenton Moses led-off the bottom half of the fourth with a towering drive that cleared the wall in left-center field for his ninth home run of the season. Schumacher retired the next hitter, but ran into trouble when Andy Lennington singled and Derek Gibson drew a walk to put two on with one out.
But Gordon relieved Schumacher and worked his way out of trouble by getting Cole Bieser on a grounder to third and Taylor Heon on a fly ball to center to preserve the MSU lead.
MSU would get the run back on Seifert's third homer of the season with one out in the sixth, then put the game away with a four-run seventh, highlighted by Becker's first two collegiate RBIs. Spiker Helms got the big inning started with a lead-off walk, moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and trotted home on Voit's single to left that made it a 5-1 game. Chaffin followed with his second hit of the afternoon, before Seifert walked to load the bases once again. Becker then lined a base hit through the right side to plate two, and Maddox drove in his third run of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly to center to push the margin to seven runs.
In addition to the Bears' work out of the pen, Schumacher was strong for MSU at the onset, fanning four while allowing just one run on three hits over 3 1/3 innings.
Patman (0-3) suffered the loss for SEMO, surrendering the first three runs of the afternoon over just 2/3 of a frame, after Lynn faced just one batter over the minimum through the first three innings.
Missouri State returns home to Hammons Field Friday (March 23) to open Missouri Valley Conference play with a three-game series against the defending league champ Creighton. Game time Friday is set for 6:30 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. contest Saturday (March 24), and a 1 p.m. tilt to wrap up the set on Sunday (March 25).