Petree Notches Third-Straight Shutout to Lift Bears Past Creighton, 7-0
March 24, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Nick Petree recorded his third-consecutive shutout to lead the Missouri State Bears to their sixth-straight victory with a 7-0 whitewashing of Creighton Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field. The Bears' sophomore right-hander limited the Bluejays (11-9, 0-2 MVC) to four hits while striking out a season-high 10 batters in his first career complete-game shutout.
With the shutout, Petree (5-1) extended Missouri State's streak of consecutive scoreless innings over its last three games to 24.0, and his own personal string of scoreless innings to a career-best 23.0 over a span of three starts. Coupled with Friday night's five-hit, 3-0 blanking of the Bluejays by Pierce Johnson, Saturday's win gave the Bears their first back-to-back shutouts since April 30, 2006, when MSU accomplished the feat against Bradley.
Petree, who blanked SIU Edwardsville (March 9) and Oral Roberts (March 17) in his last two starts, surrendered just two hits through the first seven innings and retired 13 batters in a row at one point to give the Bears' offense time to click. It eventually did, registering at least one run in each of its final four at-bats, highlighted by Brent Seifert's three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh that effectively sealed the outcome of the contest.
The final margin was in no way indicative of the level of competition, particularly early in the game. Petree and CU starter Erik Mattingly combined to keep the game scoreless through four innings, with each team squandering early opportunities to put runs on the board. MSU got a one-out double in the second, but failed to score, then loaded the bases in the third only to see Brock Chaffin line out to right to end the inning. The Bluejays also wasted a chance to jump on top when the Bears committed a pair of errors in the fourth. But Petree retired Mike Gerber on a grounder to first and Alex Staehely on a fly ball to left to keep the visitors off the board.
MSU (18-6, 2-0 MVC) finally got its offense rolling in the fifth, using a pair of walks, a hit batsman and an Eric Cheray single to scratch out its first run of the afternoon. The Bears used a little more small ball to manufacture another run the following inning. Trey Massenberg walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a Derek Mattea sacrifice bunt and swiped third before Cheray squeezed him home to make it a 2-0 game.
The Bears broke the game open in the seventh when Luke Voit drew a one-out walk from Shane Liska, and Chaffin reached on a catcher's interference call to set the stage for Seifert, who blasted a 2-2 offering from Kurt Spomer over the right-field wall for his fourth long ball of the season push the MSU lead to five runs.
Seifert and Cheray led the Bears' offense with two hits apiece, and Medrano drove in a pair of runs with his eighth-inning double. Helms also enjoyed turned in a strong day, drawing three walks and reaching base in four of his five trips to the plate.
Mattingly (0-1) suffered the loss despite allowing just one earned run on four hits over four-plus innings in his first start of the season. Anthony Bemboom's two hits led CU, which has yet to record an extra-base hit in the series.
The Bears and Bluejays will conclude the opening weekend of Missouri Valley Conference play with a 1 p.m. tilt Sunday at Hammons Field.