Bears' Offense Warms Up in 11-4 Win Over SEMO
March 27, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State's offense heated up on a cold afternoon to pound out a season-high 17 hits in an 11-4 victory over Southeast Missouri State Wednesday at Hammons Field. Koby Peebles and Tate Matheny registered the first four-hit games of their MSU careers, and Luke Voit's three-run homer highlighted the Bears' five-run first inning.
Matheny, who tied a Missouri State single-game record with three doubles, finished the day 4-for-6 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored, and Peebles recorded hits in each of his four trips to the plate and scored three times to power the MSU attack. The twin four-hit performances represent the first by MSU players since Voit's five-hit effort vs. Bradley in the MVC Championship on May 24, 2012.
Voit would drive in four runs on the day and score two of his own, while five MSU relievers would combine to hold the Redhawks scoreless on five hits over the final 7 1/3 innings.
After Missouri State starter Tyler Thompson worked his way out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top half of the first, the Bears (15-6) pounced on the Redhawks in the home half of the inning, scoring five times before SEMO starter Tyler Thomas could record a single out. Matheny's wind-aided double to right started the rally, and Dylan Becker drew a walk before Voit hammered his second home run of the season over the bullpen in left to stake the Bears to a 3-0 advantage. Conor Smith and Peebles followed with base hits, and Keenen Maddox doubled down the right-field line to chase home both baserunners for a five-run MSU cushion.
SEMO (12-14) would strike back in the second, plating four runs of its own against Thompson to make it a one-run contest. Dalton Hewitt's one-out single scored the first run of the day for the visitors and a two-out double steal produced a second SEMO tally. Matt Tellor's double to right-center moments later brought in two more runs to draw the Redhawks to within 5-4.
But freshman left-hander Matt Hall (2-0) entered the fray and ended SEMO's second-inning rally by coaxing a fly ball to left, then promptly retired eight of the next 10 batters he faced to keep the Bears on top. Hall would work 3 1/3 scoreless innings altogether to earn his second straight victory, allowing just a two-out double in the third and a lead-off single in the fourth while striking out three Redhawks.
MSU would increase its lead to 6-4 in the third before blowing things open with a three-run fifth, capitalizing on lead-off singles by Peebles in each frame. Maddox, who reached base four times on the day, played a key role in each rally as well, walking in the third and singling in the fifth. Peebles would score the pivotal run in the fifth, trotting home from third on a two-out wild pitch that opened the flood gates for the Bears. Matheny and Becker followed with run-scoring singles to turn a two-run game into a 9-4 MSU advantage.
The Bears tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh, as Matheny's second double sparked another scoring opportunity. Voit chased the freshman home with an RBI single to left, and pinch hitter Conner Wilson doubled into the gap in right-center to complete the scoring.
Matheny doubled for the third time the following inning to tie a Bears record accomplished on 16 previous occasions, most recently by Kevin Medrano on April 7, 2012 at Bradley.
Cole Bieser doubled twice and scored a run for the Redhawks, while Hewitt and Andy Lennington each added two hits to the SEMO attack.
Thomas (1-1) suffered the defeat for SEMO after giving up all five first-inning runs on five hits and a walk.
Up next, the Bears open Missouri Valley Conference play Friday with a 4 p.m. game against Indiana State. The three-game series against the defending regular-season MVC champions concludes with single games Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) at Hammons Field.