Eighth-Inning Rally Dooms Bears in 10-6 Loss to Dallas Baptist
April 1, 2012
DALLAS - Despite battling back from two-run deficits on two different occasions, the Missouri State Bears couldn't hold off a hard-charging Dallas Baptist offense in a 10-6 setback Sunday afternoon at Patriot Field. The Patriots, who racked up 17 hits and coaxed seven walks from Missouri State pitchers, scored four times in the bottom of the eighth inning to turn the tide for good in the rubber match of the two clubs' three-game series.
Michael Miller led the DBU attack with a pair of two-run singles, including the decisive blow in the eighth that put the Patriots on top for good. Miller's bases-loaded liner chased home Landon Anderson and Jaime Garrido, then skipped under the glove of MSU left fielder Patrick Drake to allow Duncan McAlpine to come all the way around from first to turn a tie game into an insurmountable three-run DBU advantage.
The final outcome overshadowed a strong offensive day for the Bears that included rallies from deficits of 4-2 and 6-4. Missouri State broke on top in the second, taking advantage of a lead-off walk to grab a 1-0 lead when Keenen Maddox drove in Brent Seifert with a one-out single to center off DBU starter Andrew Elkins. The Bears added another tally the following inning when Kevin Medrano doubled home Eric Cheray, who singled to lead-off the frame.
But the Patriots (17-9) responded in their half of the third, striking for four runs on four hits a walk and a hit batsman off MSU starter Clay Murphy to claim a two-run advantage of their own. Austin Elkins reached first on a bouncing ball to shortstop that was ruled an infield hit, and Boomer Collins drove him in with a double down the left field line for the first DBU run of the afternoon. Murphy beaned Joel Hutter, and Landon Anderson singled to right-center field before Jaime Garrido knotted the score with a sacrifice fly. Finally, Michael Miller delivered the biggest blow of the inning with a two-out, two-run single to left to make it a 4-2 game.
The Bears (21-8) came right back at DBU in the fourth, erasing the margin thanks to solo shots by Seifert and Trey Massenberg.
The game would remain deadlocked at 4-all until the bottom of the sixth, when the home team put their first three hitters on base before Grant Gordon issued a walk to Hutter to force home the go-ahead run. Anderson then came through with a sacrifice fly to bring R.J. Talamantes to the plate, re-establishing DBU's two-run lead.
But MSU bounced back with runs in the seventh and eighth innings to even it up once again. Massenberg got the ball rolling in the seventh, leading-off with his fifth triple of the year, then coming home on Derek Mattea's base hit to left. Medrano started the eighth with a walk, moved over to third on Seifert's third hit of the afternoon and scored the equalizer on Brock Chaffin's squeeze bunt.
However, it would not be enough to hold off Dallas Baptist. Three different DBU players recorded three-hit games, as the Patriots piled up season-high totals in both hits and walks for a Missouri State opponent.
Gordon suffered his first loss of the season for MSU after giving up six runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings.
Seifert scored twice and drove in a run with his fifth homer of the season that capped a 3-for-3 day at the plate. Massenberg, who homered for the second time in 2012, also accounted for a pair of MSU runs and an RBI.
Up next, the Bears return home for a pair of games against Arkansas State Tuesday (6:30 p.m.) and Wednesday (3 p.m.) at Hammons Field, before heading to Peoria for a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series with Bradley next weekend.