Bears Put on Power Display in 12-6 Win Over Southern Illinois
April 29, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State rode a seven-run fifth inning and its first four-home run game in seven years to a 12-6 victory over Southern Illinois Sunday afternoon at Hammons Field. Led by Kevin Medrano's 3-for-5 day, the Bears (31-14, 10-4 MVC) pounded out 13 hits on the afternoon and received another strong mound effort from Cody Schumacher to claim the rubber match of the series with the Salukis.
Keenen Maddox, who finished 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, belted a three-run homer as part of Missouri State's key fifth-inning rally, and Eric Cheray sparked the Bears' attack with a 2-for-2 day that included two walks, an RBI double and his first career home run. The Bears--who had not recorded more than two home runs in any previous contest this season--also got long balls from Brock Chaffin and Dylan Becker to record their first four-homer effort since a May 15, 2005 game against Illinois State.
Missouri State, which scored just four times in the first two games of the series, broke out of it offensive slumber in a big way in the fifth inning to turn a 1-1 game into a seven-run advantage. Six of the first seven MSU hitters in the inning reached base via hits against SIU starter Sam Coonrod (2-3) and reliever Aaron Snyder. Cheray doubled home Trey Massenberg with the first run of the frame, before Medrano came through with the second of his three hits on the day to put runners on the corners with one out. Brent Seifert and Chaffin delivered run-scoring hits, before Maddox blasted his second homer of the series--a three-run shot into the Missouri State bullpen in left--to push the Bears' lead to 7-1. Finally, Becker joined the power display, driving a Snyder pitch out to right-center to stretch the margin to eight runs.
Coming off a 3-for-5 performance Saturday, Chaffin came up big in Sunday's finale as well, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs and his first home run of the season. His two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth capped a three-run inning that upped the Bears' lead to 11-1.
While the Bears' offense stole the show, the work of Schumacher (6-0) was critical to MSU's 10th Valley win of the year as well. The junior right-hander matched a career high with nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking just one hitter. The win marked the 11th time in 12 Schumacher starts the Bears have come away victorious this season.
After scoring six times with two outs in an inning in Saturday's 8-3 win over the Bears, the Salukis kept their run of two-out magic going in the top of the third to grab an early 1-0 lead Sunday. Donny Duschinsky drove a Schumacher pitch through Seifert's legs at third for a two-base erroor to get the SIU rally going, and Chris Serritella drilled a run-scoring single into right to put the visitors on top.
Cheray quickly answered the SIU tally with one out in the bottom of the third, launching his first home run as a Bear over the wall in right to make it a 1-1 game.
Schumacher would hold the Salukis in check from that point, striking out five hitters while retiring nine of 10 hitters from the fourth through the sixth innings.
SIU (24-20, 9-6 MVC) scratched out five runs over the final three innings against Schumacher and junior reliever Grant Gordon, but the Bears' duo held off the potent Saluki offense, finishing the afternoon with 13 strikeouts in all.
Jake Welch led the SIU attack with a 2-for-5, three-RBI day, while Serritella, Brock Harding, Brian Bajer and Rennie Troggio each contributed two hits as well for the Salukis.
Up next, the Bears will travel to Lawrence, Kan., where they will face off against Air Force Friday at 2 p.m. to open a three-game non-conference stretch. MSU will take on Air Force again Saturday at 11 a.m., before concluding the weekend with a 1 p.m. game against host Kansas on Sunday.