Dallas Baptist Walks Off With 6-5 Comeback Win Over Bears
May 2, 2014
DALLAS - Dallas Baptist pulled out a ninth-inning victory for the fourth time in as many games with Missouri State this season, as the Patriots rode a two-out RBI single from Mike Wesolowski for a 6-5 victory Friday to open the two clubs' Missouri Valley Conference series at Horner Ballpark.
Drew Turbin ignited the game-clinching rally with a two-out single to right, then swiped second before Wesolowski lined a Zach Merciez (1-2) offering just beyond the reach of a diving Joey Hawkins to allow the winning tally to cross the plate. The walk-off win completed a dramatic comeback for the Patriots (30-15, 8-5 MVC), who posted their fifth straight win in the series with MSU after rallying from a 5-2 deficit in the eighth inning on Austin Listi's three-run homer.
Brandon Koch (5-0) earned the victory after recording a key strikeout to end the top half of the ninth, stranding the potential go-ahead run at second base in the process. Wesolowski's game-winner capped a 2-for-5 performance for the Patriots' first baseman, while Listi drove in four of DBU's six runs on the night.
After engaging in eight scoreless innings to start each of their three non-conference games in Springfield, the Bears and Patriots needed just an inning and a half in their first-ever MVC match-up to top their combined run total from the entire March series. DBU broke the scoring seal in the home half of the first, capitalizing on a leadoff walk to Drew Turbin and a one-out hit by Daniel Salters to generate an early scoring opportunity. Austin Listi's sacrifice fly to center plated the first Patriot run, before a two-out error by Joey Hawkins on a Justin Wall bouncer to short brought in a second tally.
A Patrick Drake double and a pair of hit batsmen set the stage for the Bears in the second, allowing Hawkins to atone for his miscue with a clutch two-out, two-run single up the middle that knotted the score at 2-2. Next, a walk to Blake Graham kept the rally alive and loaded the bases, and Dylan Becker chopped an infield single to third to bring in Alex Jefferson with the go-ahead run. Tate Matheny coaxed a walk to force home a fourth run, before Sneed stopped the bleeding by getting Eric Cheray - the Bears' 10th batter of the inning - on a fly ball to center field.
Both starters locked into grooves from that point, combining to retire 27 of 30 batters over the five-inning stretch immediately following the two scoring rallies. After allowing a leadoff hit in the second, Schumacher locked down the DBU lineup by setting down 14 straight Patriots, while Sneed would record six consecutive outs and 13 of 15 altogether after the Bears' four-run rally. Overall, Schumacher allowed just two runs - only one of which was earned - on three hits and three walks while striking out five in his 7.0 innings. Sneed was equally as effective after the second inning, finishing his 7.0 inning outing with seven strikeouts while giving up four runs on five hits and three walks.
MSU broke through with another critical hit in the eighth, as Aaron Meyer's two-out pinch single drove home Trey Massenberg for a 5-2 Bears lead after Drake's second double of the night started the inning.
But Wesolowski's first hit of the game greeted Merciez in the eighth, and Salters coaxed a four-pitch walk to set up Listi's eighth homer of the season - a no-doubter that easily cleared the wall in left to even the score at 5-5.
The Bears mounted a two-out threat in the top of the ninth after Drew Smith beaned Matheny and walked Cheray on four pitches after Koch took over with a 2-0 count. The Patriots' closer came through when he had to, however, blowing a 3-2 pitch past Trey Hair to end the inning.
Two-hit nights by Drake and Graham led the Bears' seven-hit attack, while Hawkins matched a career high with his two RBIs.
The Bears (19-23, 6-7 MVC) and Patriots continue their series Saturday (May 3) with a 2 p.m. game before concluding the weekend with a 1 p.m. tilt Sunday.