Bears Fall to Dallas Baptist in Another One-Run Contest
May 3, 2014
DALLAS - Despite holding Dallas Baptist three hits, Missouri State came up on the short end of 1-0 decision to the Patriots Saturday afternoon at Horner Ballpark. Jon Harris struck out eight and permitted just six baserunners in a complete-game effort, but DBU's Mike Wesolowski drove in the game-winning run for the second day in a row to send MSU to its fourth one-run setback in five games against the Patriots this season.
Paul Voelker (7-4) blanked the Bears for 7 2/3 frames to run his string of consecutive scoreless streak against MSU to 15.2 innings, and Brandon Koch slammed the door shut by working out of a ninth-inning jam for his seventh save. Voelker, who also beat MSU by a 1-0 score on March 14 in Springfield, allowed six hits and struck out seven in yet another pitcher's duel that ultimately resulted in the Patriots' fourth shutout of the Bears in 2014.
Harris (2-5) faced the minimum through four innings--recording seven of his eight strikeouts over the same stretch--and allowed just two baserunners over the first five frames. But the Bears sophomore right-hander beaned Nash Knight to start the sixth, and after a Camden Duzenack sacrifice and a Drew Turbin grounder to first moved the runner to third, Wesolowski's bouncer found its way through the right side of the MSU infield to bring in the lone run of the afternoon.
Missouri State, which registered eight hits on the day, saw several prime scoring opportunities slip away thanks to the clutch pitching and defense of the Patriots (31-15, 9-5 MVC). After Aaron Meyer doubled with one out in the second, Wesolowski came up with the first of two key defensive plays in the early stages of the game, snaring an errant throw from third and beating Alex Jefferson to the bag for the second out of the inning. Voelker then extinguished the threat by fanning Conner Wilson to keep the game scoreless.
Singles by Joey Hawkins and Tate Matheny set up another scoring chance for MSU in the third, but once again Wesolowski delivered in the field to squash the Bears' hopes. DBU's senior first baseman made a fully-extended stop and accurate throw to Voelker covering the bag for the final out of the inning, stranding two Bears baserunners in the process.
The second of Meyer's career-best three hits on the day kicked off the seventh, and Jefferson followed by coaxing a walk to turn up the heat on Voelker once again. But Wilson's bunt attempt came right back to DBU's junior hurler, who promptly fired to Knight at third to nip the lead baserunner, and Voelker induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double-play ball from Hawkins to get out of the inning unscathed.
Koch continued the trend of clutch performances by the Patriots, striking out Drake to end the eighth before escaping another tight spot in the ninth. After back-to-back hits by Eric Cheray and Meyer started the inning, Koch blew a third strike past Jefferson, then closed out the victory with another twin killing on Conor Smith's sharply-hit grounder to shortstop.
Matheny spearheaded the MSU offense with three hits and a hit by pitch in his four trips to the plate, while Meyer turned in his second three-hit effort as a Bear.
MSU (19-24, 6-8 MVC) will conclude its series with DBU Sunday (May 4) with a 1 p.m. contest.