Missed Opportunities Cost Bears in 3-2 Setback to Wichita State
May 4, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Taylor Doggett scored two of Wichita State's three runs and drove in the other, as the Shockers pulled out a 3-2 victory over Missouri State Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field. Doggett, who finished 3-for-4 at the plate, started WSU's game-winning rally with a two-out single in the ninth and scored on Tanner Dearman's infield hit to hand the Shockers a come-from-behind win in the first game of the two clubs' pivotal Missouri Valley Conference series.
Hitting in the No. 9 slot for the Shockers (28-21, 12-5 MVC), Doggett got the ball rolling for Wichita State with a bunt single in the ninth after MSU reliever Grant Gordon quickly retired the first two batters of the inning. Doggett swiped second for his eighth steal of the season, then advanced to third on the first of two Gordon wild pitches in the inning to set up Dearman's third hit of the game - a bloop single that fell in untouched just beyond the reach of shortstop Travis McComack to provide the winning margin for WSU.
WSU reliever Albert Minnis (3-2) wrapped up the win with a scoreless ninth, completing a solid 2 1/3-inning stint over which the left-hander retired seven of the eight batters he faced following a strong start from Cale Elam.
Dearman finished 3-for-5, driving in Doggett twice, while Casey Gillaspie added two hits in four trips to the plate for the Shockers.
Wichita State wasted little time in getting its offense in gear, touching up MSU starter Nick Petree for five hits over the first three innings, including a lead-off triple in the third by Doggett that led to the first run of the afternoon. Doggett drove Petree's 1-1 pitch into the gap in left-center, and Dearman lined an RBI-single through the left side of a drawn-in MSU infield to put the Shockers on top, 1-0.
Elam would make the lead stand until Eric Cheray led off the bottom of the fourth with a blast that cleared the wall in right for his second home run of the season. MSU missed out on a golden opportunity to take the lead after Keenen Maddox and Spencer Johnson followed Cheray's game-tying homer with back-to-back base hits. Luke Voit's sacrifice gave the Bears runners at second and third with one out, but McComack took a called third strike for the second out and Dylan Becker bounced out to second to end the threat.
Cheray would come up big again in the sixth when he instigated another Missouri State scoring rally with a lead-off triple down the right-field line. Elam recovered to nearly work his way out of trouble, getting Maddox to ground out and fanning Johnson, but Voit delivered a line-drive single into left to plate Cheray with the go-ahead run.
The Bears weren't quite finished, as McComack coaxed a walk and Becker singled to load the bases. But Elam picked off Becker at first for the third out, squashing another prime MSU opportunity.
This one would prove even more costly, as WSU responded immediately in the top of the seventh, using a triple from Mikel Mucha and a two-out hit by Doggett to even the score at 2-2.
Minnis, meanwhile, would hold the Bears in check long enough for the WSU offense to manufacture the go-ahead run. After taking over for Elam with two out in the seventh, the junior would set down the first five MSU hitters he would face before Conor Smith's one-out, pinch-single in the ninth. Minnis turned out the lights on the Bears by retiring Koby Peebles on a line-out to left and getting Joey Hawkins to chase a third strike for the final out.
The loss for the Bears (27-14, 11-5 MVC) spoiled another quality start from Petree, who struck out 10 Shockers over seven innings in a no-decision. Petree allowed a pair of runs on nine hits before Gordon (1-3) took over to start the eighth inning.
Cheray turned in a standout effort for MSU at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, and Johnson added two hits to the Bears' nine-hit attack.
The Bears and Shockers will conclude their series Sunday (May 5) with a doubleheader beginning at 11:05 a.m., with game one being televised live by Mediacom (MC-22) in southwest Missouri.