Wichita State Sweeps Bears to Take Control of Valley Race
Andy Cheray
Andy Cheray

May 5, 2013

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Despite out-hitting Wichita State in both games of their Sunday doubleheader, the Missouri State Bears dropped two more contests to the Shockers, who earned the series sweep with a 3-0 victory in the nightcap after pulling out an 11-9 come-from-behind win in the opener.

With their three wins over the Bears this weekend, coupled with Illinois State's home loss to Creighton Sunday afternoon, the Shockers moved into sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings with one league series left to play.

Missouri State squandered standout performances from freshman pitchers in each game Sunday, as Matt Hall struck out a career-best nine hitters and retired 20 consecutive Shockers at one point in the opener, before Andy Cheray held WSU to two runs on two hits over 8 2/3 innings in the second contest.

The Bears overcame an eight-run deficit in the first game and took a 9-8 lead into the ninth inning before Wichita State rallied for three runs - the last two coming on a two-out throwing error. MSU out-hit the Shockers 15-13, as six different Bears recorded multi-hit games in the opener.

WSU's Brandon Peterson saved both ends of the doubleheader, and Casey Gillaspie scored four times to lead the Shockers' attack.

Keenen Maddox powered the Bears' offense with a pair of two-hit games, and Eric Cheray extended his hot streak at the plate by going 3-for-7 with two walks, a run scored and an RBI.

Game 1 - Wichita State 11, Missouri State 9
Wichita State scored three times in the top of the ninth inning to rally from a 9-8 deficit and pull out the victory in game one, negating one of the more memorable comeback efforts by a Missouri State team. Erik Harbutz drove in the equalizing run with a sacrifice fly before a two-out throwing error by Travis McComack plated the deciding runs. Tanner Dearman started WSU's ninth-inning rally - as well as the Shockers' eight-run first inning - and scored three times in the game to pace the visitor's 13-hit attack.



Tyler Baker drove in three runs, and Garrett Bayliff went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored for the Shockers, who secured the series victory with their second straight win over the Bears.

The Shockers come-from-behind win nullified a valiant comeback by the Bears, who found themselves in an 8-0 hole after one-half inning of play. Wichita State jumped all over MSU starter Jon Harris in the first inning, pounding out 10 hits as part of their eight-run rally. Dearman coaxed a lead-off walk and Bayliff singled up the middle to get the ball rolling for the Shockers, and back-to-back base hits by Baker and Gillaspie produced two runs before Harris could record his first out of the game.

After a Harbutz grounder to first, Micah Green singled to score Baker and kick off a string of seven straight Shocker hits. Baker capped the scoring with his second hit of the inning - a two-run single to center that drove in Tanner Kirk and Dearman for an 8-0 WSU advantage.

But Missouri State chipped away at the sizable deficit with single tallies in the first and third frames, three in the second and four in the fourth to take a one-run lead into the fifth. MSU's fourth-inning rally was highlighted by three straight two-out, run-scoring singles by the Bears bottom three hitters in the order. Dylan Becker's two-run single cut the WSU lead to 8-7, and Koby Peebles followed with a base hit to right-center to drive in McComack with the tying run. Joey Hawkins then put the Bears in front with a single through the left side of the WSU infield to drive in Becker with the go-ahead run.

The Bears missed out on several chances to expand their lead, leaving two runners on base in three straight innings before WSU lefty Aaron LaBrie (3-1) would settle into a groove and shut down the MSU offense with 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

Hall (4-3) matched LaBrie pitch for pitch, making the lead stand through eight with the best effort of his young career. The left-hander took over for fellow freshman Jon Harris with two out in the first and held the Shockers to just two baserunners over the ensuing 7 1/3 innings, retiring 20 consecutive hitters following a one-out single by Mikel Mucha in the second.

But Hall ran into trouble in the ninth when Dearman led off with a base hit just beyond the reach of Eric Cheray at second, moments after Hall appeared to have struck him out on a 2-2 pitch. Bayliff followed with a single to left, before Baker moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Harbutz then lofted a fly to deep right to allow Dearman to score, and Green's ground ball to short produced the winning runs when McComack threw wildly to first after bobbling the ball.

Peterson closed out the win with a scoreless ninth, working around a two-out hit by Hawkins with a strikeout of Matheny to finish off his seventh save of the season.

Game 2 - Wichita State 1, Missouri State 0
The nightcap offered a stark contrast to Sunday's first contest, as a pair of freshman pitchers locked up in a low-scoring affair that was ultimately decided by a fourth-inning Shocker run courtesy of Gillaspie's one-out double and Green's RBI- grounder. Wichita State's third-straight win over the Bears was made possible by the starting effort of freshman Garrett Brummett, who held MSU scoreless on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.

After combining for 28 hits in game one, the two clubs mustered just 10 total safeties in the nightcap. None was bigger than Gillaspie's two-bagger to right off MSU starter Andy Cheray that led to the only run Brummett and three WSU relievers would need. A balk moved Gillaspie over to third, which would prove critical after Cheray retired the next two hitters on ground balls. But with Gillaspie at third and still just one out, Green's chopper to short was just deep enough to allow the runner to score the only run Cheray would permit over the first eight innings.

Brummett (2-0) would complete 5 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and three walks. Foster Vielock did the heavy lifting over the ensuing two-plus innings by scattering three hits and recording the lone strikeout of a Missouri State hitter in the contest.

Austin Sanders would replace Vielock with two out in the bottom of the eighth and the tying and go-ahead runs on base. The left-hander came up with perhaps the biggest out of the game by inducing a tap back to the mound off the bat of McComack to squash the threat.

WSU would tack on two insurance runs with a two-out rally in the top of the ninth, capped by Doggett's two-run single.

Peterson would once again finish off the Bears, this time with a one-two-three bottom of the ninth to close out the six-hit shutout.

Maddox's two hits in four trips to the plate led the Bears, who out-hit the Shockers by a 6-4 margin but left 10 men on base for the second straight game.

Cheray (1-3) suffered the loss after for MSU, which saw its losing streak extended to four games with the setback.

Up next, MSU will try to right the ship with a pair of home midweek games against Oral Roberts. The Bears and Golden Eagles will play 6:30 p.m. games both Tuesday (May 7) and Wednesday (May 8) at Hammons Field.

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