Bears' Slide Continues With 5-3 Setback to Oral Roberts
May 8, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Oral Roberts used a pair of two-run homers to extend Missouri State's losing streak to six games with a 5-3 decision over the Bears, completing a two-game sweep at Hammons Field Wednesday evening.Tyler Boss's fifth-inning home run snapped a 3-3 tie and ultimately proved to be the difference, as the Bears' struggling offense left 13 men on base in squandering several scoring chances down the stretch.
After Jose Trevino staked ORU (20-26) to a 3-0 lead in the third with his third home run in his last three games against the Bears, Boss belted a 3-2 pitch from MSU starter Jon Harris off the back wall of the Bears' bullpen in left-center following a lead-off double by Matt Brandy in the fifth.
Missouri State (27-18) threatened to dent the Golden Eagle lead in the fifth and sixth innings only to come up empty each time. After stranding a pair of runners in the fourth and fifth innings, the Bears generated their best scoring chance in the sixth, using a pair of walks and an Eric Cheray single to load the bases with two out.
But the Golden Eagles wiggled their way out yet another jam, this time thanks to the relief work of Alec Smith, who induced a rally-killing grounder to short off the bat of Keenen Maddox to keep it a 5-3 game.
The Bears would leave at least one runner on base in seven of the nine innings, including the eighth and ninth frames as well, when a Missouri State hitter would look at a called third strike to end each threat.
Nathan Garza finished off the Bears with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth for his fourth save, making a winner of reliever Taylor Tryon (1-1).
Harris (8-1) suffered his first loss as a Bear after allowing all five ORU runs on six hits over six innings.
For the second straight night, ORU was led by Kevin Cho, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks. The senior outfielder tormented the Bears for six hits in eight official at-bats in the two-game series, with MSU pitchers recording outs in just two of his 10 plate appearances.
In addition to the big blows delivered by Trevino and Boss, Chris Williams added a pair of hits for the Golden Eagles, who won their sixth-straight contest.
Just as they did in their series-opening 4-1 win Tuesday evening, the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early lead with the help of a Missouri State defensive miscue. With one out and runners at first and second in the third, ORU's Logan Domenico bounced a grounder to second for what appeared might be an inning-ending double-play ball. Cheray's toss to second retired Brandy for the second out, but Travis McComack's throw to first was off target and skidded past Spencer Johnson to bring in Cho from second for the first run of the night.
Trevino made the Bears pay, driving the first pitch he saw from Harris into the left-field bullpen for his eighth home run of the season that gave ORU a three-run advantage.
The Bears would respond in the home half of the fourth, getting a trio of two-out singles to plate three runs of their own and even the score. Luke Voit's one-out base hit started the rally, snapping a string of five straight retired by ORU starter Gavin Glanz. Johnson lined out to right for the second out, but Dylan Becker's base hit scored Voit, who swiped second for his team-leading eighth steal of the season moments earlier.
Next, Conor Smith lined a single into right that was mishandled for an error that allowed Becker to come all the way around, and McComack followed with a run-scoring single to right-center to knot the score.
ORU didn't waste any time in answering the Bears' big inning, reclaiming the lead in the top of the fifth with Boss's sixth home run of the season.
Voit paced the Bears with his second consecutive two-hit game, as MSU received balanced production with at least one hit from each spot in its lineup.
MSU's three-run fourth marked just the second inning in which it has scored in its last 32 times at bat stretching back to game one of Sunday's doubleheader loss to Wichita State. Additionally, the Bears' six-game skid represents its longest since May 2010.
Up next, the Bears will wrap up the home portion of their 2013 schedule with a three-game series against Wright State. Friday's series opener is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch, with single games to follow Saturday (12 p.m.) and Sunday (5 p.m.).