Drake's Eighth-Inning Blast Powers Bears' Comeback Win Over Indiana State
May 18, 2012
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Patrick Drake's two-run homer sparked a three-run, eighth-inning rally that propelled the Missouri State Bears to a come-from-behind 7-5 victory over Indiana State Friday evening at Bob Warn Field. The Bears snapped out of a recent offensive funk with 15 hits, including three critical home runs, against the Missouri Valley Conference champs to end their longest losing streak of the season and secure the No. 2 seed in next week's State Farm MVC Championship at Hammons Field.
Five Bears posted multi-hit efforts to lead a late charge that saw MSU erase a pair of one-run deficits over the final three innings. None of the Bears' hits were bigger than Drake's first home run of the season--a mammoth drive that cleared the left-field wall to stake MSU to a 6-5 advantage--its first lead in the series. Spiker Helms doubled and came around to score when Luke Voit drove in his second key run of the night with a sac fly to right.
Freshman reliever Tyler Burgess (5-0) would make the two-run lead stand, shutting down the Sycamores over the final two innings to earn the win in relief of Cody Schumacher, who continued a recent string of dominant performances with a career-high nine strikeouts over six strong innings.
Kevin Medrano led the Bears' hit parade with a 3-for-4 night, while Drake finished 2-for-3 to help end the Bears' first three-game slide of the season. In addition to Drake's key blow, Derek Mattea (2-for 5) also homered for the first time in 2012 to help the Bears overcome an early three-run deficit, while Brock Chaffin added two hits to the cause as well.
Missouri State's late heroics came after Indiana State took advantage of some timely hitting and a critical fielding miscue to build an early three-run lead. The Sycamores plated the first two runs of the night in the second after Eric Cheray's throwing error allowed lead-off man Rob Ort to not only reach base, but advance into scoring position as well. Lucas Hileman drove in Ort with a booming triple to straight-away center, then trotted home on Ryan Walterhouse's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 ISU advantage.
The Bears (36-18, 12-7 MVC) scratched out a run of their own in the top of the third, getting a lead-off walk to Helms and an infield single from Medrano to put two on with nobody out. Brent Seifert's double-play ball to short scored Helms from third, but also ended MSU's threat of a big inning against ISU starter Sean Manaea.
That would prove costly to the Bears the following inning, as ISU put two more runs on the board thanks to three-straight two-out hits. Tyler Wampler got things started with the first of three Sycamore infield singles in the inning, and Landon Curry moved the runner to second with a sac bunt. Schumacher got Kyle Burnam looking for the second out, but Jeremy Lucas chopped a ball up the third base line for a hit, and Ort dropped in an RBI bunt single to push the ISU lead to 3-1. Jon Hedges then lined a single up the middle to chase home Lucas and give the home team a three-run cushion.
But Missouri State quickly responded in the fourth when Keenen Maddox and Mattea homered on back-to-back pitches from Manaea to pull the Bears back to within one run. MSU missed out on scoring opportunities in the fifth and sixth innings, but came through in the seventh, capitalizing on a lead-off double by Medrano to eventually knot the score at 4-4. After the Bears' senior second baseman laced a line drive into left-center to get the rally started, Seifert moved the runner to third with a fly ball to right before Voit drove in the equalizing tally with a triple to the warning track in right center. The Bears just missed grabbing their first lead of the series when a speeding Hileman tracked down Mattea's two-out drive at the wall in left-center to end the inning.
The dust had barely settled on the Bears' game-tying rally when ISU took to the offensive once again in the bottom of the seventh against Burgess. Burnam singled to center, swiped second and scored on Ort's two-out single that found a hole on the left side of the Bears' infield to put the Sycamores on top once again, 6-5.
But the ISU lead would not last this time either, as Chaffin got the Bears' eighth started with a solid single to left off Reggie Hochstedler (4-2), before Drake belted a 1-0 pitch into the graveyard beyond the left-field wall to put MSU on top for good.
Ort led the Sycamores with two hits and a pair of RBIs, and Lucas finished the night 2-for-5 with a run scored.
The Bears will wrap up regular-season play Saturday with game three of their series with the Sycamores (41-14, 14-6 MVC) at Noon (Central).