Bears Drop 10-Inning Decision to Dallas Baptist in MVC Tourney Opener
May 20, 2014
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Drew Turbin's one-out home run in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted Dallas Baptist to a 3-2 opening-round win over Missouri State at the Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championship Tuesday afternoon at Bob Warn Field. DBU rallied from a 2-0 deficit to notch its fifth one-run decision over MSU this season and its sixth overall in seven games versus the Bears in 2014.
Clay Murphy (4-4) turned in a strong starting performance on the mound for MSU, holding the Patriots to just two hits through the first seven innings and allowing just five hits altogether in the complete-game effort. The senior right-hander, who struck out four and walked three, worked out of jams in four different innings in which DBU put the tying or go-ahead run in scoring position.
After the Patriots (37-18) pushed an unearned run across the plate to tie the game with two out in the bottom of the eighth, DBU starter Cy Sneed and reliever Brandon Koch held the Bears at bay until Turbin lifted a 2-2 pitch from Murphy over the right-field wall for the game-winner. The walk-off victory marked the fifth time this season DBU has scored in its final at-bat to beat the Bears (23-30).
Sneed matched Murphy's performance with a 9.0-inning effort, over which the right-hander fanned eight and walked three while allowing just two unearned runs on five hits. Koch (7-0) kept his perfect record intact with a scoreless inning of relief after taking over from Drew Smith with a Bears runner at first and nobody out in the top of the 10th.
Mike Wesolowski was the only player for either club to register multiple hits on the day, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
MSU jumped on top with a pair of runs in the third after a Dallas Baptist throwing error opened the door for the Bears' first scoring rally of the day. Blake Graham's bouncer to third produced the first baserunner of the inning when Nash Knight's throw to first was off the mark. After Joey Hawkins' sacrifice bunt pushed Graham to second, Tate Matheny's drive to the warning track handed the Bears a pair of runners in scoring position when right-fielder David Martinelli appeared to lose the ball in the sun.
Next, Patrick Drake delivered the Bears' first run of the game with a line drive to left that gave Graham plenty of time to score from third. With two out, Dylan Becker came through with a run-scoring single through the right side of the DBU infield to hand Murphy and MSU a 2-0 lead.
Dallas Baptist went right to work on cutting down its deficit, using a leadoff double by Knight in the home half of third to generate a scoring chance against Murphy. A Turbin sacrifice advanced the runner to second, before Wesolowski drove Knight home with a grounder to second.
The Patriots generated threats to the MSU lead in both the fourth and fifth frames, only to be turned aside by Murphy each time. After a walk to Daniel Salters started the fourth, Justin Wall's bouncer to third had double-play potential, but an error on the throw set up DBU with runners at first and second. Murphy got his double play grounder from the next hitter, however, as Martinelli rolled out to second before K.J. Alexander's one-hopper to Hawkins at shortstop ended the inning.
DBU put two runners in scoring position in the fifth when Wesolowski's two-out double to left-center put runners at second and third following a hit batsman with one out in the inning. Once again Murphy preserved the MSU lead, getting yet another rally-killing ground ball to short off the bat of Austin Listi.
Sneed would keep the Patriots in the game with a shutdown performance that would see the junior right-hander retire 14 straight MSU hitters immediately following Becker's RBI single in the third. After recording four hits over the game's first three innings, MSU was able to muster just one more over the final seven frames.
Still clinging to 2-1 lead, the Bears mounted a charge in the eighth thanks to a pair of walks and a two-out single by Drake. But Sneed worked out of the spot by getting Johnson on an infield pop up to keep the DBU deficit at one run. Wesolowski's second hit of the game with one out in the bottom half of the inning sparked the game's turning point, as Salter's two-out infield hit and a pair of MSU errors allowed the tying run to come home.
In the top of the 10th, Graham drew a leadoff walk from Smith before advancing into scoring position on Hawkins' 14th sacrifice of the season and his 28th as a Bear--both of which match school records. Koch would come up big for DBU, however, inducing a chopper to shortstop by Matheny and a fly ball to right by Drake to set the stage for Turbin's game-ending blast.
Next, the Bears will attempt to keep their MVC Championship hopes alive Wednesday (May 21) at 11:37 a.m. (Central), when they take on the loser of Tuesday's final contest pitting host Indiana State against Bradley.