Bears Conclude Fall Campaign With 14-0 Victory Over Ontario
Oct. 14, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State scored eight times in the first four innings and cruised to a 14-0 victory over the Ontario Blue Jays Monday in exhibition baseball action at Hammons Field. The Bears pounded out 16 hits and swiped six bases to close out their fall campaign, while five MSU pitchers combined to hold the visitors scoreless on five hits.
Spencer Johnson went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to pace the Bears' attack, while Conor Smith added two hits and drove in a pair of runs. Tate Matheny doubled, scored two runs and drove home another, and Eric Cheray singled twice and recorded an RBI for MSU.
The Bears seized control from the onset, as sophomore left-hander Matt Hall breezed through the top of the first with a one-two-three inning, before a pair of two-out singles produced runs for the home team in the bottom half. Matheny got the ball rolling with a lead-off double on a pop-up that fell untouched on the Ontario infield, moved to third on Johnson's grounder to third and scored on Smith's line drive single to left. A Blue Jay fielding miscue kept the rally alive for MSU, and Cheray made the visitors pay by driving in Smith with a base hit to right-center for a 2-0 Bears' lead.
MSU took to the offensive again in the third, this time using their running game to generate three more runs. Dylan Becker started the inning with a bunt single and moved into scoring position on Johnson's base hit to left. A double steal, coupled with a throwing error netted the Bears' third run of the day, before Smith drove in his second baserunner with another single to left. Finally, Cheray delivered his second hit, and Smith raced home when the ball eluded the Ontario left fielder to make it a 5-0 contest.
It was more of the same in the fourth, as the first four Bears reached base leading to three more tallies. Matheny reached on a slow roller to third that drove home Patrick Drake from third, and Becker brought in Matt Dezort with a sacrifice fly to center. Johnson's second-straight single chased home Matheny with his second run of the day, stretching the MSU advantage to 8-0.
The Bears scored again in the seventh, cashing in on a lead-off walk to Aaron Meyer, as the freshman stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk.
MSU capped the scoring with a five-run eighth, highlighted by Trey Massenberg's two-run double that kicked off a string of four-consecutive run-producing hits.
On the mound, five MSU hurlers kept the Blue Jay bats in check, with Hall and Zach Merciez each posting a pair of scoreless innings to allow the Bears time to build a sizable lead. Freshman lefty Jordan Knutson took over in the fifth, working two more shutout innings, before Jon Harris fanned a pair of Blue Jays to squash a seventh-inning threat. The sophomore right-hander then pitched a perfect eighth, and Tyler Burgess finished off the win by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth.
Missouri State will open the 2014 season Feb. 14 with a three-game road set against UCA, before making its home debut Feb. 28 against Purdue. Ticket information for the upcoming season is currently being finalized and will be made available through the official web home of Missouri State Athletics, MissouriStateBears.com, when complete.