Baseball Bears Drop Two on Opening Day in Texas
SAN MARCOS, Texas -- Missouri State opened the 2011 baseball season Friday in San Marcos, Texas, losing to Air Force, 7-2, in the season opener and falling to Washington by a 6-3 score in the nightcap at Bobcat Ballpark on the campus of Texas State University.
The Bears had a number of positives on Opening Day, batting .333 (25-for-75), striking out just eight times and committing one error in two games, but couldn’t translate that success into the scoring column, stranding 25 runners in the two contests.
The Bears next play Texas State (1-0) at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Bobcats defeated Sunday’s opponent, Nebraska (0-1), Friday afternoon by a 7-2 final.
Air Force Recap
Air Force’s Nathan Carter broke a scoreless tie with a three-run double in the fifth as part of a five-RBI day to lead the Falcons to a 7-2 victory over Missouri State.
MSU’s Blake Barber (0-1) pitched career highs of five innings and six strikeouts, taking a shutout into the fifth before Carter touched him with the bases-clearing double. Alex Bast followed that with a two-run homer to give AF a 5-0 lead.
Kevin Medrano’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth put the Bears on the board, and Brent Seifert followed with an RBI single to shortstop to make it a 5-2 game after five frames.
Carter hit an RBI single in the seventh and an RBI triple in the ninth to complete the scoring.
Senior J.C. Casey pitched the final four innings for Missouri State. The Bears out-hit Air Force 12-10, led by a 3-for-5 effort from Brock Chaffin, but stranded 12 runners in the contest.
Medrano suffered a shoulder strain as a result of a home-plate collision late in the contest and is day-to-day.
The Bears left 13 runners on base against Washington in the night game, ending the contest with the bases loaded and the go-ahead run at the plate in a 6-3 loss.
Missouri State took a 1-0 lead in the fourth following consecutive singles from Chaffin and Keenen Maddox to open the frame. Two hard-hit balls to the outfield resulted in fly outs before UW second baseman Cody Stephens let Trey Massenberg’s grounder get by him into right field, allowing Chaffin to score.
Missouri State returned the favor in the fifth with a throwing error that allowed Washington’s Ryan Wiggins to score from second on a sac bunt attempt and tie the score at 1-1. Brian Wolfe came through with a two-out, two-run double three batters later for a 3-1 Husky lead.
Seifert followed Travis McComack’s leadoff triple in the seventh with a sacrifice fly to pull the Bears within a run, and Chaffin’s double got the tying run to second with two out before he was stranded in a 3-2 game.
The Huskies got the run back in the bottom of the seventh with a hit batsman and a fielder’s choice putting a runner on first with one out. A wild pitch and a passed ball led to Spencer Rogers’ RBI single that went off MSU southpaw Seth Swafford’s leg and into center field for a 4-2 score.
Washington’s Jacob Lamb slugged a two-run homer in the eighth for UW’s fifth and sixth runs.
Voit’s two-out infield single in the ninth scored Conway and started a Missouri State rally. Chaffin, who finished 5-for-5 against UW and 8-for-10 on the day, and Maddox hit back-to-back singles to load the bases and bring Spiker Helms to the plate as the go-ahead run. Helms fouled out to first base to end the game.
Grant Gordon (0-1) struck out five over six innings in the start, and Swafford fanned three over the final two frames.