Baseball Bears Open Home Season Wednesday With Central Arkansas
The Missouri State baseball team (2-5) begins a six-game homestand this week with Central Arkansas (5-3) at 3 p.m. Wednesday and welcomes North Dakota (0-4) to Hammons Field for three games over the weekend. The Bears won their first two games of the season at Sam Houston State's tournament last week and now have a chance to put their 10-game home win streak on the line.
Central Arkansas is 5-3 on the season with two wins over Tennessee-Martin and a three-game sweep of South Dakota State to its credit. The Bears are hitting .338 as a team through eight games, with Tye Throneberry (.609), Jonathan Yerby (.519) and Bobby Pritchett (.500) all batting .500 or better.
The UCA pitching staff has a 5.53 ERA and allows opponents to hit .294. The Bears are fielding .963 as a team.
North Dakota is 0-4 entering two midweek games at Kansas. The Fighting Sioux are hitting .250 compared to .351 for opponents and were outscored 53-18 in their first four games. UND is in its first season as a Division I school after spending the last 51 seasons in the Division II North Central Conference.
Missouri State is 2-2 all-time against Central Arkansas, splitting a series with Bears last season in Conway.
The Bears are 6-0 versus North Dakota, sweeping two-game sets with the Fighting Sioux in 1980, 1981 and 1982. MSU is 13-1 all-time against schools from the Dakotas.
LIVE STATS INFORMATION
Live stats for most Missouri State baseball games will be available at www.missouristatebears.com. Go to the “Fan Central” link on the left side of the page and select “Live Stats.”
Wednesday's game with Central Arkansas will be broadcast in Springfield on KBFL 1060 AM and online at www.radiospringfield.com. There is no radio coverage of the North Dakota series.
COACH KEITH GUTTIN
Missouri State head coach Keith Guttin (Missouri-St. Louis, 1978) is in his 27th season as head coach of the baseball Bears and has a career record of 906-558 (.619). Guttin became the first coach at Missouri State (in any sport) to reach the 900-win mark with the May 11, 2008, win over Middle Tennessee at Hammons Field. In 2003, Guttin led the Bears to the NCAA Division I College World Series for the first time in school history. Guttin has been a conference Coach of the Year 10 times with four of those coming in the Valley and six coming during the Bears’ years in the Mid-Continent Conference. During Guttin’s tenure, the Bears have made seven Division I NCAA Tournament appearances -- six in the last 14 years.
LAST TIME OUT
Missouri State went 2-2 at Sam Houston State's Bearkat Baseball Classic last week. On Friday, MSU had leads of 5-0, 8-4 and 12-8 slip away in a 14-12 loss to Nebraska. The Bears rebounded Saturday morning to defeat St. Mary's by a 17-3 score behind seven RBIs from Ben Carlson, then played Sam Houston State later that day.
In a game that began at 9:30 p.m. and ended after 1 a.m., MSU committed six errors in a 15-11 loss to the host Bearkats.
Then on Sunday morning, Buddy Baumann gave up one hit over five scoreless innings to propel the Bears to a 3-2 win over Nebraska.
Brayden Drake is currently on a 20-game hitting streak, the fifth longest in school history and longest since Dant'e Brinkley hit safely in 20 straight in 2003.
Drake had two separate 15-game hitting streaks and an 11-gamer in 2008, and has at least one hit in 55 of his last 62 games. He is two hits away from 200 for his career.
Tim Clubb suffered his first loss since April 22, 2007, in the opener at Middle Tennessee, a streak of 18 appearances, 16 starts and 13 winning decisions.
Aaron Conway has matched his 2008 RBI total of seven already this season in 31 at bats. Conway used 74 at bats to reach that mark a year ago.
Missouri State has not been shut out since a visit to Creighton on May 17, 2007, a stretch of 69 consecutive games.
Opposing starters have posted an 8.10 ERA against the Bears this season.
The Bears bring a 10-game home winning streak into 2009, currently ranking sixth nationally according to warrennolan.com.