Bears fall short of series sweep with 6-3 loss to South Dakota State
South Dakota State (10-11) scored five runs in the final three innings to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 victory against the Missouri State baseball team (8-8) Sunday afternoon at Hammons Field in Springfield.
A bizarre sequence of events decided the contest in the seventh. With the Bears leading 3-1, Buddy Baumann relieved starter Jake Shafer after one batter in the inning, and the Jackrabbits scored three runs without hitting the ball beyond the infield grass on a combination of two bunts, two walks, a hit batsman and an error. Baumann fell to 0-2 with the loss.
With the bases full and one out in the first, Matt Lawson extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single through the left side of the infield to bring home Ben Woodbury and Nolan Keane for an early 2-0 Missouri State lead.
South Dakota State cut the lead in half in the second. Craig Parry drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second when Shafer hit the next batter. Designated hitter Chris Iverson then singled Parry home.
Following Iverson’s RBI hit, Shafer retired eight batters in a row before another Iverson single, and completed his outing after six innings with two hits and two runs allowed to go with five strikeouts.
The Bears extended their lead to 3-1 in the fourth with an RBI single from Woodbury that scored Ryan Mantle.
Iverson collected his third hit of the afternoon to give the Jacks a 5-3 lead in the eighth, a single that scored Cal Lewis after a leadoff triple.
SDSU tacked on an unearned in the ninth after two walks and an error.
Caleb Thielbar (2-2) went six innings for the win, and Isaac Johnson allowed one hit over the final three frames for the save.
Missouri State plays at Arkansas-Little Rock at 6 p.m. Monday before heading to Arkansas State for games at 6 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Bears open the Missouri Valley Conference season at home against UNI March 23-25.