UNI tops baseball 9-8 in 10 innings
Northern Iowa overcame Missouri State’s six-run first inning and scored the winning run on a passed ball in the 10th to earn a 9-8 victory in Missouri Valley Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field in Springfield.
The Panthers loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th with a walk and two hit batsmen. The Bears got the first out at home but Curt Bradley scored to make it 9-8 on a passed ball. MSU got out of the inning on a peculiar double play, as UNI’s batter flied out to center and the runner on third was ruled to have left early when tagging up. The heart of Missouri State’s order went down one-two-three in the bottom of the inning.
Missouri State loaded the bases with no outs in the first when leadoff man Ben Woodbury reached on an error and Nolan Keane and Matt Lawson hit back-to-back singles. Cleanup hitter Ryan Mantle then hammered Taylor Sinclair’s 2-1 pitch for a grand slam to left center, giving the Bears a 4-0 lead before UNI recorded an out.
The first six batters reached after Brayden Drake and Ben Carlson each drew walks. Clay Coulter then hit an RBI single to score Drake and knock Sinclair out of the game after just one out. MSU batted around when Tanner Mattson hit what looked to be an inning-ending double play ball to the shortstop, who threw to ball into right field to let Carlson score. Missouri State sent 11 hitters to the plate and caused two UNI pitchers to throw nearly 50 pitches in the six-run first.
UNI responded with four in the top of the second. DH Eric Hoffman got things started with a two-run homer to left, while Deric Manrique added an RBI double to left and Bradley hit a sacrifice fly that scored Jeremy Weih.
After UNI loaded the bases with one out in the third, Manrique tied the game with a two-run single to center that ended starter Scott Carroll’s day. Buddy Baumann came in and got the final out of the inning.
Baumann went 3.2 innings in relief, allowing only one hit. The southpaw gave way to Pat Doyle with runners on first and second and one out in the seventh, and Doyle struck out the next two UNI hitters looking to end the scoring threat.
Missouri State retook the lead in the sixth on a Mantle RBI single to score Keane from second.
Doyle allowed a hit to Manrique and struck out two in the eighth before Matt Frevert came in to close the game. On Doyle’s second strikeout of the inning, Bradley swung on a pitch in the dirt that bounced past Coulter, and the speedy left fielder beat the throw to first while Manrique moved to third. Doyle actually struck out four batters in just one inning of work.
Frevert’s first pitch was wild and allowed Manrique to score from third and tie the game at 7-7. Embury then lined a sacrifice fly to left that scored Bradley for UNI’s first lead of the contest.
The back-and-forth battle continued in the eighth when Lawson singled home Woodbury to knot the score at 8-8.
Bradley’s run in the 10th was charged to Frevert (2-1), handing the sophomore his first loss of the year. Austin Todd finished the game on the mound after inheriting two runners from Frevert with no outs in the 10th.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.