The Missouri State baseball team (11-10) takes a seven-game winning streak to Fayetteville, Ark., Wednesday to face a tough test in the ninth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (16-4) at 6:35 p.m. The Bears got the Missouri Valley Conference season off to a solid start with a sweep of Bradley over the weekend, and have outscored the opposition 70-18 during their current win streak.
Arkansas is 16-4 overall and 6-0 in the Southeastern Conference this season, rising in the national rankings as high as ninth by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The Razorbacks hit .291 as a team, led by Ben Tschepikow (.386-7-24) and Andy Wilkins (.361-8-20) in the middle of the lineup.
The UA pitching staff has a 3.84 ERA, with reliever Stephen Richards leading the way with a 4-0 record, 0.56 ERA and three saves in 11 appearances.
Arkansas fields .967 as a team.
Arkansas leads the all-time series 45-22. The Razorbacks have won the last four meetings, sweeping the season series the last two years.
LIVE STATS INFORMATION
Live stats for all 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.”
AUDIO AND VIDEO COVERAGE
Wednesday's game at Arkansas can be heard on KBFL 1060 AM in Springfield and online at www.radiospringfield.com. Bears Live will also carry a live video stream.
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 915-563 (.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.
Missouri State pushed its win streak to seven games with a three-game sweep of Bradley. The Bears opened the series with an 8-3 win Friday night, with Tim Clubb throwing eight innings and Brayden Drake driving in four.
On Saturday, MSU took advantage of 11 walks and three hit batters to go ahead 15-0 in the fifth and run-rule the Braves in seven innings, 15-3. Kevin Medrano had five RBIs, Dallas Hord added four and Buddy Baumann improved to 4-0.
Aaron Meade tossed a complete game five-hitter on Sunday in a 9-2 win, and Drake, Chris Playter and Zak Swyhart provided most of the offense with two RBIs each.
MINI SEASON TICKETS
Mini-season ticket plans are now on sale. Packages include tickets for 13 games at Hammons Field, including midweek contests with Oklahoma State, Missouri, Arkansas-Little Rock and Saint Louis and weekend series with Wichita State, UNI and Indiana State, all for a cost of only $80.
Ticket packages may be purchased in person at the JQH Arena box office, or by calling Missouri State Tix at (417) 836-7678.
Missouri State is currently on a seven- game winning streak, the fourth longest in the nation. During that time, the Bears are hitting .310, have a 2.21 team ERA and are outscoring opponents 70-18.
More impressively, MSU starting pitchers are 7-0 with a 1.60 ERA in the streak.
Over the last 15 games, the Missouri State pitching staff has a 2.45 ERA and is allowing the opposition to hit just .233.
Missouri State's team ERA has dropped following each of the last 15 games. The Bears entered a March 1 win over Nebraska with a 9.36 ERA, and that number has fallen to 4.31.
MSU has allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine straight games.
Opposing starters have posted a 9.95 ERA against the Bears this season, while MSU starters have a 3.33 ERA and are allowing opponents to hit just .246.
Brayden Drake is currently on a 29-game hitting streak, setting the school record on March 17 vs. SEMO.
Drake's streak now ranks eighth in MVC history. The top 10 streaks in Valley history are listed below.
1. Phil Stephenson, WSU (1981) 47
2. Kevin Koski, SIU (2005-06) 36
3. Derek Schermerhorn, WSU (2005) 34
4. Chris Wimmer, WSU (1990-91) 32
Demetrius Dowler, INS (1993) 32
Clint Barmes, INS (2000) 32
7. Andy Dirks, WSU (2008) 30
8. Brayden Drake, MSU (2008-pr.) 29
9. Tony Roth, CU (2004-05) 28
10. Vince Pietro, CU (2000) 27
Drake had two separate 15-game hitting streaks and an 11-gamer in 2008, and has at least one hit in 64 of his last 71 games.
The Bears have nine different players with at least 10 RBIs this season.
Missouri State has outscored the opposition 118-57 in the first five innings this season, and slugged 17 of the team's 25 homers in the first four.
Missouri State has allowed 42 unearned runs through 21 games, an average of 2.00 per contest, but is outscoring the opposition overall by 42 runs, or 2.00 per game.
In terms of earned runs, the Bears have outscored the opposition 161-89 this year, a margin of 3.43 per contest.
Missouri State is 8-1 on the year when making one or fewer errors.
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.
Clubb has left 18 of his last 19 starts in line for the victory.
Buddy Baumann started the 2009 season with 22 scoreless innings.
Aaron Meade has pitched nine innings on consecutive Sundays. He earned a three-inning save and pitched the first six innings of a win March 15 at Oregon State, then tossed a complete game to beat Bradley on March 22.
Aaron Conway ended a 10-game hitting streak March 11 and already has 18 RBIs in 88 at bats, compared to seven RBIs in 74 at bats a year ago.
Missouri State has not been shut out since a visit to Creighton on May 17, 2007, a stretch of 83 consecutive games.
Missouri State leads the MVC with just four stolen bases allowed 21 games. Catcher Dallas Hord has thrown out eight of 12 steal attempts.
The next closest MVC team has allowed 16 steals this year.