Matheny, Petree Sweep Valley Honors as Bears Climb in National Rankings
April 1, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - On the heels of a perfect 4-0 week and a three-game sweep of Indiana State to open Missouri Valley Conference play, Tate Matheny and Nick Petree have been tabbed MVC Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, the league office announced Monday. Petree improved to 4-0 on the season with his two-hit shutout of the Sycamores, while Matheny stretched his career-best hit streak to 11 games to help the Bears garner their first top 25 ranking in nearly a decade.
Petree fanned a season-high 10 batters and allowed just four ISU base-runners in a complete-game, two-hit shutout of Indiana State Friday that handed Missouri State its eighth-consecutive victory in a Valley opener. The right-hander was in control throughout the Bears' 3-0 win, yielding just two singles and a pair of walks to out-duel Sycamores ace Sean Manaea and pave the way to MSU's three-game sweep of ISU. Petree closed the door on the Sycamores by retiring the final eight batters in order to lock down his second shutout as a Bear and the 23rd win of his MSU career, which moved him into a three-way tie for third on the Bears' all-time victories list.
The weekly Valley honor is the fourth for Petree, who claimed the same honor three times in 2012 en route to earning MVC Pitcher of the Year and first-team All-America recognition. The redshirt junior leads the Valley in ERA (0.86) and ranks second in wins (four) and batting average against (.184), while piling up 44 strikeouts in 42.0 innings pitched.
Matheny continued his torrid start to the 2013 season with four multi-hit efforts in as many games last week. The freshman outfielder batted .500 (10-for-20) on the week, drove in the winning runs in each of the Bears' first two victories it their series with Indiana State and extended his hit streak to a career-best 11 games in helping MSU push its win streak to five games. In MSU's 11-4 over SEMO, Matheny tied a Missouri State single-game record with three doubles, finishing the day with a career-high four hits, an RBI and a pair of runs scored. He followed up that effort with back-to-back 2-for-4 efforts, driving home the deciding run in Friday's MVC opener by legging out a two-out, infield-single in the fifth inning to give Petree and the Bears all the run support they would need in the 3-0 victory. Matheny drove in two more runs, including the go-ahead tally in the seventh inning, in game two, then posted two more hits to help the Bears rally for an 8-7 win in 11 innings Sunday.
The honor is the first MVC weekly award for Matheny and the first for a Bears freshman since Clay Murphy earned a Valley Pitcher of the Week citation in April 2010. With 41 hits in 24 games, Matheny shares the MVC lead in total hits and ranks among the Valley's top 10 individuals in slugging (third), total bases (third), home runs (sixth), on-base percentage (seventh) and doubles (seventh). Over the course of his current hit streak, the St. Louis native has batted .480 (24-for-50), registering at least two hits in nine of the 11 games. He has a team-high 16 multi-hit performances on the year and at least one hit in 21 of his last 22 contests.
With their first perfect week this season, the Bears (18-6, 3-0 MVC) also earned their first top 25 ranking since the conclusion of the 2003 season Monday with their selection by Perfect Game USA for the No. 25 slot in its latest College Top 25 poll.
will look to extend a season-best five-game win streak when they embark on a four-game road swing this week, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. contest Tuesday (April 2) against Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla. MSU will also travel to Normal, Ill., next weekend for a three-game MVC series with Illinois State, before returning home April 9 to face in-state rival Missouri.