Bears' Series Opener With Illinois State Suspended in Sixth Due to Weather
April 13, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State Bears built an early 7-0 lead over Illinois State Friday before thunderstorms suspended play in the sixth inning of the two clubs' series opener at Hammons Field. Play will resume from the point of suspension at 2 p.m. Saturday, with game two of the three-game set to follow 30 minutes after its completion.
A delay of an hour and 34 minutes due to heavy lightning and rainfall was initiated with one out and the bases empty in the top of the sixth. Prior to that point, Missouri State relied on the familiar formula of solid starting pitching to gain the upper hand, as Nick Petree scattered four hits and three walks while striking out five Redbirds over the full 5 1/3 innings of play.
The Bears grabbed control of the game with a five-run second inning, striking for four straight hits against ISU starter Chris Razo. Keenen Maddox got the ball rolling with a lead-off single to right, and Trey Massenberg reached base on a walk before Brock Chaffin moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. A passed ball allowed Maddox to trot home with the evening's first run, and Dylan Becker coaxed the Bears' second base-on-balls of the frame just ahead of an Eric Cheray RBI single that kicked off a string of four consecutive Missouri State hits. Spiker Helms followed with the first of his two run-scoring hits on the night, and Kevin Medrano added a single to left. Brent Seifert capped the scoring with a base hit to left that scored both Cheray and Helms for a 5-0 MSU lead.
Missouri State pushed its lead to seven runs with a two-run rally in the third that was highlighted by Becker's one-out double to left and Helms's second RBI single of the game.
Petree made the lead stand, working out of trouble in every inning except the fourth to preserve the MSU advantage. The sophomore right-hander got out of a two-on, nobody out jam in the third by fanning cleanup hitter Eric Aguilera and retiring Kevin Tokarski on a fly ball to right. Petree would victimize Aguilera and Tokarski again in the fifth, posting back-to-back strikeouts to thwart a bases-loaded scoring chance for the Redbirds and extend his personal string of consecutive innings without giving up an earned run to 43.1 straight frames over six starts.
Helms and Seifert led the way for the Bears' 11-hit attack, each going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted-in. Massenberg also enjoyed a solid offensive night, scoring twice and finishing with two hits and a walk in three trips to the plate.