Baseball Bears Score Early, Hold Off Saint Louis in 9-6 Win
St. LOUIS, Mo. -- The Missouri State baseball team took an 8-0 lead over Saint Louis after an inning-and-a-half before having to hold off several Billiken rallies in a 9-6 win Tuesday at the Billiken Sports Center in St. Louis.
The Bears (14-20) scored six runs in the first inning, starting with Tyler Paxson being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Tyler Ryun followed with a chopper to shortstop that resulted in a throwing error and two runs scoring before Curt Courtwright blasted a three-run homer to left for the 6-0 lead.
Keenen Maddox and Paxson hit sacrifice flies in the second inning to push the lead to 8-0, the second of which was brought back over the fence by left fielder Cody Cotter to rob the Bears of a home run.
J.D. Dunn put SLU on the board with a solo homer in the second, Zach Miller hit a two-out RBI double in the fourth and Steve Fernandez knocked a two-out single in the fifth to cut the MSU lead in half and make the score 8-4.
An MSU error allowed SLU to score on a Cotter single in the sixth and Jon Myers clubbed a solo homer in the seventh, bringing Grant Gordon in from the bullpen after relievers J.C. Casey and Blake Barber were unable to hold down the SLU lineup.
Gordon recorded the final two outs in the seventh to keep the score at 8-6 and retired the side in order in the eighth before the Bears got some insurance in the ninth. Kevin Medrano hit a leadoff triple and scored on Ryun’s sac fly to end a six-inning scoreless drought and give the Bears a 9-6 lead.
Gordon held the Billikens scoreless in the ninth to finish his fourth save of the year.
Pat Doyle (3-6) started and went four innings, striking out five against five hits and two runs while making his 67th career appearance to move alone into third place on the school’s all-time list.
Medrano went 2-for-4 and scored three times to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, Travis McComack had three hits and Courtwright had three RBIs in a 2-for-5 effort. Aaron Conway had two hits and two steals.
The Bears play host to SIU Edwardsville (12-23) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.