Baseball Bears top Oral Roberts, 9-6
The Missouri State baseball team scored seven times in its final three at bats to earn a 9-6 win in a seesaw battle with 30th-ranked Oral Roberts Tuesday evening at Hammons Field in Springfield.
Tied 6-6 entering the bottom of the seventh, Missouri State got the winning run on third with no outs after a leadoff triple by Ben Woodbury. ORU used one reliever to walk Brayden Drake, another to get Ben Carlson out, and a third relief pitcher to get Chris Playter to hit into a RBI ground out that brought Woodbury home for the 7-6 lead. Matt Welch followed with a bouncer through the left side to plate Drake and get the lead back to two runs.
Josh Mazzola then led off the eighth with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Aaron Conway’s grounder to second to give the Bears a 9-6 lead entering the ninth.
Matt Frevert (5-1) struck out the side in the ninth, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam for the win.
The Bears (26-13) scored the game’s first run on a wild play in the third. Conway led off with a single and hustled all the way to third on Woodbury’s bunt single. Three ORU defenders and the ball converged on third in an attempt to get Conway, leaving home plate uncovered. While Woodbury bluffed towards second, Conway alertly took advantage to score. Drake sacrificed Woodbury to second and Carlson drove him in with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles (29-9) got a run back in the fourth with a two-out RBI double from Pat Murray. Pat Doyle relieved Cody Aycock and struck out Juan Martinez to end the ORU scoring threat with runners on second and third, preserving the 2-1 lead.
A two-out error cost the Bears another run in the fifth. Welch let Kelly Minisalle’s grounder roll through his legs and Ben Petralli doubled Minisalle home for the 2-2 tie.
Ryan Groth led off the ORU sixth with a solo home run to right-center to give the Golden Eagles their first lead of the contest, but MSU answered in the bottom of the frame.
Carlson drew a leadoff walk and Playter reached safely when Minisalle slipped while fielding his sacrifice attempt. ORU forced out Carlson at third on Welch’s sacrifice attempt, but Playter and Welch pulled off a double steal to get in scoring position with one out. ORU got Playter out at home on another fielder’s choice for the second out, but Kyle Paul laced a double over the left fielder’s head to score Welch and Ryan Mantle, and Mazzola sent the next pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homer and a 6-3 MSU lead.
The first four Oral Roberts hitters reached safely in the seventh, getting one run home and loading the bases. A ground out by Brian Van Kirk and a Groth sac fly tied the game at 6-6 with two outs in the frame, and Frevert came in to end the inning.
The Bears play at Saint Louis at 3 p.m. Wednesday.