April 28, 2014
Missouri State Game Notes
Missouri State Bears (19-20) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (28-18)
Date: Tuesday, April 29
First Pitch: 4:05 p.m.
Location: Springfield, Mo.
Site: Hammons Field (8,000)
Series History: UA leads 50-23
TV: Mediacom MC-22 (Don West, Mike McClure)
Radio: KBFL 1060 AM (Art Hains)
Live Audio: RadioSpringfield.com
Tickets: MSU Athletics Box Office
Promotion: Missouri State-Springfield Cardinals doubleheader tickets for $7
The Missouri State Bears (19-20) return to Hammons Field Tuesday (April 29) to host the Arkansas Razorbacks (28-18) in the first of two non-conference contests for MSU this week. The Bears and Razorbacks will square off for the 74th time at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday before MSU travels to Little Rock Wednesday (April 30) afternoon for a 4 p.m. game against the UALR Trojans (18-24).
After claiming wins in two of their three games last week, the Bears will be looking to keep their momentum going during a busy road stretch. MSU, which will have played seven of its last eight games away from home by the time its weekend MVC series with Dallas Baptist concludes Sunday, will also be shooting for its first victory over Arkansas since the 2006 season.
Arkansas dropped two of its three SEC games to Auburn last weekend following a stretch that saw the Razorbacks win six of their previous seven games to reach a season-best 11 games over .500.
♦ Arkansas brings a 50-23 advantage over MSU into Tuesday's game and has won nine straight in the series dating back to 2007; UA has won five of the previous six meetings at Hammons Field
♦ The Bears have a 7-1 all-time record vs. UALR, including wins in each of their last four games with the Trojans
♦ Tate Matheny brings an 11-game hit streak into Tuesday's game, marking his fifth hit streak of at least 10 games
♦ Eric Cheray ranks among the MVC's top 10 in triples (7th), walks (8th), batting (9th) and on-base percentage (9th)
♦ The Bears rank 44th nationally and lead the MVC with a .974 team fielding percentage, which would establish a school single-season record for defensive excellence for the third consecutive season if the campaign ended today
♦ MSU is 15-0 in 2014 and 30-1 over the last two seasons when scoring at least six runs
♦ MSU's pitching staff has logged double-digit strikeout totals in three straight games, with their 41 K's representing a program best over any three-game span since the Bears joined the Division I ranks in 1983
♦ The Bears are 14-0 when scoring at least six runs this season, but just 4-19 when totaling five runs or less
♦ Clay Murphy's strikeout-nine innings pitched rate of 10.04 ranks 22nd in all of Division I baseball
Arkansas holds a commanding 50-23 all-time edge over Missouri State in a series that dates back to 1966. The Razorbacks are riding their longest win streak vs. the Bears, having claimed wins in nine straight meetings dating back to 2007, including four in a row at Hammons Field. Since the Bears' new park opened in 2004, UA has outscored MSU 37-17 in winning five of the six games played in Springfield. Overall, MSU is 12-19 in the series while serving as the host, with each of its last three home losses coming via margins of two runs or less.
History in the Ma-K-ing
The Bears' pitching staff turned in a week like few others in the history of the MSU program, fanning 41 batters over three consecutive nine-inning games. Two Bears -- Jon Harris and Clay Murphy -- eclipsed their individual career-best strikeout performances in back-to-back games at UT Martin over the weekend. Harris carved up 12 Skyhawks in Friday's series opener, before Murphy followed with 13 punchouts the following afternoon, including his 200th strikeout as a Bear. MSU previously recorded 40 K's over a three-game stretch from Feb. 21-27, 2010, marking its previous high-water mark during the Division I era.
Carroll Gets the Call
Speaking of standout mound performances, MSU saw one of its own reach the ultimate level of professional baseball for the 16th time, as Scott Carroll made his Major League Baseball debut with the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Overall, 127 Bears have moved on to the professional ranks over the 51-year history of the program, including 110 (and 14 big leaguers) during Keith Guttin's 32 years as head coach. Carroll, who picked up the win Sunday after allowing just one earned run over 7.1 innings, became the 10th Bear hurler to reach the big leagues during the 26-year tenure of pitching coach Paul Evans and the eighth to do so in the last nine years.
How About a Sixer?
With their two road victories last week, the Bears remained perfect on the season when scoring at least six runs in a contest. MSU rallied for a 6-5 win at KU on Wednesday, then earned a split in its non-conference road series at UT Martin with a 7-5 victory Saturday. After going 15-1 last season when breaking the six-run barrier, the Bears are now 15-0 this season when scoring at least a half-dozen runs. On the flip side, MSU has struggled mightily when scoring fewer than six runs, going just 4-19 this season.