April 30, 2014
Missouri State Game Notes
Missouri State Bears (19-21) at UALR Trojans (19-24)
Date: Wednesday, April 30
First Pitch: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Little Rock, Ark.
Site: Gary Hogan Field (1,000)
Series History: MSU leads 7-1
Live Video: UALRTrojans.com
Radio: KBFL 1060 AM (Tom Ladd)
Live Audio: RadioSpringfield.com
After dropping a 4-1 decision to Arkansas on Tuesday, the Missouri State Bears (19-21) begin another four-game road stretch when they travel to Little Rock Wednesday (April 30) afternoon for a 4 p.m. contest against the UALR Trojans (19-24). 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 sixth consecutive win over the Trojans.
UALR came up on the short end in its Sun Belt Conference series with Western Kentucky over the weekend, but topped Grambling in its first action of the week Tuesday. The Trojans have been successful at home in 2014, logging a 16-7 mark at Gary Hogan Field. Like the Bears, UALR will be gunning for its 20th victory of the season Wednesday.
♦ The Bears have a 7-1 all-time record vs. UALR, including wins in each of their last five games with the Trojans; MSU is 2-1 vs. UALR in Little Rock
♦ Missouri State is averaging 9.1 runs per game in its series with UALR and has outscored the Trojans 50-27 during its current five-game win streak, which dates back to 2007
♦ Tate Matheny saw his 11-game hit streak come to an end with an 0-for-3 performance in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Arkansas; Matheny batted .391 and slugged .609 over the course of his streak--his fifth of at least 10 games in just 91 games as a Bear
♦ 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; conversely, the Bears are just 4-21 when failing to top the five-run mark in 2014
♦ Tyler Burgess' career hits/9 IP average of 5.66 ranks fourth among all active Division I pitchers, while his 2.29 ERA as a Bear rates as the Valley's best career mark among all pitchers with a minimum of 75.0 IP
♦ Dylan Becker needs four hits to become the third active Bear to top the 100-career hit mark in 2014 after both Matheny (124) and Cheray (144) reached the milestone earlier this season
♦ Clay Murphy's K/9 IP rate of 10.04 ranks 22nd in all of Division I baseball, while MSU ranks 20th as a staff with an average of 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched
The Bears have enjoyed substantial success against UALR, with a 7-1 overall mark against the Trojans in a series that dates back to 1987. The two clubs last met in 2009, with MSU walking away with a 10-2 victory - its fifth straight over UALR. The Bears are 2-1 vs. the Trojans in Little Rock and have averaged 10.0 runs per outing over their last two meetings with UALR.
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 4-21 this season.