MSU Opens Two-Game Homestand With 6:35 p.m. Non-Conference Contest
May 5, 2014
Missouri State Game Notes
Missouri State Bears (20-24) vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (25-22)
Date: Tuesday, May 6
First Pitch: 6:35 p.m.
Location: Springfield, Mo.
Site: Hammons Field (8,000)
Series History: ORU leads 29-20
Live Video: Bears All-Access
Radio: KBFL 1060 AM (Art Hains)
Live Audio: RadioSpringfield.com
Tickets: MSU Athletics Box Office
Promotion: Social Media Night
The Missouri State Bears (20-24) will host their final two midweek games of the season at Hammons Field this week, beginning with a Tuesday (May 6) night match-up against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (25-22) at 6:35 p.m.
Missouri State is coming off of a tough week that included a pair of one-run losses in its three-game Valley series at Dallas Baptist over the weekend. The Bears did salvage the final game with a 10-5 victory Sunday to snap their four-game slide.
ORU posted a Southland Conference series win over UCA this past weekend, taking two of three games from the Bears in Conway. The Golden Eagles have won 12 of their 20 contests since defeating MSU on April 2.
♦ ORU holds a 29-20 advantage over the Bears in a series that extends back to 1979; the Bears have won 12 of the last 16 meetings, but the Golden Eagles swept a two-game midweek series at Hammons Field last season
♦ The Bears lead their series with KU by a 26-24 margin thanks to five consecutive wins over the Jayhawks
♦ Tate Matheny hit .545 with a pair of three-hit games vs. Dallas Baptist over the weekend, including his first career grand slam in Sunday's 10-5 victory; the sophomore is batting .433 and slugging .733 in MVC play this season
♦ Joey Hawkins leads the Valley in defensive assists (140) and sacrifice hits (9) this season
♦ The Bears rank 17th nationally as a pitching staff in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (8.0), with Clay Murphy's K/9 IP rate of 10.07 ranking as the 21st-best in all of Division I baseball
♦ Jake Powers has fanned nine batters over four hitless relief outings spanning 4.1 innings since April 25
♦ MSU enters Tuesday's game 13-16 in non-conference games after posting a 65-37 mark over the previous three years
♦ Dylan Becker logged three hits over the weekend to become the third active Bear to reach the 100 career-hit mark
♦ MSU is 16-1 in 2014 and 31-2 over the last two seasons when scoring at least six runs; conversely, the Bears are just 4-23 when failing to top the five-run mark in 2014
In a series that dates back to 1979, ORU brings a 29-20 all-time advantage versus the Bears into Tuesday's game. MSU has gotten the better of the Golden Eagles over the last seven seasons, however, winning 12 of the two clubs' 16 meetings, including a 3-2 road victory in 10 innings in the two clubs' first meeting this season on Feb. 25. The Golden Eagles rebounded with a 4-1 win on April 2 in Tulsa, holding the Bears to a Blake Graham solo shot and four hits overall. MSU is 11-7 against ORU in Springfield, but lost both midweek home meetings with the Golden Eagles last May.
Cutting it Close
The Bears finished off their regular-season series against Dallas Baptist with a 10-5 victory Sunday -- their first in six tries against the Patriots this season -- but not before suffering two more one-run setbacks to DBU. The lopsided advantage enjoyed by DBU in the season series can be attributed to the outstanding pitching and defensive efforts turned in by the Patriots, who logged a team ERA of 1.67 and a collective .986 fielding percentage in capturing four of the meetings by a single run.
Dallas Baptist shut out the Bears in four of the six contests, but MSU pitching recorded a strong showing as well, limiting the Patriots to .168 hitting and a team slugging percentage of just .222 in the two series. In all, the Bears out-hit DBU by a 38-31 margin, but batted just .188 with runners on base in the six contests. Furthermore, MSU's starting pitchers combined to post an ERA of just 0.96 in the six-game season series, limiting DBU to just 25 hits with 42 strikeouts in 47.0 innings
Math on Matheny
Bears center fielder Tate Matheny has enjoyed a strong start to the Valley season, ranking first or second among all MVC players in a number of major offensive statistical categories. The sophomore leads the conference in hits (26) in league play, while his Valley totals for batting (.433), slugging (.733), on-base percentage (.514), home runs (5) and total bases (44) all rank second in the circuit.
Over his last 11 MVC contests, Matheny has recorded seven multi-hit games, batting .444 (20-for-45) with five homers and 14 RBIs. In 36 career Valley games, Matheny has been a .362 hitter with seven of his 12 career home runs as a Bear.
Social Media Night Returns to Hammons Field
The Bears will hold their second-annual Social Media Night at Hammons Field on Tuesday with the intention of highlighting the various social media outlets for Missouri State Athletics and encouraging fan engagement while providing opportunities for in-game promotions, prizes and ticket discounts.
Fans who follow @MSUBearBaseball will receive one ticket to the game for half off the regular 2014 single-game price. This special offer is available now through the Missouri State Athletics Box Office at JQH Arena or on game day at Hammons Field. Fans must verify that they follow @MSUBearBaseball with the box office to receive the special rate.