Weekly Baseball Notebook (Apr. 6)
Last week in Missouri Valley Conference baseball action, Indiana State registered a series sweep over UNI, recording the Sycamores first unscathed road series since 2005. Senior Brady Shoemaker hit .455 (5-for-11) with a double, triple, home run and four RBI in the Sycamores’ sweep over UNI. In non-conference action, the Panthers took down No. 25 Minnesota, 9-7, in a midweek contest.
Missouri State is off to its first 5-0 start since 2001, tallying two wins over Southern Illinois last weekend, before having the third and final contest cancelled. With his start and victory last Friday against the Salukis, junior Tim Clubb moved into sixth all-time in Missouri State history in starts (33), seventh in wins (20) and seventh in innings pitched (237.2).
Wichita State earned two-of-three victories over Illinois State, as freshman Jordan Cooper continued his dominance, collecting his fifth win of the season in Sunday’s 5-0 shutout victory over the Redbirds. Illinois State, however, was able to snap a 25-game road losing streak to Wichita State with a 5-4 victory at Eck Stadium last Friday night.
Creighton tallied two wins at Evansville, taking the series over the Purple Aces and improving to 7-2 in MVC play on the season. The Bluejays’ 7-2 start is their best through nine games since starting 8-1 in 2005. Creighton also tacked on an impressive non-conference win over Kansas State, taking down the Wildcats in a midweek contest, 5-1.
Bradley tallied three non-conference victories in a four-game series with North Dakota, tallying a season-long three-game winning streak. The Braves are still looking for their first Valley win this season as they head to Indiana State this weekend.
This week’s conference slate pits Bradley at Indiana State, Evansville at Wichita State, Missouri State at Illinois State and UNI at Creighton. Southern Illinois receives the bye in Valley action this week, as the Sycamores host SEMO in a mid-week contest, before welcoming Jacksonville State to Peoria for a four-game series. Wichita State will also host No. 11/12 Oklahoma State at Eck Stadium on Wednesday, Apr. 8.
This week's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Player/Pitcher of the Week are Wichita State’s Clint McKeever and Jordan Cooper.
State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week:
Clint McKeever, Wichita State, 1B, Jr., Oklahoma City, Okla. (Oklahoma State/Westmore)
Junior Clint McKeever led the Shockers to a 4-1 record last week including a series victory over Illinois State. He went 10-for-19 (.526) with six runs, three doubles, one triple, one home run, five RBI, four walks and two stolen bases, while also having a perfect fielding percentage in 48 total chances. Against Nebraska, he went 3-for-4 with four RBI and drove in the game-winning runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. On Wednesday against Kansas Wesleyan, he went 3-for-4 with three runs, a double and a home run. In game two against the Redbirds, he went 3-for-5 with his first career triple. On Saturday, he also pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
Other Notable Performances:
Matt Fritz, BU; Carson Vitale, CU; Alex Acheson, UE: Mike Stalowy, ILS; Ryan Strausborger, INS; Dallas Hord, MSU; Mark Kelly, SIU
State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week:
Jordan Cooper, Wichita State, RHP, Fr., Berryton, Kan. (Shawnee Heights)
Freshman Jordan Cooper led the Shockers to two wins last week and a MVC series victory over Illinois State. For the week, he went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12.2 innings. On Tuesday against Nebraska, he pitched 5.2 innings in his first relief appearance of the season. He allowed just three singles, a walk and an unearned run and also struck out seven. On Sunday against Illinois State, he pitched seven shutout innings for his second combined shutout of the season. He allowed just four singles in the game and struck out a career-high 10 including four of the first five batters of the game. He also had a strikeout in every inning. With the two wins at home, he improved his record at Eck Stadium to 5-0 with a 0.25 ERA.
Other Notable Performances:
Joe Bircher, BU; Mike Nihsen, CU; J.R. Carbonell, UE; Ryan Camp, ILS; Joe Rodriguez, INS; Aaron Meade, MSU