In a game that featured three preseason All-America pitchers, Missouri State fell in a pitchers duel to No. 6 Georgia Tech, 4-0. The Yellow Jackets struck out 13 batters, while the Bears fanned 10. In other action around the Valley, Indiana State was the league's lone winner on opening day, downing Texas Southern, 15-6.
No. 6 GEORGIA TECH 4, MISSOURI STATE 0
ATLANTA, Ga. - The Missouri State baseball Bears opened the 2010 season Friday with a 4-0 loss to sixth-ranked Georgia Tech at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta.
The game featured three preseason All-America pitchers that lived up to the billing with the Yellow Jackets striking out 13 batters and the MSU staff fanning 10.
A quiet first inning by the Bears was followed by Georgia Tech leadoff man Jeff Rowland taking an 0-2 pitch over the right center field wall for a loud 1-0 lead for the home team.
While the Bears put the leadoff man on in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, they were unable to score against reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year Deck McGuire, who struck out eight through the first five frames and stranded MSU runners in scoring position three times. McGuire, a projected first round pick in this year's draft, struck out 10 in seven innings for the win.
MSU ace Aaron Meade settled in after the leadoff homer, cruising through the next 12 outs and striking out the side in the fifth to work around a two-on, one-out jam.
Tony Plagman launched a solo homer to right to lead off the sixth for the Yellow Jackets, and Matt Skole followed with a double to chase Meade (0-1) from the game after fanning six and allowing five hits in five-plus innings. Freshman Grant Gordon relieved Meade and walked the first batter he faced before striking out two to keep the score at 2-0 Jackets.
Plagman's two-out double in the seventh made it a 3-0 game, and second baseman Jacob Esch poked a one-out single in the eighth to drive in GT's fourth and final run. Preseason All-American Kevin Jacob struck out the side for GT in the ninth.
Aaron Conway extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the sixth, though his streak of scoring a run ended at 13 consecutive outings. Six Bears finished with one hit each, while Gordon struck out four while pitching the final three innings.
Game two of the series is set for 1 p.m. Central time Saturday.
Other Scores from Around the Valley:
Indiana State 15, Texas Southern 6
Belmont 8, Evansville 6
Austin Peay 15, Illinois State 7
Arkansas State 14, Southern Illinois 5