Home field advantage was the name of the game on Sunday, as the host school won all five games in MVC action. Missouri State earned the doubleheader sweep of Creighton with two one-run victories, while Evansville sent Bradley home with two losses, scoring 30 runs in the two games. Southern Illinois earned a 10-inning win over visiting Indiana State, ending a four-game losing streak in Valley play.
In the lone non-conference game of the day, Wichita State fell to San Jose State in the final game of the three-game series, 4-3.
GAME 1: MISSOURI STATE 5, CREIGHTON 4
GAME 2: MISSOURI STATE 6, CREIGHTON 5
MSU (17-21, 3-6 MVC); CU )18-15, 6-9 MVC)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State senior outfielder Christian Overstreet hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning Sunday afternoon to cap a doubleheader sweep of Missouri Valley Conference rival Creighton as the Bears won 5-4 and 6-5 at Hammons Field.
Overstreet's homer one-hopped over the indoor practice facility and came two innings after his RBI double sparked a rally to tie the game after a 5-3 deficit. That two-bagger scored Tyler Paxson, who homered twice and drove in five runs in the twinbill, before J.C. Casey's single plated Overstreet for his first career RBI.
The Bears fell behind 5-3 when CU scored an unearned run in the sixth, the only tally allowed by freshman Clay Murphy (3-0), who struck out five in 4.2 innings relieving starter Aaron Meade.
Creighton led 2-0 three batters into the game after Trever Adams doubled off the wall in center before the Bears battled to lead 3-2 after the fourth. Kevin Medrano hit a solo homer in the first, extending his hitting streak to 20 games, and scored again in the fourth on Paxson's two-run shot over the 400-foot sign in center.
T.J. Roemmich and Scott Thornburg had RBI hits for CU in the fifth that gave the Jays a 4-3 lead at the time.
Paxson put Missouri State ahead 3-0 in the first game with a three-run homer in the first, and, after an Ian Dike RBI double in the second, the Bears' Travis McComack homered for a 4-1 lead. Medrano tripled and scored on Keenen Maddox's sac fly in the third, and Missouri State remained ahead 5-1 until the seventh.
In the seventh, MSU committed two errors to allow a pair of runs to score, and Jimmy Swift's RBI single in the ninth pulled the visitors within a run before Grant Gordon struck out the final Bluejay for his sixth save.
MSU senior Pat Doyle (4-6) struck out a career-high 10 Bluejays in the game one victory, becoming the third Bear to fan 10 in a game this season.
The Bears improved to 17-21 overall and 3-6 in the league, while Creighton fell to 18-15 and 6-9 in Valley play. Missouri State returns to action at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday with a game at sixth-ranked Arkansas (33-8).
Several notable occurrences happened during the doubleheader:
- Missouri State homered twice off each Creighton starter, a rarity considering Ty Blach had allowed no home runs in 42 innings entering game one and Brandon Koenigstein had allowed one in 53.2 innings. Reliever Bobby Lackovic had also surrendered one homer in 24.1 innings before Overstreet went yard.
- Medrano's hitting streak matches Dant'e Brinkley in 2003 for the sixth longest in school history. He has 15 multi-hit games in the streak and has hit safely in his last 30 games at Hammons Field.
- Medrano combined to hit for the cycle in the two games of the doubleheader.
- Missouri State has hit three walk-off homers in its last 41 games - Daniel Torrente (5/20/09), Keenen Maddox (4/14/10) and Overstreet today. Before Torrente's walk-off last year, MSU had gone 11 years without a walk-off homer.
- Missouri State had 10 extra-base hits and five singles in the doubleheader.
- With 22 strikeouts in two games, MSU pitching has struck out at least 10 batters 18 times now this season.
• Murphy went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in nine innings for the week.
GAME 1: EVANSVILLE 15, BRADLEY 5 (8 innings)
GAME 2: EVANSVILLE 15, BRADLEY 13
UE (23-17, 5-4 MVC); BU (12-23, 5-10 MVC)
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - After losing a tough one-run decision in the ninth inning on Friday night in a Missouri Valley Conference series opener with the visiting Bradley Braves, University of Evansville baseball coach Wes Carroll wondering how his young team would respond. The answer came very quickly and decisively on Sunday.
Evansville jumped to an 11-1 lead in game one of a doubleheader and an 11-3 lead in the nightcap en route to a two-game sweep of the Braves by scores of 15-5 in eight innings and 15-13. With the doubleheader sweep, the Purple Aces earned their second MVC series victory of the year, while staying red-hot as winners of eight of the last nine games.
The opener turned into a home run derby between UE juniors Cody Fick and Greg Wallace, as Fick tied a UE single-game record with three home runs, while Wallace went back-to-back with Fick twice in the contest, as UE cruised to the 15-5 run-rule victory. Bradley momentarily took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by junior outfielder Brian Martin, but the Purple Aces responded by sending 11 men to the plate in the bottom half of the frame while scoring six runs, highlighted by Fick's first home run of the opener, a two-run shot to left field.
The Purple Aces would tack on a seventh run in the second inning on an RBI double by junior outfielder Nate Smith, before Wallace and Fick hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning to help UE open up an 11-1 lead.
Bradley would get back within six runs at 11-5 thanks to an RBI single by first baseman Mike McMillan in the fourth inning and two UE errors in the fifth inning, but once again, Wallace and Fick hit back-to-back solo home runs in the fifth inning to extend the lead back out to eight runs, 13-5. UE would then pick up the run-rule victory with a pair of runs in the eighth inning to finish the opener.
In the nightcap, Bradley jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, before UE would erupt for eight runs in the bottom of the frame en route to building an 11-3 lead midway through the game. Evansville sent 12 men to the plate in the eight-run second inning, which featured a two-run triple by junior designated hitter Shawn Kuester, a two-run single by Wallace, and RBI base hits by senior first baseman Tom Heithoff and freshman catcher Chris Pearson.
Wallace would add two more runs to UE's lead in the third inning with a two-run triple to the wall in center field to push the lead to 10-3, before Heithoff delivered another RBI base hit in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 11-3. In the nightcap, though, Bradley would not go quietly, scoring six runs in the fifth inning to trim the UE lead to just 11-9. Wallace would come through with an RBI sacrifice fly to key a two-run fifth inning for UE and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch in a two-run sixth inning to push the lead to 15-9, before the Braves would battle back with two runs each in the seventh and ninth innings to produce the game's final score of 15-13.
In the nightcap, all nine UE starters collected hits, with Wallace going 2-for-4 with a career-high six RBI. Wallace finished the doubleheader with nine RBI and currently leads the MVC in RBI with 62, as he is just five RBI shy of tying UE's single-season school record of 67, set by Pat Schulz in 1992. Bradley's Mike McMillan paced the Braves' 19-hit attack in the nightcap by going a perfect 6-for-6 at the plate with a double, a home run, two runs scored and two runs driven in. Bradley DH Brad Kimball also launched his third and fourth home runs of the year for the Braves in the nightcap, while driving in three runs.
With the doubleheader sweep, Evansville improves to 23-17 overall and 5-4 in the MVC. Bradley, meanwhile, falls to 12-23 on the year and 5-10 in the Valley with the two losses. Evansville is now off until Friday night, when the Purple Aces will travel west to Omaha, Nebraska to open up a three-game Valley series with league-rival Creighton. Friday's game will start at 6:30 p.m. and take place at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, the home of the College World Series.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 13, INDIANA STATE 12 (10 innings)
SIU (18-22, 6-8 MVC); INS (25-12, 6-5 MVC)
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois baseball team saw an eight-run lead dissipate in the top of the ninth, but were able to salvage the day and came back to beat Indiana State, 13-12, in the 10th inning on a rainy Sunday at Abe Martin Field.
There was a doubleheader scheduled for Sunday after Saturday's game was rained out, but the final game was canceled because of inclement weather.
Southern Illinois ends a four-game losing streak in Missouri Valley Conference play with the chaotic win. They improve to 18-22 on the year and 6-8 in the Valley while Indiana State falls to 25-12 and 6-5.
SIU was up 11-3 entering the top of the ninth, but the sure thing went down the drain. Indiana State drew four walks, got six hits and one costly throwing error on a play at second base where the ball ended up in the outfield. The bases were loaded when it happened and all three runners came home to give the Sycamores a 12-11 lead.
However, Indiana State didn't fair much better on the mound after that. ISU reliever Kevin Mann walked in the tying run in the ninth and Scott Harlan's wild pitch with the bases in the 10th allowed Chris Serritella to score the game-winning run.
Senior Nathan Forer continued his dominance on the mound, as he only gave up four hits and just two runs in six innings. He left with an 8-2 lead, but did not get the win after the twisted ninth inning. Forer's ERA now stands at 1.48 on the year after his sixth start.
SIU's 13 runs are the most they've scored in a Valley game this season. The Dawgs had 11 hits from seven different batters. The Salukis hit four home runs in the game, doing so for the second time this year.
Senior catcher Tyler Bullock provided much of the run support. He was 3-for-4 with four RBIs off of two doubles and a homer, his ninth of the season.
Freshman Austin Montgomery hit two home runs and finished with three RBIs and Blake Pinnon hit the fourth homer. Montgomery is the fourth Saluki this year that has belted two home runs in a game.
The Salukis are now off from conference play until the middle of May. SIU plays at Eastern Illinois on Wednesday, April 28 before hosting SIU-Edwardsville at home April 30-May 2.