Missouri State held No. 7 Arkansas to six hits and had three opportunities to drive in the tying run in the eighth inning before falling 5-4 to the Razorbacks at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark. The Valley finished 4-2 on the night, with wins over two Big Ten teams (Indiana State over Indiana, 14-7, and Creighton over Iowa, 15-10) and one Big 12 team (Wichita State over Oklahoma State, 13-7). Southern Illinois also garnered a 10-inning victory over visiting Eastern Illinois, 8-6.
No. 7 ARKANSAS 5, MISSOURI STATE 4
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Missouri State baseball team held seventh-ranked Arkansas to six hits Wednesday and had three opportunities to drive in the tying run in the eighth inning before falling 5-4 to the Razorbacks at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark.
Trailing 5-4 in the eighth, the Bears (17-22) got a leadoff double from Keenen Maddox and a Tyler Paxson walk with nobody out to get runners on first and second before a disputed call on a pickoff went against MSU and dealt a big blow to the Bears' comeback attempt.
Maddox dove back to second and beat the pickoff throw from catcher James McCann before shortstop Matt Reynolds applied the tag. The umpire paused before calling Maddox out, ruling the MSU freshman's hand came to rest on the foot of Reynolds and never got to the bag. That left a runner on first with one out when Curt Courtwright singled to left, a hit that would have almost assuredly scored Maddox and tied the game. UA's Jeremy Heatley recorded the final two outs of the eighth and retired the side in the ninth for the save.
Arkansas' Brett Eibner hit sacrifice flies in the first and third innings and hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Reynolds had an RBI fielder's choice in the fourth for the only run after the Razorbacks had loaded the bases with no outs.
The Bears scored in the third when Travis McComack walked and scored on Kevin Medrano's two-out double. The two-bagger extended Medrano's hitting streak to 21 games, matching Evan Pratte (1990) for the fifth longest in school history.
Christian Overstreet gave the Bears a 4-2 lead in the fourth, crushing a three-run homer to right-center that cut through winds blowing in from right at 15-20 miles per hour.
Pierce Johnson started and went three-plus innings for the Bears. Blake Barber (2-4) pitched innings four through six and was on the hill when the Hogs took the lead for good. Aaron Meade closed with two perfect frames while fanning three. He struck out Eibner in the seventh for his 200th career K and now sits 12th in school history with 202.
Arkansas improved to 34-8 overall and 25-3 at home.
Missouri State travels to Indiana State (27-12, 6-5 Missouri Valley Conference) this weekend for a three-game set that begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Other Wednesday Non-Conference Scores from Around the Valley:
Indiana State 17, Indiana 4
Wichita State 13, Oklahoma State 7
Creighton 15, Iowa 10
Southern Illinois 8, Eastern Illinois 6 (10 innings)
Northern Illinois 6, Bradley 3