Baseball Championship: Missouri State 14, Southern Illinois 10
No. 8 MISSOURI STATE 14, No. 4 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 10
MSU (21-33); SIU (28-29)
WICHITA, Kan. - Missouri State faced a 7-2 deficit after five-and-a-half innings Wednesday before ripping off a season-best 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth and holding on to defeat Southern Illinois 14-10 in an elimination game at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championship at Eck Stadium in Wichita, Kan.
Brett Marshall homered and Kevin Medrano hit an RBI double to briefly give the Bears a 2-1 lead after the third, but starter Aaron Meade had a shaky fourth, issuing four walks and a single before leaving the bases loaded with nobody out for Grant Gordon (4-2), who pitched the final six innings and eventually landed the win. Two more of Meade's runners scored in the fourth and the Salukis (28-29) added two in the sixth to go ahead 7-2.
Missouri State (21-33) answered by loading the bases with no outs in the sixth, scoring on sacrifice flies from Marshall and Christian Overstreet before plating nine runs with two outs. Aaron Conway continued the rally with an RBI single and Keenen Maddox got the lead back at 9-7 with a grand slam to left. After that, the Bears hit six consecutive singles to score four more runs on an error and RBI hits from Curt Courtwright, Travis McComack and Marshall.
SIU hit three straight two-out RBI singles to pull within 13-10 in the eighth, and the Bears executed a double steal with Overstreet swiping second and Courtwright stealing home to add an insurance run in the bottom of the frame.
Missouri State plays another elimination game at 12:30 p.m. Thursday against the loser of Wednesday night's Wichita State/Evansville contest.
NOTES: All nine MSU starters had a hit and a run scored while seven finished with an RBI ... Missouri State overcame a five-run deficit to win. The previous season high was three runs on two occasions ... Courtwright's steal of home was the first for a Bear since Conway did against Oral Roberts on 4/22/08 ... Keenen Maddox's grand slam was MSU's second of the season ... Meade struck out four to move into a tie with Dave Dickensheet for fifth in school history with 226 in his career ... Medrano's two hits tied him for 10th in MSU history with 86 on the year, while he is now sixth with 62 singles ... The 11 runs in the sixth inning was the most since the Bears scored 11 in the third inning against SEMO on 3/17/09 ... The 11 runs also tied an MVC Tournament record for runs in an inning ... Courtwright, McComack and Luke Voit all had two hits in the sixth inning ... Missouri State has won at least one game in each of its last 15 trips to the MVC Tournament. The last time the Bears went winless was in 1994.