No. 8 Missouri took a rain-shortened 8-4 victory from Missouri State in the marquee game of the Missouri Valley Conference slate, Wednesday. Elsewhere in the Valley, Creighton took a pair of seven-inning contests from North Dakota State despite being no-hit in the opening game. The Bluejays took advantage of nine walks by the Bison pitching staff to take a 2-0 victory in the opener. Northern Iowa scored four runs with two outs in the ninth to bypass Minnesota 13-11, while Evansville earned a 6-5 win over Murray State behind Andy Pascoe’s bat. Saint Louis University earned a 3-2 win over Bradley despite Grant Escue’s best efforts and Purdue took a 5-4 win from Illinois State.
No. 8 Missouri 8, Missouri State 4 (6)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill (Courtesy Missouri State Media Relations) Missouri State scored two runs in the first but could not withstand an eight-run outburst by eighth-ranked Missouri in the middle three innings and suffered an 8-4 defeat in a game that was called due to rain in the top of the seventh.
Missouri State fell to 19-11 on the season, while the Tigers improved to 23-8.
The Bears capitalized on a Missouri error to score two runs in the first. After MU starter Brad Buehler walked Ben Woodbury and Nolan Keane, Brayden Drake grounded a ball up the middle that was fielded by the shortstop. Andrew Thigpen flipped the ball to Greg Folgia at second to force out Keane, but Folgia hurled the relay throw over the first baseman’s head to let Woodbury score and Drake to advance to second. Ben Carlson then knocked a single through the left side to score Drake.
After stranding five baserunners in the first three innings, the first three Tigers reached in the fourth. Missouri tied the game at 2-2 with just one out in the frame after an RBI double and a sacrifice fly. Another double gave MU its first lead before reliever Sean Toler got the final out to end the inning.
The Tigers added two more in the fifth, getting a two-out, two-run homer from Jonah Schmidt to make the score 5-2 in favor of the visitors, but the Bears responded in the bottom of the inning when Drake doubled home Keane to pull the Bears within 5-3.
Jacob Priday crushed a three-run homer for the Tigers in the top of the sixth to extend the lead to 8-3, and the Bears got a run back two batters later after Kyle Paul tripled and Ryan Mantle singled him home.
Missouri loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh before the umpires called for the tarp and the game was declared official after a 20-minute delay.
The Bears return to Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend by hosting Evansville (6-24, 1-8 MVC) in a three-game set.
Saint Louis 3, Bradley 2
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Courtesy Bradley Media Relations) Bradley first baseman Grant Escue went 2-for-4 with a double and his second home run of the year, but host Saint Louis (14-15) got three runs from the bottom two hitters in its lineup to pull out a 3-2 victory versus the Braves (13-15) Wednesday afternoon at the Billiken Sports Complex.
Bradley starter Chris Wright fell to 1-4 on the season, despite tossing 6.0 effective innings Wednesday. Wright allowed three runs on six hits in his 6.0 innings of work.
The Billikens grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after the bottom two hitters in the order reached on a one-out walk and a single to put runners at the corners. Dunn followed with a sacrifice fly to plate the game's first run, and after Yacoub drew a two-out walk, Pinnell delivered a run-scoring single to left center.
Escue cut Bradley's deficit in half, 2-1, in the third inning by cranking a two-out, solo homer to right field. Saint Louis grabbed a necessary insurance run in the fourth inning, however.
Wright retired the next eight Saint Louis hitters before giving way to senior right-hander Eitan Barbalat to start the seventh. Barbalat allowed only one runner on a two-out walk in the seventh and struck out four of the seven batters he faced in his two innings of scoreless relief.
Saint Louis starter Herbert (1-0) picked up his first win of the season by limiting the Braves to one run on three hits and four walks in his 6.0 innings.
Escue laced a one-out double to left to spark Bradley's attempt to rally in the eighth inning against the Billikens. Escue went to third on a passed ball and scored the game's final run on Colby Luttrell's ground out. Jim Clayton fouled out to end the eighth. The Braves failed to rally in the ninth and fell 3-2.
Bradley will return to action with) a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series this weekend at Southern Illinois. The Valley rivals will play Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Creighton 1, North Dakota State 0 (7)
Creighton 2, North Dakota State 0 (7)
OMAHA, Neb. (Courtesy Creighton Media Relations) The Creighton baseball team swept its 16th consecutive doubleheader with dominating pitching on Wednesday, defeating North Dakota State 1-0 and 2-0 in a pair of seven-inning contests at the CU Sports Complex.
Zak Moore (4-2) and Greg Hellhake (2-0) picked up the victories on the mound, respectively, with senior Pat Venditte earning the save in both contests. The Jays improved to 22-8 overall with the two wins, while NDSU’s losing streak hit 10 games as the Bison dropped to 6-17.
In game one, the Jays were no-hit for the first time in recorded school history, but scored first-inning runs via a bases loaded walk and a hit-by-pitch. Despite not recording a hit, Creighton was able to win thanks in part to nine walks by NDSU pitching and a combined shutout by four of its hurlers.
Hellhake was dominant in the nightcap, throwing six innings of one-hit ball. Elliot Soto scored the game’s lone run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning, after picking up one of the team’s four hits to lead off the frame.
In the opener, the Jays used four walks and a hit batsmen in the first frame to score twice.
NDSU pitchers Chad Berg and Chris Paterson combined on the no-hitter, which is believed to be the first-ever of its kind against the Bluejay baseball program. Berg threw the first inning and one batter in the second before Paterson threw the final five innings.
However, Berg’s control issues led to both Creighton runs, as he issued four walks and hit another. He threw 38 pitches in the first inning, but only 15 were for strikes as a patient Jays squad was content to let him put batter-after-batter on base.
Michael Lam started the Jays with a one-out walk in the bottom of the first. Steve Winkelmann then walked on four pitches to move Lam to second. After a pop-out by Darin Ruf, shortstop Vicente Cafaro walked on five pitches to load the bases. Lam came around to score the game’s first run on a five-pitch walk to Brett Mieras. Winkelmann would come plateward when Joe Servais was hit with a 3-2 pitch, making it 2-0.
Venditte was the last of four Bluejay pitchers in game one, throwing the final 1.2 innings. He recorded four strikeouts, including one left handed and three from the right side. Moore was awarded the win in a pre-determined two-inning start. Roemmich threw a scoreless third inning and Kevin Dooley threw 2.1 innings of one-hit ball before giving way to Venditte.
Hellhake was dominant from the start in game two, as he never allowed more than one runner to reach base in an inning. The only hit the redshirt freshman allowed was a fourth-inning leadoff double to NDSU’s Langlais.
After making a great play defensively to rob a base hit in the top of the fifth, Soto led off the bottom of the frame with a single to left field on a 3-2 pitch. He advanced to second on the play when NDSU’s left fielder made an errant throw back to the infield. Soto was then sacrificed to third by Robbie Knight and crossed home plate on a wild pitch by NDSU reliever Shane Bushland.
Hellhake set the Bison down in order in the sixth inning before giving way to Venditte, who pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning for his fifth save of the season and second of the day.
Soto, Lam, Cafaro and Roemmich each singled to account for the Jays’ four hits in game two.
The two shutouts give the Creighton pitching staff seven for the season, which ties Tulane for the national lead.
Creighton will play a crucial three-game Missouri Valley Conference series against rival Wichita State this weekend at Rosenblatt Stadium. The Jays and fifth-ranked Shockers will open with a 6:30 p.m. contest on Friday night.
Evansville 6, Murray State 5
MURRAY, Ky. (Courtesy Evansville Media Relations) University of Evansville sophomore catcher Andy Pascoe continued to swing a red-hot bat Wednesday, and relievers Mark Obenchain and J.R. Carbonell were able to make a pair of three-run innings stand up, as the visiting Purple Aces held off the hard-charging Murray State Thoroughbreds, 6-5, at Johnny Regan Field in Murray, Kentucky.
Pascoe, who went 4-for-4 in UE’s victory at Tennessee-Martin on Tuesday, anchored the UE offensive attack once again on Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI. Pascoe ignited a three-run sixth inning rally which helped UE overcome a 5-3 deficit with a two-run home run to left field, his third home run of the year. Sophomore pinch-hitter Alex Acheson came through with an RBI single later in the frame to cap the three-run rally.
The two three-run innings were enough for Obenchain (1-3) and Carbonell, as they combined to give up just one unearned run in 7.0 innings of work. Obenchain came on in the third inning for UE, surrendering just an unearned run in 5.2 innings of work, while striking out five. Carbonell then came on to record the final out of the eighth inning with a runner on second and induced a game-ending fly out to left field with the potential game-tying run on third base to record his third save of the year.
Pascoe paced UE’s 12-hit attack with a 3-for-4 effort, while Acheson and junior infielder Andy Smith also produced two hits each. Once again, Evansville had balance up and down its lineup, as seven of the nine position starters, and eight players overall, collected hits on the afternoon. Designated hitter Wes Cunningham went 4-for-5 for Murray State (11-15 overall), while third baseman Tyler Owen had three hits and two runs scored as well.
With the victory, Evansville (6-24 overall) has won four non-conference games in a row. The Purple Aces will try to build on that momentum this weekend in conference play, as UE will travel to Springfield, Missouri for a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series at Missouri State. The series begins Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and continue both Saturday (2:00 p.m.) and Sunday (1:00 p.m.) afternoon.
Purdue 5, Illinois State 4
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Courtesy Illinois State Media Relations) Junior Kevin Dubler batted 1-for-2 with a double and two walks but a seventh-inning rally by the Purdue Boilermakers was the difference in the game, as the Illinois State baseball team (13-14) fell, 5-4, in a non-conference game Wednesday at Lambert Field. The Redbirds held a 4-2 lead after six and a half innings of play, but Purdue was able to plate three runs on two hits in the bottom half of the seventh to snap ISU's four-game winning streak.
The Redbirds scored all four of their runs in the first four innings, as ISU did not record a hit after the fourth. Senior Kyle Cherney finished 0-for-1 but tied his career-high with three walks, while junior Justin Rahn was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Freshman Ben Hays (0-1) suffered his first loss of the year after surrendering three runs in two innings of work. As a whole, the Redbird pitching staff allowed only six hits, but gave nine free passes via walks.
For the third-straight game, the Redbirds put runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. Freshman Kevin Tokarski started the rally with a one-out walk and moved into scoring position after he stole second base, his 19th of the season. Dubler followed with a walk, and sophomore Gabe DeMarco delivered an RBI single to left field to plate Tokarski. Cherney then walked to load the bases, as Rahn brought home two more home on a single to left field, giving ISU a 3-0 lead.
However, Redbird starting pitcher Quinn Ewert also struggled on the mound; as he walked the first three batters of the Boilermakers' order in the bottom half of the first. Ewert was able to retire Normal, Ill., native Jordan Comadena on a 6-4-3 double play, but the Redbirds allowed centerfielder Brandon Haveman to score on the play. Ewert surrendered one more run in the inning on a bloop single to left field, as Purdue cut into the deficit, 3-2.
Illinois State added to its lead in the top of the fourth after sophomore Dan Weston led off with a double off the wall in left centerfield. Freshman Corey Maines moved him to third base on a sacrifice and junior Mike Stalowy plated Weston on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
It wasn't until the seventh inning that the Boilermakers were able to break the Redbirds' relief pitchers, as Hays walked the leadoff batter of the frame. After the runner moved into scoring position on a sacrifice, Haveman lined a ball deep to left field. Sophomore Cole Marty, who had just entered the game, had to make a full sprint to get to ball and was not able to secure the catch, as it hit off his glove. One runner scored on the play, and Haveman scored when Hays balked, bringing him home from third base. Purdue added another run on a RBI groundout, giving them a 5-4 lead.
The Boilermaker bullpen was solid in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, as pitchers Drew Wurdack, Andy Loomis and Josh Lindblom combined to record six strikeouts in three innings of scoreless ball.
The Redbirds will host Northern Iowa in a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series this weekend; beginning Friday at 6 p.m. Friday's game is the Third Annual Jimmy Buffett Day at Duffy Bass Field.
Indiana State 10, Eastern Illinois 6
CHARLESTON, IL (Courtesy Indiana State Media Relations) The Indiana State Sycamores rallied from a 6-2 deficit to defeat the Eastern Illinois University Panthers 10-6 Wednesday.
The Sycamores took an early lead in the top of the first as Ryan Strausborger crunched an 0-1 from Eastern Illinois starter Mike Recchia over the left field fence for a solo home run.
Eastern came back in the bottom half, reaching ISU starter Chad Dawson for three runs on three hits and a Sycamore error.
Indiana State followed the same script in the second as they had in the first in cutting Eastern’s lead to 3-2. Brian Oliver stepped to the plate with one out and belted a 1-2 from Recchia over the scoreboard in left center field.
Nathan Inman took over for Dawson to start the second and gave up a lead-off solo home run to EIU’s Brett Nommensen. The Panthers added another run after an ISU error kept the inning alive as EIU took a 5-2 lead. EIU padded their lead with one in the third.
The Sycamores fired back in the top of the fourth. Zane Chavez was hit by a pitch and Brian Oliver walked before David Brumagin singled to center to score Chavez. Pascual Del Real then blasted a 1-2 pitch over the right center field fence that tied the game at 6-all.
Tyler Brandon relieved EIU’s Recchia with two outs, walking Gary King and Strausborger before getting Chris Schmidt to line out to second.
Indiana State took their first lead of the game in the sixth after the Panthers brought in Ross Jeske to pitch. Strausborger and Schmidt hit back-to-back singles and Brady Shoemaker doubled down the right field line to score Strausborger.
The Panthers brought in Brian Morrell who retired the first two batters he faced. Morrell intentionally walked Brian Jett to load the bases
and Brumagin made the Panthers pay, driving a three-run double to the fence in right center giving the Sycamores a 10-6 lead.
Ryan Strausborger had a pair of singles and a solo home run to pace the ISU offense while Chris Schmidt and David Brumagin had a double and a single each, Brian Oliver a home run, and Brady Shoemaker and Zane Chavez a double each.
Nathan Inman picked up his second win of the season and improved to 2-1 overall. Brian Oliver earned his third save of the season.
The Sycamores will be on the road to the University of Arizona where they will play three games over the weekend.
Northern Iowa 13, Minnesota 11
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Courtesy UNI Media Relations) The University of Northern Iowa baseball team entered the top of the ninth trailing by a run, but scored four runs on two outs to claim a 13-11 win over Minnesota in the Metrodome Wednesday afternoon.
Brandon Douglas finished 2-of-4 with a double and a triple for UNI. He also collected three RBIs and scored three runs, including the tying run in the top of the ninth. Cory Ege finished 3-of-4 for the Panthers along with two RBIs.
Tim Flattery (2-0) gave up two runs in 1.1 innings to earn the win for the Panthers. Joe Gonzalez earned the save for UNI, his fourth of the season.
Dane Embury singled up the middle with one out in the top of the first. Brandon Douglas followed with a double off the right field wall to send Embury to third. Chris Lopez hit a single up the middle to score Embury, and Brett Featherston hit a sacrifice fly into center to score Douglas and put UNI in front 2-0.
In the top of second, Travis Hendrix drew a one-out walk. He stole second and moved to third on a ground out. Cory Ege hit a single through the right side of the field to score Hendrix and put the Panthers in front, 3-0.
Mike Kvasnicka led off the bottom half of that inning with a double down the right line. He scored on a single by Jon Hummel to cut the Panther advantage to 3-1.
With bases loaded and one out in the top of the fourth, Cory Ege hit a sacrifice fly into right to score Brett Featherston. Deric Manrique walked to reload the bases, and Embury drew a two-out walk to score Brett Douglas. With bases loaded, two out and a full count, Brandon Douglas hit a triple down the left field line to clear the bases and give UNI an 8-2 lead. Brandon Douglas scored on a wild pitch to give the Panthers a 9-2 advantage.
Kyle Knudson led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple into right. He scored on a single by Jon Hummel. Jeremy Chlan doubled into right, and Matt Nohelty followed with a bloop single into left to score Hummel. Eric Decker singled into center to score Chlan and cut the Panther lead to 9-5. Jeff DeSmidt and Derek McCullum each hit RBI singles for the Gophers to bring the score to 9-7. UNI was able to turn the double play to end the inning.
Neither team scored until the bottom of the seventh, when a two-out double by Nohelty scored Aaron Larson to trim the Panther lead to 9-8.
In the bottom of the eighth, Minnesota used three hits and a Panther error to score two runs and take its first lead of the game, 10-9.
Brandon Douglas and Featherston each drew walks, and Brett Douglas was hit by a pitch to give the Panthers the tying run at third with two out. Minnesota closer Scott Matyas' first pitch to Travis Hendrix skipped past the catcher, allowing Brandon Douglas to score on the wild pitch. Hendrix laid down a bunt to score Featherston and give the Panthers an 11-10 lead. Eddie Almonte hit a single up the middle and off Matya's glove, scoring Brett Douglas. Ege singled down the right line, and a throwing error by Gopher first baseman Joe Maciej allowed Hendrix to score from second to put UNI in front 13-10.
Minnesota was able to get one run back in the bottom of the ninth, and the Gophers brought the tying run to the plate. The Panthers were able to end the rally, however, coming away with the 13-11 victory.
UNI returns to action on Friday when it plays at Illinois State at 6 p.m.
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