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Sunday, May 11, 2008 | Baseball
Penultimate Weekend Closes; Tournament Field Set
Wichita State, Missouri State, Creighton, UNI, Bradley and Southern Illinois will meet later this month in Wichita, Kan. for the 2008 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Tournament. Bradley clinched a spot with an 11-4 win over Northern Iowa, which clinched earlier this weekend. Southern Illinois took two-of-three from Illinois State to capture a seed while Creighton swept Indiana State to bolster its tournament position. Wichita State took two-of-three from Evansville to remain in the hunt for the top seed, while Missouri State swept Middle Tennessee State in non-conference action.
Ill. - (Courtesy Bradley Media Relations) The Bradley baseball team salvaged
the final game of a weekend series versus
Grant Escue and Dan Brewer combined for seven hits and both players drove in three runs and scored twice to lead the offensive attack. Junior closer Kori Jensen relieved starter Lendsey Thomson in the third inning and improved to 5-0 by completing his longest outing of the season. Jensen scattered six hits in 6.2 innings, allowing two runs with a career-best eight strikeouts.
For the third time in the series, Bradley grabbed a first-inning lead.. Escue started the rally by reaching on an error and Brewer followed with a double inside the bag at third.Colby Luttrell put the Braves on the board with a sacrifice fly and Jim Clayton’s single through the right side made it 2-0.
The Panthers loaded the bases with one out in the second, but third baseman Rob Elliott started a rally-killing double play with a nice play in the hole. The Braves came back with two more runs in the bottom of the second for a 4-0 lead on a two-out RBI double by Escue and run-scoring single by Brewer.
The visitors again bounced back in the top of the third as Thomson surrendered a leadoff walk to Travis Hendrix in front of a Brandon Douglas base hit. With runners at second and third and no outs, Brett Douglas put the Panthers on the board with a sacrifice fly to center field that also advanced his twin brother to third. Brett Featherson followed with a single into the rightfield corner to pull UNI within 4-2, while also ending Thomson’s day. Thomson allowed two runs on six hits and two walks with one strike out in 2.1 innings.
Bradley started a four-run outburst in the third, a rally that started when Nick Mitidiero followed Clayton’s one-out walk with a double off the left centerfield wall to put runners at second and third. Matt Fritz brought home Clayton with a ground ball to short for a 5-2 lead. After Tommy Fitzgerald struck out looking, Elliott delivered an RBI single to right to push the lead back to four runs, 6-2. Escue ripped a two-run double high off the wall in right on the next pitch to complete the uprising with the Braves leading 8-2.
UNI got one run back in the fourth on a Hendrix two-out RBI single.
Derek Ott relieved UNI starter Nick Kirk (4-5) to start the fourth and retired five of the first six batters he faced until running into two-out trouble in the fifth. After a four-pitch walk to Elliott, Escue rolled his third hit of the day into right field on a hit-and-run play to put runners at the corners. Brewer drove his third hit of the day through the box, plating Elliott for a 9-3 lead.
Jensen was cruising until Brandon Douglas launched his eighth homer of the year, a solo shot with one out in the seventh to make it 9-4.
Bradley again got the run back in the bottom of the seventh. Tommy Fitzgerald became the eighth Brave to get a hit by leading off the seventh with a soft single to right. He eventually scored on Brewer’s two-out double into the right field corner. UNI intentionally walked Luttrell to face the hitless (0-4) Mike Brumleve. The junior rightfielder came through with a single up the middle to plate Brewer for the final 11-4 margin.
Starter Mike Nihsen improved to 4-1, picking up the win with six-plus solid innings. He allowed two runs on five hits before giving way to Jack VanLeur and Pat Venditte, who combined to throw three scoreless innings.
Creighton was quick to answer, evening the score with a first-inning run of its own. Leadoff batter Robbie Knight was hit by Matt Shelton’s first pitch. Michael Lam then sacrificed Knight to second and Darin Ruf delivered with an opposite field single to bring home Knight.
The Bluejays added another run in the second, again by getting the leadoff batter to reach without the benefit of a base hit. Nick Nordgren worked a walk and was moved to second on Vicente Cafaro’s sacrifice bunt. After Joe Servais flew out to left field, Brett Mieras ripped a two-out single to right field to bring in Nordgren.
settled in after allowing the leadoff double. He retired 12 straight batters
The Sycamores again managed runners on the corners with one out in the sixth following a Chris Schmidt single. But it was another inning-ending double play, this time a 3-6-3 twin killer, to get Nihsen out of the jam.
wind-aided opposite field home run by Vicente Cafaro in the bottom of the sixth
pushed CU’s lead to 3-1. Servais followed with a single and advanced to second
on a wild pitch with two away. After ISU brought in left hander Josh Varno to
Nihsen gave up a leadoff single and a walk to start the seventh to end his day and make way for the redshirt freshman VanLeur. After getting the first out on a sacrifice bunt, the lefthander induced a groundball from Ramirez that scored a run but accounted for the second out. VanLeur then left a runner stranded at third by getting another groundout to end the frame.
Creighton answered ISU’s run with one of its own in the bottom of the seventh. A Knight single, a Ruf intentional walk and a Winkelmann hit by pitch loaded the bases with one out. Nordgren then drove in Knight with a sharply-hit sacrifice fly to left field.
ISU left a runner stranded on third base for the fourth straight inning in the eighth, as a one-out triple by Strausborger was squashed by back-to-back strikeouts. VanLeur struck out his final batter, before Venditte came in to fan Ciolli to end the inning.
Venditte then set down the Sycamores in the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
(33-17) wrapped up Missouri Valley Conference play at 16-8 and ensured no worse
than the fourth seed at the upcoming MVC Tournament.
Kevin Dooley (1-1) earned his first win with 3.2 scoreless innings of relief. Michael Lam went 3-for-4 with two RBI and finished a home run shy of the cycle.
third time in the series,
After only two hits through the first four innings, the Creighton offense got things going in the bottom of the fifth. Mieras led off the frame with a triple to center field and came around to score on a hustling double by Lam. Knight then beat out the throw on a bunt to third base, leaving runners at the corners. Elliot Soto then drove home Lam with a sacrifice fly to right field, giving CU a 2-1 lead.
The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Creighton answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to knock ISU starter Micah Spencer out of the game. T.J. Roemmich led off the rally with a double to left center field. Vicente Cafaro followed with an RBI double to the near identical location, drawing CU within 4-3.
After a Joe Servais sacrifice moved Cafaro to third, Brett Mieras evened the score with a single to center field. The Jays then took the lead on a run-scoring triple by Lam.
in to relieve
CU added two big insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh. Roemmich beat out a potential inning-ending double play to extend the frame for Cafaro, who doubled for the second time to leave runners at second and third. Servais then delivered with a bloop single to right center, scoring Roemmich and Cafaro to extend the lead to 7-4.
Dooley took care of things from there. He struck out two in the eighth and set down the Sycamores in order in the ninth.
Bluejays will have a day off before returning to action on Tuesday against
It took over seven hours and 22 innings, but the Missouri State baseball team came away with a doubleheader sweep of Middle Tennessee by scores of 4-3 and 7-6 Sunday at Hammons Field, the second of which gave head coach Keith Guttin his 900th career victory in 26 years at Missouri State. Fittingly enough on senior day, senior Kyle Paul drove in the game-winner with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 13th in game two for the MSU win.
got to 36-14 overall with the two victories. MSU closes the regular season
Thursday through Saturday at
The Bears struck first in game one, drawing three straight two-out walks in the bottom of the second after a Josh Mazzola single to gain a 1-0 lead.
Baumann held the Blue Raiders hitless until a leadoff single in the fifth, and the shutout was gone three batters later on a Taylor Dennis RBI single. Baumann retired the next two hitters to keep the game tied at 1-1.
The score remained tied until Dallas Hord led off the bottom of the seventh with his fourth homer of the year, a solo shot that just cleared the center field wall. Then with one out, Brayden Drake snuck a double inside the third base bag to score Nolan Keane all the way from first. Ben Carlson followed with an RBI single as the Bears took a 4-1 lead through seven.
Middle Tennessee got a two-out, two-run homer from Rawley Bishop in the eighth to pull within a run and end Baumann’s day, but not before the southpaw completed 7.2 innings and fanned nine while allowing five hits to improve to 6-3.
Matt Frevert got the final four outs, including striking out the side in the ninth, to record his seventh save of the season and 14th of his career to move into second place on MSU’s career list.
was seemingly in hand with the Bears taking a 6-0 lead into the ninth. Middle
Each pitcher worked a scoreless 10th and the Bears sent freshman Cody Aycock to the mound in the 11th. Aycock sat down the Blue Raiders in order with a pair of strikeouts, and Tyler Hyde returned the favor to complete his fourth consecutive hitless inning.
It was a quick 12th for both teams as well before Missouri State loaded the bases with one out in the 13th, setting the stage for Paul. The senior catcher lifted a high fly ball to center field that was deep enough to score Carlson from third as the game-winning run.
Aycock (3-1) got the win after throwing the final three scoreless innings.
The Bears grabbed
the early lead, opening up with singles from Ben Woodbury and Keane and an RBI
double by Drake to lead 1-0 three batters in. Middle
Mantle gave the Bears a 2-0 lead with a one-out solo homer in the second, and the lead was extended to 3-0 in the third after a Drake leadoff single and a Mazzola RBI double with two outs.
Aaron Meade retired the first nine Blue Raiders he faced before issuing a leadoff walk in the fourth and took a no-hitter into the seventh before Tyler Burnett sent a single to right. Meade completed seven scoreless innings, struck out eight and allowed just two singles.
MSU put the first two men on in the fifth and got another RBI double from Mazzola to extend the lead to 4-0, and Drake added an RBI single with two outs in the sixth to plate Mantle from second.
MTSU reliever Brett Smalley hit three of the first four batters he faced in the seventh to load the bases for the Bears with one out, setting up Woodbury’s RBI single to left center for a 6-0 game.
The Blue Raiders made things interesting in the ninth, scoring four runs and putting a runner on second with one out, bringing Frevert in from the bullpen. Frevert got the second out but Zach Barrett knocked a two-run single to right to tie it at 6-6 before Blake McDade struck out looking to end the frame.
Drake tied a school record by being hit with three pitches in the game, and the team was hit nine times to match the school mark.
EVANSVILLE, Ind.- (Courtesy Wichita State Media Relations) Despite a four hour pre-game delay and an hour-plus in-game delay, Wichita State (38-14 , 16-5 MVC) and Evansville (14-38, 4-17 MVC) were able to complete seven innings, as the Shockers came away with a 16-3 victory.
Due to wet
weather conditions, Sunday’s game was delayed four hours and pushed back to a 5
p.m., start time. The nature of the game was imperative regarding the
conference race, leaving
Workman worked a 3-1 count for a walk and a sacrifice fly from Tyler Weber
brought in McKeever. Tyler Hill reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing out
Workman at second, but moving Coleman to third. Bret Bacue, taking over left field
duties, bounced a double sharply past the first baseman, driving in two runs.
Dirks’ second at bat of the inning looked eerily similar to his first with a
single, stolen base and error by the UE catcher. Jones hit a high fly to right
and three fielders gave chase, but the ball was lost in the gray sky and
dropped in for an RBI double. Gillaspie capped the first with a single in the
same spot as his first, this time driving in Jones and giving
The shutout didn’t last long as Shawn Kuester doubled to right field and was plated by a Greg Wallace single up the middle in the bottom half of the frame. Andy Smith homered off of Anthony Capra’s first pitch in the second, cutting the score to 9-2. Capra slipped off the mound, issuing a fourth ball to Jared Baehl before the rain ensued and the field was tarped.
After the one hour and 39 minute delay, Capra came back out and got three-straight UE hitters.
had completely let up, but the
After McKeever came around with a double, wild pitch and error, Bascue blasted the lead open in the fourth with a grand slam to straight away center field. Workman and Hill were on board with walks and Weber on with a hit before the four-run homer, making it 15-2.
was added in the fifth with a Gillaspie single and stolen base. The junior
scored on a booted ball by
Peter Tountas greeted reliever Khol Nanney with a homerun to left field in the bottom of the sixth and hit Smith, but after a visit to the mound by pitching coach Brent Kemnitz, the senior righty struck out the side.
Bascue set a new career-high for RBI in a game with six, and also set the season-high mark for the team. Not only was the Shocker offense on fire, the defense was improved from the first two games of the series. WSU was errorless and saw ground balls fielded on the choppy dirt, fly balls caught in the slippery outfield and even snags of hard-hit line drives.
long drive home,