It was an offensive slugfest that saw 21 runs on Tuesday night, but the final run to cross home plate didn’t score via a hit.
Missouri State scored on a ninth-inning wild pitch to plate the 21st and final run of a see-saw battle with Oklahoma State to claim an 11-10 nonconference victory.
Moments after the Cowboys erased a three-run deficit in the eighth inning, the Bears took advantage of a hit batsman, a passed ball and three wild pitches in the ninth to seize the lead for good.
Freshman outfielder Greg Ziegler, who has no relation to former MSU star Brad Ziegler, raced home with the go-ahead run on a one out, Zach Cable errant pitch after reaching thanks to a hit by pitch.
Sophomore closer Hayden Juenger picked up his first win of the season, tossing a scoreless bottom of the ninth. The right-hander struck out the first two batters before working around a pair of two-out baserunners.
The win for Missouri State was made possible by a rejuvenated offense that enjoyed its most-productive performance of the season. The offense was led by three-hit games from senior Jack Duffy and sophomore standout Dakota Kotowski.
Not only did the Bears record season-highs for both hits (12) and runs, the team also converted multi-run rallies in four different innings.
Kotowski had a career-best four RBIs and got the ball rolling in the top of the first by lacing a two-out, two-run single off Oklahoma State starter Kale Davis.
After the Cowboys responded by scoring three times over the first two innings, senior Ben Whetstone slugged his first home run of the season to tie the game at 3-3.
That sparked another big Missouri State inning.
A sophomore Mason Hull single and walks to Ziegler and senior Logan Geha set up a pair of two-out hits that ultimately handed the Bears the first of their three-run leads of the night.
Duffy laced a two-run single to center, and junior Grant Wood made it a 6-3 contest with his base hit up the middle.
But Oklahoma State answered the rally with tallies in the fourth and sixth frames to pull to within one run. Kotowski gave the Bears some breathing room with his two-run homer to left-center in the seventh, but the Cowboys followed with a two-run rally in the home half to pull within 8-7.
Duffy delivered again in the eighth, collecting a one-out RBI single before freshman Drake Baldwin knocked him in with a two-out double for a 10-7 advantage. Once again, Oklahoma State had an answer, tying the game with three runs in their half of the eighth.
With runners on first and second and two outs in the ninth, Juenger settled down by inducing and gloving a soft pop-up to secure the Bears’ first road victory over Oklahoma State since 2012.
Up next, Missouri State makes their home-debut at Hammons Field on Friday against Maine, the first of a three-game set.