The Missouri State baseball team now sits at 3-4 after losing 6-5 to Oral Roberts on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and dropping two games to a weekend series against Cal Poly.
Here's a breakdown of how the Bears performed in their second week of play.
The Bears lost in walk-off fashion to ORU on Tuesday courtesy of a bloop single into right field by Golden Eagle second baseman Mac McCroskey in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Although MSU held a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning, neither team seemed to have control of the game.
Both teams found different ways to get on base and capitalize on runners in scoring position — ORU just found a way to do it a few more times.
The Golden Eagles held a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning before sophomore catcher Drake Baldwin smacked a leadoff homer to tie the game.
The Bears found a way to load the bases in the top of the ninth inning, but untimely strikeouts led to all the runners being stranded. MSU left 17 runners on base and 10 in scoring position.
ORU used three singles, including the walk-off from McCroskey, in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win.
The usually active bats for the Bears were quieted by a 14-strikeout performance by the Cal Poly pitching staff in the first game of the series on Saturday, Feb. 26.
The Bears only reached base six times, and junior middle infielder Will Duff was the only Bear to record multiple hits in the 5-1 loss.
The bats didn’t stay quiet for long as MSU exploded for a total of 20 runs and 29 hits in Saturday's doubleheader.
MSU won the first game of the doubleheader 8-5 after being in a 5-0 hole going into the top of the sixth inning.
Senior infielder Mason Hull cranked a grand slam over the left field wall to cut the Mustang lead to one, and it was all MSU from there.
Senior reliever Trey Ziegenbein faced 11 batters and only allowed two hits in three innings of work to secure his first win of the season.
Coupled with Ziegenbein’s pitching was a three-RBI triple in the seventh from Duff to extend the MSU lead and effectively put the game away.
MSU lost the second game of the doubleheader 14-12 despite scoring six runs in the last two innings.
Cal Poly had four leads of four or more runs throughout the game, but MSU kept finding ways to stay in the game.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning, but right fielder Dakota Kotowski cut the lead in half with a two-run homer in the MSU side of the inning.
The hitters were electric for both teams. Cal Poly used a three-RBI homer from shortstop Lee Brooks to take a 10-4 lead in the fifth inning, but MSU responded with an RBI triple from redshirt freshman outfielder Spencer Nivens and an RBI single from Wood to make the score 10-6.
MSU looked to be closing the lead before Cal Poly’s Matt Lopez hammered a two-out grand slam in the seventh, making the lead 14-6.
Kotowski and Wood both added RBIs in the eighth inning to cut the lead to five. Cal Poly went for the easy outs in the ninth and allowed MSU to creep within two runs, but that's as close as the Bears could get.
MSU is back in action on Wednesday, March 2 at 3 p.m. to take on Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas.
Follow TJ Scott on Twitter, @iamtjs_
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