The Missouri State baseball team put up its highest run total since the 2004 season and set a season-high with 22 hits to earn the Missouri Valley Conference sweep of Indiana State with a 21-10 victory Sunday afternoon at Sycamore Field in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Bears moved to 33-14 on the season and 16-5 in the league, their highest conference win total since the Valley shifted to a 24-game schedule in 2005.
Ben Woodbury lined the second pitch of the game into the right field corner for his third triple of the weekend and scored on a Nolan Keane sacrifice fly one batter later as the Bears were off to the races offensively. With two outs, ISU’s Micah Spencer walked Ben Carlson on four pitches, Chris Playter hit an infield single and Josh Mazzola slugged his fourth home run of the weekend and 10th of the season to left. Matt Welch and Kyle Paul followed with consecutive doubles and Ryan Mantle singled through the left side to plate Paul, ending a six-run first where the Bears sent 10 men to bat and hit for the cycle as a team.
Two singles and an error on the center fielder gave the Bears runners on the corners with no outs in the fourth, and Brayden Drake got the lead back with a one-out single. Playter singled in Woodbury from second with his third hit of the afternoon and the Sycamores intentionally walked Mazzola to load the bases before Welch cleared them with a triple off the base of the wall in center. Spencer walked Paul and Mantle to load the bases again and Woodbury drove in two more with a ground ball through the left side to cap a seven-run inning and make the score 13-6.
ISU reliever David Gurbach walked the bases loaded in the fifth and then issued a two-out walk to Paul to force Carlson home for a 14-6 lead.
The Bears travel to Missouri on Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. contest.