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.
The Bears got to 36-14 overall with the two victories.
MSU closes the regular season Thursday through Saturday at Northern Iowa.
Game 1 recapThe 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.
Game 2 recap
Game two was seemingly in hand with the Bears taking a 6-0 lead into the ninth. Middle Tennessee rallied to tie the game with a six-run outburst, then retired MSU in order in the bottom of the frame to send it to extras.
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 Tennessee starter Chad Edwards worked his way out of the jam with no further damage.
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.
Story courtesy of Missouri State athletic website