The Missouri State baseball team claimed its third Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship and first since 2003 Friday with a 17-12 win over 26th-ranked Indiana State at Hammons Field.
The Bears (31-19, 16-5) led 13-2 after four innings only to see Indiana State (33-17, 15-6) make it a one-run game with four in the sixth and six in the eighth before finally putting the game away with four in the bottom of the eighth. Missouri State earned the top seed in next week’s MVC Tournament regardless of Saturday’s outcome with ISU, and can claim the league title outright with a win.
Tyler Ryun began a seven-run second with a single to score Chris Playter, Travis McComack followed with another to plate Trevor Rogers and Kevin Medrano added another RBI single to keep things going. Drake drove in McComack with a sac fly for the second out before Carlson lined a two-run shot over the wall in right that peaked about 20-feet above the field. Hord made it back-to-back and atoned for the triple play by sending reliever Cordell Greene’s first pitch over the center field wall for the final tally in the seven-run inning that put MSU ahead 9-2.
Buddy Baumann, who was just named a finalist for a national pitcher of the year award, retired 13 of 14 Sycamores without allowing a hit until a leadoff single in the sixth. Two batters later, Brady Shoemaker hit a three-run homer to make the score 13-5. The Sycamores tacked on another run with two outs to get within seven.
Baumann (10-1) moved from 11th to eighth on Missouri State’s career strikeout list with 208 after fanning seven in the game, and became the sixth pitcher in school history to win 10 games in a season after going six innings.
The series concludes at 2 p.m. Saturday when Missouri State will honor the 1969 D-II College World Series team coached by outgoing A.D. Bill Rowe.