In game six of the State Farm MVC Baseball Championship, No. 2 Missouri State eliminated No. 3 Wichita State, behind Cody Schumacher’s complete game 7-0 shutout. The Bears will face the loser of the Bradley vs. Southern Illinois contest, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
The Bears (38-19) scored six early runs and Schumacher took care of the rest, striking out eight hitters in blanking the Shockers (35-25) on just two hits.
Schumacher, who retired 12 straight Shockers at one point, allowed just a third-inning single to Mikel Mucha and a Tyler Baker hit in the eighth in the first complete-game effort of his MSU career. The junior right-hander allowed just one WSU baserunner to reach scoring position in improving to 8-1 on the year.
The Bears’ bats got into the act as well, particularly early in the game when MSU jumped out to a six-run lead, giving Schumacher more than enough breathing room to record the club’s school-record 11th shutout of the season. Five Bears recorded multi-hit games, including Keenen Maddox, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI to hike his MVC Championship average to .559 over the Bears’ first two games.
After being held to just one run over their final eight at-bats in Tuesday’s opening-round loss to Bradley, the Bears broke from the gate with four straight hits Wednesday against WSU starter Kris Gardner (5-2). Spiker Helms singled and scored on Brent Seifert’s base hit to center, and Maddox followed with a hit that found a hole on the left side of the infield to drive in Kevin Medrano for a 2-0 Missouri State lead. A two-out hit batsman put runners on the corners before Brock Chaffin dropped a bunt single up the third base line to plate Seifert, and catcher Tyler Baker’s throw missed the first-base target, allowing Derek Mattea to come around with the fourth run of the inning. Another hit batsman, followed by an Eric Cheray RBI single to left-center pushed the MSU lead to five runs.
The Bears kept the pressure on in the second when Maddox delivered a two-out double, and Luke Voit drove him home with a line-drive up the middle to make it a 6-0 ballgame.
Schumacher would take it from there, setting down 12 straight Wichita State hitters after Mucha’s two-out single in the third. The Shockers wouldn’t put another runner on base until Casey Gillaspie drew a two-out walk in the seventh, as Schumacher picked up steam as the game moved into its later stages, recording five of his eight strikeouts in the final three innings.
In addition to Maddox’s big day at the plate, Helms, Voit, Chaffin and Cheray each posted a pair hits to lead MSU’s 12-hit attack.
With the victory, Missouri State moves on to meet the loser of Wednesday night’s Southern Illinois-Bradley game at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.