Missouri State used two big innings offensively and a shutdown performance from starting pitcher Cody Schumacher to extend its season with a 9-1 victory over host Indiana State Wednesday afternoon at the Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championship in Terre Haute.
The sixth-seeded Bears (24-30) scored four times in the bottom of the third inning, then broke the game open with a five-run eighth to eliminate the second-seeded Sycamores (35-16). Schumacher (6-2) played a key role in MSU’s first win in Terre Haute in five tries this season, limiting ISU to a single run on three hits while striking out five and walking three over 8.0 strong innings.
Dylan Becker matched a career high with three hits in four trips to the plate, including a clutch two-out RBI single off ISU starter Brad Lombard (6-3) that capped the Bears’ four-run third inning. A Sycamore error to start the inning opened the door for the Bears, who used a Joey Hawkins two-run single to open the scoring, before Becker’s hot shot up the middle–coupled with another miscue in center field–brought home two more tallies for an early 4-0 MSU advantage.
Schumacher never let the Sycamores back in the game, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks through the first five innings. ISU rallied in the sixth to score its lone run. Schumacher would avoid further damage in the sixth, preserving the 4-1 advantage by striking out Michael Eberle for the second time to kill the rally. The senior right-hander would allow just one more ISU baserunner from that point.
With the victory, Missouri State advances to another elimination contest Thursday (May 22) morning at 11:37 a.m., against the loser of the Bradley-Dallas Baptist match-up, which will be played at 6:37 p.m. this evening.