Feb. 26, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas - Houston Baptist used a trio of big innings to halt the Missouri State Bears' five-game win streak with an 11-5 decision Sunday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark. The Huskies built an early five-run lead courtesy of Bradley Brown's third-inning grand slam, then scored three times in the seventh to gain the upper hand for good.
After watching the Bears come all the way back to knot the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth, the Huskies busted out with five straight hits to start the top of the seventh. Kolby Arnst started the hit parade with a lead-off single, before Brown, Jake Gonzalez and Curtis Jones doubled in succession off MSU freshman reliver Zach Merciez to produce a three-run margin.
HBU, which pounded Bears pitching for an opponent season high of 16 hits, struck for three more in the top of the eighth to take their largest lead of the day. Arnst and Brown were once again key figures in the rally, with each recording his third hit of the contest. Brown's single to left plated two more runs to give the sophomore six RBIs on the day, also a Missouri State opponent high.
Reliever Micahel Schulle (1-0 )made the lead stand this time, allowing just one run on four hits over 3 1/3 innings to earn the win.
The Huskies jumped on top 1-0 in the first against MSU starter Jake Powers thanks to extra-base hits by David Pfuntner and Arnst. Pfunter doubled down the leftfield line to lead-off the game, and after a Collin Hetzler ground out, Arnst plugged the gap in right-center to chase home Pfuntner with an two-bagger of his own.
Brown's one-out blast in the third was set up by a Hetzler single and a pair of walks. Powers fanned Pfunter for the first out of the frame, but Brown drove a 1-2 offering over the leftfield wall to hand the Huskies a commanding 5-0 lead.
The Bears began chipping away at the Huskies' lead in their half of the third, getting a two-run double from Kevin Medrano following base hits by Eric Cheray and Spiker Helms to start the rally. MSU tacked on a single tally in the fourth after Brock Chaffin doubled to lead things off, and Brett Marshall squeezed him home with one out to make it a 5-3 contest.
With two out in the fifth, Chaffin delivered another key hit, driving in Brent Seifert with a single to left-center that chased HBU starter Ross Kennell from the game and pulled the Bears to within one run. MSU pulled even on another two-out hit in the sixth, this time off the bat of Helms, who lined a single to left off Schulle to bring in Dylan Becker with the tying run. After another Medrano double, the Bears had the go-ahead run at third, but Schulle coaxed Seifert into fouling-out to right to end the scoring threat.
Helms turned in his third multi-hit game of the weekend, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Medrano recorded three doubles to finish 3-for-5 with a pair of runs batted-in.
Merciez (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits in three innings of relief.
The Bears (5-2) will be back in action Wednesday (Feb. 29), when they travel to Stillwater for a 4 p.m., contest against Oklahoma State.