The series-opening victory for DBU came after the Bears jumped on top with a big first inning for the second consecutive game. After plating five runs in their 9-8 win over Kansas Tuesday, the Bears scored three times with four one-out hits and a walk to seize control in the Friday's opening frame. Kevin Medrano kicked off the Bears' big inning with a line drive into right, and Luke Voit followed with a single to left-center. Brock Chaffin delivered the biggest blow with a double in the left-center field gap to plate both Medrano and Voit for a 2-0 MSU advantage. Next, Brent Seifert drew a walk from DBU starter Cy Sneed, and Trey Massenberg laid down a bunt single to load the bases, before Koby Peebles drove in Chaffin with a fielder's choice grounder.
MSU starter Pierce Johnson
found himself in immediate trouble in the home half of the first, however. The Bears' junior right-hander issued a lead-off walk to Austin Elkins, and Mitchell singled up the middle to put two on with nobody out. Johnson worked his way out of trouble by striking out Boomer Collins, then coaxing a come-backer off the bat of Joel Hutter that resulted in a 1-4-3 inning-ending double play.
Missouri State would not be as fortunate the following inning, as the Patriots took advantage of a costly throwing error to push three unearned runs across the plate and end Johnson's scoreless streak at 14 1/3 consecutive innings. DBU would strike again in the third when Johnson walked his third-straight lead-off hitter, Hutter lined a single through the right side and Jaime Garrido gave the home team the lead with a base hit to right center.
The DBU lead would not last, as Keenen Maddox doubled to center on the first pitch of the fourth and scored two pitches later on a Spiker Helms hit to left.
Johanson would take over from that point, recording eight of his 11 outs via strikeout to tame the Bears' offense.
The game would take a final dramatic turn when Elkins beat out a chopper to first to begin the sixth, drawing the ire of Bears' head coach Keith Guttin, who was ejected after briefly arguing the play with first base umpire Scott Johnston. Mitchell then drilled a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right-center to stake the Patriots to 6-4 lead.
MSU appeared poised to make it a new game once again after loading the bases before DBU could record an out in the eighth. But Pudenz got Medrano to bounce into a 6-4 double play, before retiring Voit on a fly to right to strand the tying run at third base.
Medrano led the Missouri State attack with two hits and a pair of walks in five trips to the plate. Maddox also recorded two hits for the Bears, who struck out a season-high 14 times in falling to 20-7 on the year.
Freshman reliever Zach Merciez (0-2) suffered the loss for the Bears, despite surrendering just the two runs on Mitchell's homer and three hits altogether in a career-long five-inning stint.
The Bears and Patriots (16-8) will square off in game two of the series Saturday at 2 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend with a 1 p.m. tilt Sunday.