WICHITA, Kan. – Missouri State rallied from an early two-run deficit to score seven unanswered runs en route to a 7-2 victory over Wichita State Saturday afternoon at Eck Stadium. Cody Schumacher recovered from a rough first inning to hold the Shockers scoreless on one hit over his final 7 1/3 innings to help the Bears (29-11, 8-2 MVC) secure their first-ever regular-season series win in Wichita.
Schumacher (5-0), who surrendered just five hits and struck out eight batters while walking just one, turned in a career-long eight-inning effort to keep his perfect record as a Bear intact. With the victory, Missouri State improved to 10-1 in games in which the junior right-hander has started this season. Additionally, the Bears claimed their third-consecutive win over WSU and just their 12th road win in 49 tries in the series.
For the second straight game, the Bears got a boost from the top of their order, as Spiker Helms, Kevin Medrano and Brent Seifert each came through with two-hit games. Additionally, the trio combined for five of the Bears’ six extra-base hits on the day.
After being held scoreless on five hits in Friday’s series opener, the Shockers (23-19, 5-6 MVC) wasted little time in turning the tables in game two. Leadoff man Kevin Hall lined the first pitch he saw from Schumacher into center field for the first of four first-inning Wichita State hits that ultimately powered the home team to an early 2-0 advantage. Hall was gunned down trying to steal second by catcher Luke Voit, but Don Lambert and Johnny Coy came through with back-to-back singles to set the table for WSU. Following a Voit passed ball, Casey Gillaspie then put the Shockers on the board with a bouncer to first, and Dayne Parker made it a two-run game with a liner into right that brought home Coy.
Missouri State, which scored five times in the third inning Friday, bounced back with another big third-inning rally to grab a 3-2 edge. Trey Massenberg got things started with a lead-off single to right, beforeDylan Becker evened the score by driving a Tobin Mateychick offering over the wall in right-center for his first collegiate home run. With one out, Helms kept the pressure on WSU, delivering the first of his two doubles on the day, and Medrano followed with a base hit to left to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch allowed Medrano to move into scoring position, but Helms was tagged out at the plate. That sequence would prove costly when Seifert ripped a triple off the center field wall to drive in Medrano with the go-ahead run.
The Bears broke the game open over the ensuing two innings, striking for three more in the fourth and a single tally in the fifth. After a pair of one-out walks, a key error by Harbutz on what appeared to be a routine double-play ball changed the course of the fourth frame. MSU capitalized on the miscue, plating one run on Eric Cheray’s sacrifice fly to center and two more on Helms’s two-out, two-run double that hiked the Bears’ lead to 6-2.
Another Seifert extra-base hit—this time a double to straight-away center—led to the Bears’ seventh run of the day in the fifth. Chaffin followed with a base hit, before Voit drove in Seifert with another sac fly.
With the MSU offense in high gear, Schumacher settled into a groove as well. After Parker’s two-out single in the first, the right-hander sat down nine straight WSU hitters and 19 of the final 22 batters he faced, with the only Shocker hit coming on an Erik Harbutz single to center with two out in the fourth. Fittingly, he wrapped up his best outing as a Bear with back-to-back strikeouts of Lambert and Coy to end the eighth inning. Freshman Zach Merciez finished off the Shockers with a one-two-three ninth.
Mateychick (3-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on five hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings.
The Bears will shoot for their second-ever sweep of the Shockers Sunday when the two clubs conclude their series with a 1 p.m. tilt.