Baseball squanders chance to take first place in the Valley

By Joe Ragusa

Missouri State was baffled by Saluki junior left-hander Cody Forsythe for 115 pitches in Friday’s series opener. It was pitch number 116 that won the game for the Bears.

Missouri State junior outfielder Keenen Maddox drilled a 1-0 pitch from Forsythe over the left-field wall and gave the Bears (31-14, 9-4 Missouri Valley Conference) the 1-0 victory against SIU (24-20, 9-6 MVC). After the Salukis won 8-3 Saturday, Missouri State took the rubber match Sunday to win the series and remain in first place in the Valley, one game ahead of third-place SIU.

Forsythe (3-2, 3.10 ERA) gave up five hits over eight and a third innings, but he was matched by Missouri State sophomore right-hander Nick Petree (8-2, 0.70 ERA) who pitched seven shutout innings. Bears freshman left-hander Tyler Burgess (4-0, 0.99 ERA) picked up the win after he pitched two innings of scoreless relief.


SIU used a five-run fifth inning to jump ahead of Missouri State Saturday.

Junior third baseman Austin Montgomery hit a three-run double in the inning which gave him four RBIs for the day.

Senior right-hander Cameron Maldonado (6-1, 6.02 ERA) picked up the win after he gave up three earned runs in six innings of work.

Missouri State got its revenge Sunday with a big fifth inning of their own, with seven runs to help pull away from the Salukis and remain atop the MVC. After they scored three runs to make the score 4-1, Maddox hit his second home run of the series, which netted the Bears another three runs.

Freshman right-hander Sam Coonrod only gave up two hits and a solo home run heading into the fifth inning, but he was pulled for sophomore right-handed pitcher Aaron Snyder right before Maddox hit his homer in the fifth. Coonrod finished with six runs, all earned, on seven hits.

SIU was tied for second place with Indiana State (34-11, 8-4 MVC), but the Sycamores played Nebraska-Omaha in a non-conference matchup this weekend and moved to second place because of SIU’s two conference losses against Missouri State.