SFA Drops 5-4 Decision To Missouri State
Feb. 24, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas - Missouri State pounded out 15 hits and took advantage of a pair of Lumberjack errors to take a 5-4 win in the opening game of the UTA Invitational on Friday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
SFA (1-4) had staked itself to a 2-0 lead before the Bears answered with five unanswered runs and withstood a late-inning rally by the Lumberjacks to hang on for the victory. Hunter Dozier and Freddy Villalobos led the SFA offense with two hits apiece, while leadoff man Spiker Helms' 5-for-5 day led the Bears (3-2).
Cody Priest fell to 0-1 on the year after allowing the go-ahead runs in the sixth inning, entering in relief of starter Chase Greening who danced in and out of trouble throughout his five innings of work in his second Lumberjack start. Greening allowed 10 hits and struck out a pair without a walk in his stint, while the Bears had 10 of their 12 runners left on base with Greening on the mound.
Nick Petree earned the win for MSU, despite allowing 10 hits of his own in seven innings of work before giving way to Zach Merciez who allowed just one base runner in two innings of relief to earn the save.
The Bears left the bases loaded in both the first and third innings before SFA went up 2-0 in the fourth inning on an RBI triple from Max Lamantia and an RBI single from Chris Hernandez. Greening followed by getting out of another bases-loaded jam in the bottom half of the inning, but got tagged for an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth when Brock Chaffin singled home Brent Seifert who had reached on an error to open the inning.
SFA left a runner in scoring position in its half of the sixth before Missouri State managed to go in front 3-2 in the bottom of the frame. Helms started the rally with a one-out double and two batters later tied the game when he scored from third on an infield hit by Seifert. Luke Voit then followed Seifert's knock with one of his own, doubling to right-center field to bring in Seifert all the way from first base and put the Bears in the lead.
One inning later Missouri State was able to take advantage of SFA's second miscue of the afternoon when Helms connected on his second double of the day, this one a two-run hit with two outs to put MSU up 5-2, just one batter after the Lumberjacks extended the inning with a fielding error on what would have been the final out of the frame.
SFA then put something of its own together in the top of the eighth when consecutive singles by Rory Myers and Villalobos was followed by a four-pitch walk to Dozier to load the bases with none out. But the Bears went to the pen and brought in Merciez, who coaxed run-scoring grounders from both Jarid Scarafiotti and Bobby Loveless before striking out Lamantia with the tying run stranded on third base.
The `Jacks gave themselves life in the ninth with a one-out single, but Merciez made sure there was no damage done by closing it out by retiring the next two hitters to earn the save.
SFA will have another shot at the Bears on Friday with a rematch scheduled for 6:00 p.m.