Zack Taylor struck out nine hitters in Friday's loss to Missouri State.
Feb. 24, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas - Zack Taylor tied a career high with nine strikeouts and SFA out hit Missouri State on the evening, but the Bears made their hits count and handed the `Jacks their second loss of the day, 8-3, at the UTA Invitational at Clay Gould Ballpark on Friday.
SFA (1-5) only allowed five hits to the Bears (4-2), but a pair of them came from leadoff man Spiker Helms, including the game's biggest shot - a sixth-inning grand slam that broke open the game and put MSU out in front 7-1.
Taylor struck out nine Bears in 5.2 innings, but walked four and hit three more in being saddled with six of MSU's eight runs and taking the loss in his first start of the year. Missouri State's Cody Schumacher earned the win with 6.1 innings of work, punching out seven and allowing three runs on seven hits. Reliever Clay Murphy earned the save with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, striking out three and not allowing a hit.
The Lumberjacks finished with seven hits of their own, including a pair and an RBI from second baseman Freddy Villalobos who was the only `Jack to register multiple hits.
Taylor struck out four of the first five MSU hitters he faced before putting himself in a bad position in the third, opening the frame with a walk and hit batter to quickly give the Bears something to work with. He nearly negotiated his way out of the jam before Luke Voit shot a single up the middle on the first pitch of his two-out at-bat to plate a pair of runs. Kody Peebles followed that with a run-scoring single to give MSU a 3-0 lead.
SFA got a run back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Villalobos to cut the lead to 3-1, but Missouri State broke it open two innings later. MSU loaded the bases without getting a hit in the sixth, reaching on a pair of walks and Taylor's third hit batter of the game before Spiker Helms delivered the game's big blow with a grand slam down the right-field line off of reliever Fabian Arcizo to surge the Bears ahead 7-1.
The `Jacks tried to claw their way back into the game in the seventh, getting a consecutive hits from Max Lamantia and Villalobos to open up the inning. A balk from Schumacher brought home Lamantia and two batters later Ricardo Sanchez plated Villalobos to trim the lead to just four runs. Zach Benson followed with a single of his own to put two on with just one out for SFA before the Bears went to their own bullpen to fetch Clay Murphy, who proceeded to slam the door on the inning with strikeouts of Rory Myers and Hunter Dozier.
The `Jacks continue the UTA Invitational on Saturday with a noon first pitch against Houston Baptist. Colton Eubanks is slated to get the ball for the `Jacks.