Southeast Missouri State baseball drops doubleheader, gets swept in first OVC series
The Southeast Missouri State baseball team dropped both games in a doubleheader Friday in Morehead, Kentucky, putting the finishing touches on a three-game sweep for Morehead State in both teamís first Ohio Valley Conference series of the season.
The Redhawks were handily defeated in a 17-5 decision in Game 1 before the Eagles edged out a 3-2 win in the nightcap.
Itís the first time since 2013 that Southeast has been swept in an OVC series. The Redhawks fall to 6-7 overall and are 0-3 to begin conference play for the first time since 2012.
MSU 17, Southeast 5
Southeast combined for 13 hits but was only able to muster five runs, while a host of Redhawks pitchers failed to slow down the Eaglesí offense.
Kylar Robertson finished 3-for-4 to lead Southeast at the plate, while Clayton Evans (2-for-5), Tristen Gagan (2-for-4) and Connor Basler (2-for-5) also recorded multiple hits for the visitors.
Starting pitcher Justin Murphy (2-1) threw innings and was tagged with the loss for the Redhawks. He allowed six runs ó five earned ó with three strikeouts and six walks. After allowing a season-high six walks in Thursdayís contest, Southeast pitchers combined for 11 walks in Fridayís first game.
Aaron Leasher (3-0) pitched five innings to secure the win on the mound for MSU (11-5, 3-0 OVC). He allowed three runs and struck out five batters. David Calderon contributed four innings in relief to earn his second save of the year.
The Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning before a sacrifice fly by Kyle Bottger plated Brian Lees in the top of the second, trimming SEMOís deficit to 2-1.
A one-out error by Bottger opened the door for another scoring opportunity for the Eagles in the bottom of the second, as Niko Hulsizer scored Ryan Kent on a sacrifice fly to right.
Eli Boggess hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third to push MSUís lead to 6-1.
A two-out walk and back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Southeast in the top of the fourth before Leasher issued a walk to Evans to pull the Redhawks within 6-2. Leasher entered the game without issuing a single walk this season.
Southeast got another chance with two outs in the top of the fifth when Chris Osborne singled up the middle to score Gagan and slice the Eaglesí lead to 6-3.
However, MSU opened up an 11-3 advantage in the bottom of the inning, as three extra-base hits, two walks and a pair of errors by the infield led to a five-run inning for the Eagles.
Michael Patrickís three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh allowed MSU to take a 15-3 lead after seven innings.
Gagan and Osborne each provided a sacrifice fly for Southeast in the eighth and ninth inning, respectively, while a two-run error by Chris Caffrey led to two runs for the Eagles in the bottom of the eighth.
Patrick was one of three MSU players who finished with three hits. He led the Eagles with four RBIs.
MSU 3, Southeast 2
The Redhawks outhit the Eagles 9-7 in the nightcap but were unable to get the run production necessary to avoid the sweep.
Robertson, Evans and Basler each had two hits to lead Southeast. Evans and Basler each had an RBI.
Clay Chandler (2-2) pitched six innings but was tagged with the loss on the mound after allowing three runs on six hits. He had a season-high nine strikeouts to go along with two walks. Carlos Vega threw two scoreless innings of relief and struck out three batters.
Curtis Wilson (2-1) was on his way to pitching a complete-game shutout for MSU before allowing both of SEMOís runs to reach in the top of the ninth. He went 8 2/3 innings before giving way to Cable Wright, who recorded the final out but not before allowing two runs to score. Wright was credited with the save.
The final game of the series was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when Kent recorded a two-out single and came around to score on Reidís double down the left-field line, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Tyler Niemann added a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh before Chandler gave up a double, which prompted a pitching change. Vega threw two wild pitches, allowing a run to score and extend MSUís lead to 3-0.
Southeast made things interesting in the top of the ninth, as Lees drew a walk with two outs to put runners on first and second. Wright entered the game to record the final out but loaded the bases by issuing a walk to the first batter he faced, Danny Wright. Basler followed with a single through the right side before Evans drew another walk to trim SEMOís deficit to 3-2. The game ended when Dan Holst hit the ball to left field but was robbed by a diving catch.
Southeast returns to action at 5 p.m. Wednesday against Missouri State at Capaha Field. The Redhawks continue OVC action with a three-game series against visiting UT Martin, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.
Wednesdayís game is part of SEMOís tailgate series and will be sponsored by Wings Etc. and River Eagle Distributing.