WICHITA, Kan.- Missouri State defeated Southern Illinois, 11-6, earning a spot in Saturday’s final round of the MVC Tournament.
The Bears got up early, but SIU battled back the entire night. MSU took a 9-1 lead after the second inning, scoring eight runs in the top of the frame. Back-to-back singles led off the inning, but two quick outs came via a sacrifice bunt and strikeout. The inning was kept alive with three consecutive doubles by Ben Woodbury, Nolan Keane and Brayden Drake, resulting in four RBI. Josh Mazzola hit a two-run homer to left field and a Matt Welch single was good for two runs in the second.
The Salukis chipped away at the deficit, scoring one in the third and plating four in the fourth. The bases were loaded to start the inning with consecutive singles by Bret Maugeri and Tyler Lairson and a catcher’s interference put Owen Mackedon on board. Chris Murphy hit into a fielder’s choice, erasing Mackedon, but crossing Maugeri. Adam Hills delivered a two-run single and came around on a wild pitch to cut the score, 9-6.
The Bears added two runs of insurance in the seventh and MSU’s Tyler Ryun held the Saukis scoreless after the fourth. Ryun (4-0) earned the win with six strikeouts in six innings.
The championship day begins at 12:30 p.m. If Missouri State wins game one, a second game will be played at 4:30.