At least one Matheny had fun at a baseball game Saturday. While Mike was watching his team lose to the Dodgers 4-1, his son Tate and his teammates at Missouri State were winning their first two games of regional play, and are now just a win today away from advancing to the Super Regionals. The rain rolled into Springfield after Iowa and Oregon played the first game of the regional forcing Missouri State to play two games on Saturday.
In their first game, the top-seeded Bears took on the four seed Canisius. A lead-off home run by Connor Panas — the first allowed by MSU’s Jon Harris all season — gave Canisius a 1-0 lead. However, Harris limited the Griffins to just two more hits over the rest of his eight innings of work while striking out eight and walking three. The Bears used an eight-run sixth inning to put the game out of reach, during which Tate Matheny — Baseball America’s 106th prospect for the upcoming draft — had a grand slam. Matheny finished the game 3-for-4 with the grand slam, two doubles, two walks and 5 RBIs in Missouri State’s 14-1 win.
GRAND SLAM! Tate Matheny brings the groceries home for Missouri State! #RoadToOmaha
Missouri State’s second game of the day saw them take on the second-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes, winners over Oregon in the opening game Friday. It was a bit of a tougher road, but the Bears came from behind to win 5-3. Iowa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning with two runs scoring on an infield single when shortstop Joey Hawkins threw the ball away. The Bears rallied to tie it in the fourth with a two-run inning and then take the lead in the fifth with three more runs. Matt Hall turned in the second straight eight-inning performance from an MSU stater giving up two runs while striking out 11.
Missouri State will face Iowa once again on Sunday night with a chance to go to the Super Regionals. The Hawkeyes beat the Oregon Ducks for the second time this weekend earlier on Sunday. However, this time it took slightly longer as the pair played 11 innings before Iowa prevailed 2-1. It will be a quick turnaround for Iowa with first pitch of the regional final scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT. Missouri State would have to drop tonight’s game and a game tomorrow to be eliminated from the tournament. A win puts them one step closer to Omaha.
The game can be streamed on ESPN3 or you can see live cut-ins along with the other regional action on ESPN Bases Loaded on ESPNU.
(Photo Credit: @MSUBearsBaseball)