JACKSON, Tenn. — Following the postponement of their opening game of the OVC Baseball Tournament on Thursday, Murray State picked up on Friday in the 10th inning against Morehead State, walking the game off in the 13th inning before falling in late innings to Southeast Missouri.
Those results had the Racers set to play Saturday against the winner of the game between Austin Peay and Morehead State at The Ballpark at Jackson.
Racers defeat Eagles in 13-inning gameIt took 13 innings spanning two days, but the second-seeded Racers (32-25) were finally able to break through for an 8-7 victory over third-seeded Morehead State (24-22).
The Racers and the Eagles were able to get nine complete innings in before the rain started coming down.
In Thursday’s action, Jordan Cozart was 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs and five of the Racers’ six RBIs. Bryson Bloomer had the other RBI and was 2-for-5 with a run scored.
Jake Slunder also had a three-hit game going with his team-leading 22nd multi-hit game of the season.
Morehead State built the lead as big as four runs, scoring a pair of runs in the second and fourth and adding a single tally in the fifth to make it 5-1.
Cozart drove in the Racers’ first run of the game in the third and then hit his first home run of the night to dead center, a two-run shot, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
In the seventh, Slunder used his speed to beat out his second infield hit of the game and then advanced to second on a throwing error by the third baseman. The error proved costly as Bloomer singled through the right side to bring home Slunder, closing the gap to one.
One batter later, Cozart crushed his second home run of the night to give the Racers their first lead of the night.
After Connor Holden retired the final batter of the eighth and the first two of the ninth, a pair of infield singles and a walk loaded the bases for the Eagles.
A hit batter brought home the game-tying run to send it to extras.
The top of the tenth was never started as the rain started coming down forcing the game to be suspended and postponed to Friday morning.
When the game resumed, Morehead State broke the deadlock first, plating one run on three hits in the twelfth inning.
The Racers were down to their final out when Brock Anderson stepped to the plate. He had been struggling, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, but the Eagles’ pitching staff couldn’t keep the OVC’s home run champion down any longer as he jumped on the first pitch he saw for a no-doubter home run to right field.
In the 13th inning, Trey Woosley hit a two-out single to left to give the Racers a base runner.
Then all mayhem broke loose. David Hudleson bunted, and the Eagles’ pitcher, John Bakke, who had struck out 12 in 42/3 innings, threw the ball away to the right-field wall. Woosley tripped rounding third but got up and dove for home plate to win it for Murray State, 8-7.
Jake Jones earned the win, improving his record to 7-2. He struck out two of the three batters faced.
Racers fall to Redhawks
Murray State carried its momentum over into the second game on Friday, as Cozart hit his third home run of the tournament and 18th overall to give the Racers a 2-1 advantage in the fourth inning.
But Southeast Missouri would go on to win, 6-5.
In the sixth frame, Murray State added two more runs when Alex Crump hit his first career triple to drive in Ryan Perkins and Brennan McCullough followed with a single up the middle to bring home Crump.
In the seventh, the Racers extended their lead to 5-2 when Perkins scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch.
Southeast Missouri (30-19) gave Murray State a major gut-punch in the eighth. After getting the first two outs, back-to-back singles put runners on for the Redhawks.
The Redhawks, who had been 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, finally broke through with a three-run home run that kept carrying in the wind over the right-field wall.
A catcher’s interference call kept the inning going, and the Redhawks eventually came around to score what proved to be the winning run.
Sam Gardner got the start, going five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and struck out five. Jack Wenninger took the loss, surrendering an unearned run in the eighth.
Alec Whaley became the Racers’ all-time appearance leader when he came on in the seventh inning for his 81st career outing.