DBU wins in first round of Missouri Valley tournament on walk-off in 10th
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- A walk-off home run by Drew Turbin the bottom of the 10th lifted No. 30 Dallas Baptist to a 3-2 come from behind win against Missouri State in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament at Bob Warn Field on Tuesday. The victory places DBU (37-18) in Wednesday's winner bracket, where it will face No. 7 seed Bradley, which beat No. 2 seed Indiana State
Making his 48th career start, junior Cy Sneed turned in one of the finest outings of his college career. A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, worked nine innings, allowing two unearned runs, while matching a season-high with eight strikeouts. It marked the second time in Sneed's three-year career that he went nine innings, with the other being a complete game shutout of Houston Baptist on March 9, 2012.
Scoreless through the first two innings, Missouri State (23-30) got on the board in the third inning with a pair of runs. A Nash Knight throwing error at third put lead-off man, Blake Graham, on first to start the inning. After a Joey Hawkins sacrifice bunt, Tate Matheny lifted a fly ball to deep right that David Martinelli lost in the sun, allowing Matheny to cruise into second with a double and Graham advance to third. A Patrick Drake sacrifice fly to right plated the game's first run, followed by a Dylan Becker single to right that scored Matheny.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Knight delivered a double that snuck just inside the third base line and rolled down the right field corner to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Turbin put Knight on third with one out. Mike Wesolowski's ground ball to the right side brought Knight in to put the Patriots on the board.
Starting in the fourth inning, Sneed settled into a groove, retiring a string a 14 batters in a row. Down 2-1 in the eight, the junior right-hander, finally allowed a base runner when Joey Hawkins drew a one out walk. After a two out single by Patrick Drake, Sneed issued a walk to Becker. With the bases loaded, a pop up to Duzenack at shortstop got Sneed out of the inning unscathed.
In the bottom half of the eighth, Wesolowski reached on an infield single. The base hit was his second of the day, giving the senior from Mesa, Arizona, his team-leading 21st multi-hit game of the year. With two outs and Wesolowski standing as the tying run at second, Daniel Salters ripped a pitch up the middle, where Missouri State second baseman Aaron Meyer fielded the ball cleanly, but a late throw that was wide of the bag allowed Wesolowski to score, tying the game at two apiece.
After each team went quietly in the ninth, the Bears put the go-ahead run on base when Drew Smith, who came in relief in the tenth, walked the first batter he faced. Smith was lifted for Patriots' closer, Brandon Koch, who was able to retire the first batter he faced, Joey Hawkins, on a sacrifice bunt attempt. With the go-ahead run in scoring position at second, Koch induced a ground ball off the bat of Tate Matheny and then a fly out to right by Drake to end the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the tenth, Turbin blasted a two-ball, two-strike pitch over the wall in right field, sending the Patriots out of the dugout to mob Turbin, a junior from Hayden, Idaho, at home plate.
The win is the fifth one-run victory for the Patriots against Missouri State in 2014. DBU is also now 13-4 in one-run affairs this year. Only San Diego State has a better win percentage in one-run games than DBU this year, with a 14-3 record.
"It all came down to the job that Cy Sneed did on the mound today," DBU head coach, Dan Heefner said following the win. "He was outstanding and gave us a chance to stay and the game and win it. These guys want to be in pressure situations and are used to playing in one run games. They have the attitude of 'it's not if it's going to happen, but when it's going to happen,' and today they just kept battling to the end."