It took three innings for the ’Breds to warm up but when they did, the visiting Cougars could not slow them down.
Murray State (2-1) put up nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning after being held hitless through the first three by NAIA opponent Mid-Continent (3-2).
The ’Breds added three runs in the fifth, one in the seventh and four more in the eighth on their way to a lopsided 17-1 win.
Even though they won handily, Head Coach Rob McDonald said the team needs to put up runs more consistently moving forward.
“We always like crooked numbers,” McDonald said about the team’s offensive outburst in the fourth. “We talk about crooked numbers and to win baseball games off of them you have to have an inning or two where you score a few.”
He said it was good to score, but it was too inconsistent.
“What did disappoint me is we had a couple big innings but then we had a lot of innings where we had zeroes, and that’s something that we need to work on and that’s something we talk about a lot,” he said. “We need at least one every inning.”
Juniors Anthony Bayus, Kollin Dowdy and Michael Hargrove joined redshirt sophomore Luke Daugherty’s as the first players to put runs on the board for the team.
A double from sophomore Taylor Mathews brought everyone still on base to the plate to score.
Mathews had two runs batted in during the frame, ending his day with three runs, three RBIs and a hit short of the cycle.
“Taylor is getting better and better,” McDonald said. “He’s going to be another guy who is like so many guys that we have who come in and they’ve just gotten better and better and better. ”
The Cougars scratched a run across in the top of the fifth but were unable to keep the ’Breds from adding to their advantage.
McDonald used five pitchers that combined for nine strikeouts, four hits, one earned run and three walks.
“For the most part I was really pleased that they threw strikes,” McDonald said. “They competed well and they controlled what they are supposed to control.”
Now the team will have a tougher test against a Bowling Green team that swept Murray State last year.
The Falcons come to Reagan Field for a three-game set Feb. 21-23.
Story by Nick Dolan, Assistant Sports Editor