For only the second time in Murray State baseball history, the ’Breds suffered a loss to Mid-Continent.
Head Coach Rob McDonald made no excuses for the ’Breds’ 6-2 defeat Tuesday at Johnny Reagan Field.
“They pitched better than us, they hit better than us, they fielded better than us – I mean, they coached better than us,” McDonald said. “They won the game. There wasn’t any fluke about it.”
The Cougars got on the board first, scoring one run in the second inning. The next inning, they made the hole deeper by scoring four more. Mid-Continent added a final run in the fifth inning before Murray State ever crossed home plate.
In the bottom of the ninth, sophomore Taylor Mathews drew a bases loaded, four-pitch walk to score freshman Tyler Lawrence to break the shutout.
Freshman Clay Kelly scored the ’Breds’ second and final run off of senior Ty Stetson’s line drive to left field.
However, that was all for Murray State’s offensive production.
Mid-Continent’s freshman Austin Ferrell pitched eight and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs off four hits and striking out seven.
“(Ferrell) pitched well,” McDonald said. “He threw a lot of off speed stuff and kept us off balance and got us frustrated I think, and they just played better than we did.”
Tuesday’s loss came just a week after Murray State’s 17-1 dismantling of the Cougars.
McDonald said that was not a factor in the latest outcome.
“That’s the first thing you think about,” he said. “You know, I felt like our guys today, as far as I could tell in pre-game and all that, talked about that stuff. I’m sure everyone was warning each other of that and I thought that we looked like we were ready to play in pre-game.”
Despite giving up six runs, the ’Breds pitching staff was only charged with two earned runs on account of two errors by the defense.
“I think we are a good defensive team,” McDonald said. “So yeah, I don’t ever expect to not make plays that are pretty much routine for those guys.”
Stetson had three of Murray State’s five hits and reached base four times. He is now batting .583 on the season.
The loss comes off a 2-1 series win over the visiting Bowling Green Falcons. In the weekend series, the Falcons took game one 5-3, before the ’Breds took games two and three 5-4 and 6-3, respectively.
Next up is a four-game home set against North Dakota State starting at 2 p.m. today.
Story by Nick Dolan, Assistant Sports Editor