SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There is something about the Bears and the thrill of the ninth inning.
Drake Baldwin crushed a solo home run to left center in the bottom of the ninth to beat Drury 9-8.
The past four wins for Missouri State (11-10) have all come in walk-off fashion.
It was the first time the two Springfield schools have played a regular season game against each other. The two have played each other in four exhibition games in the fall in a series known as “Battle for Bell”, which assisted former Glendale High School baseball coach Howard Bell in his fight against ALS.
The Bears wasted no time getting on the board, scoring off a Drake Baldwin single in the first inning. Dakota Kotowski added to column with a double to left center, which brought in Baldwin and Jaden Rolffs.
Drury (8-11) wouldn’t let the early deficit faze it.
The Panthers scored four runs in the second inning including a DJ McNew solo home run to open the scoring. It was McNew’s seventh home run of the season.
After scoring another run in the third, the Panthers held a 5-3 advantage.
The Bears would respond with a pair of runs in the fourth, including a Logan Geha home run in the fourth, to tie the game at 5-5.
Then it was the Panthers turn in the ping-pong match.
Drury scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning to reclaim a 7-5 lead.
As you guessed it, that score wouldn’t hold for long.
In the sixth inning, Rolffs hit a three-run home run to left center, his eighth of the year, and the Bears going back on top 8-7.
Drury followed in the seventh, as a shock to no one, with an Aaron Mann RBI single to tie the game at 8-8.
The eighth inning was the only one without a run scored.
11 of the 17 runs scored came with two outs in the inning.
Missouri State will host Dallas Baptist this weekend in a four-game series starting on Friday, while Drury will travel to Rolla for a four-gamer against Missouri S&T