SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Bears didn’t need all nine to top Illinois State in the series opener.

Missouri State beat the Redbirds 15-5 in eight innings on Friday afternoon at Hammons Field.

The Bears (23-23, 6-10) broke what was a 0-0 game into a runaway with eight runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Following a Mason Greer RBI single, Drake Baldwin hit a three-run home run to right center to put the Bears up 4-0.

Baldwin would hit another home run in the eighth inning.

Illinois State (18-26, 5-11) cut into the deficit with a four-run seventh inning, to delay a potential run-rule inning.

That because the Bears scored two in the seventh, including Dakota Kotowski hitting his 20 home run of the season.

It’s the 12 time that a Bears has hit 20 home runs in a season, done by nine different players, and Kotowski became the ninth player in MSU history to have 40 in a career.

Missouri state scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game in the win column and get back to .500 on the season.

The two will play game two of the season on Saturday at 11 am.