SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Five years ago this week, Missouri State was putting the finishing touches on what could be the best season in bears history.
In our Bear Nation report, the 2015 Missouri State squad set a record for victories and came a whisker away from the College World Series.
It’s a special memory for veteran coach Keith Guttin.
It’s been a strange spring for Missouri State baseball coach Keith Guttin.
A spring without the game that’s defined his life.
“The last time in April or May that I haven’t had a baseball uniform on. It’s been 50 years. I was 14 years old in high school,” said Bears Coach Keith Guttin.
Since 1977, Guttin’s uniform has been the maroon and white of Missouri State.
He’s won 1,288 games, but some of the most memorable were five years ago this week.
Guttin:”When you have a really good season like that, honestly you think about it a lot. It comes to mind.”
Missouri State won the Valley regular season race and post season tournament.
And earned the right to host a division one NCAA Regional for the first time ever.
The Bears swept Canisius and Iowa.
Missouri State’s Jordan Knutson held the Hawkeyes to just one hit throught seven innings.
Dylan Becker’s RBI single started the scoring, the Bears won 3-2 to advance to the super regional at Arkansas.
“To me personally hosting that regional was more fulfilling then going to the College World Series. Just having it here in Springfield, at Hammons, with the community who came out and supported that team. It was very fulfilling,” said Guttin.
The Bears went to Fayetteville with 48 wins, 19 in a row, and a load of confidence.
After an opening blowout loss, Missouri State evened up the three game series with a 3-1 win.
But the Bears lost to Arkansas 3-2 in the third and deciding game, falling just two runs short of a second trip to the College World Series.
Five years later Guttin can look back at that 49 win season, the best in school history.
“The players on that team are always asking were we your best team. I don’t know if they were the best. But they were the most enjoyable team.
We didn’t lose a game for 6 or 7 weeks. That’s a pretty good feeling, going to the ballpark and knowing you’re going to win for sure,” said Guttin.