May 6, 2006
Bearcats Win Pair of 1-Run Games Against the Mules; Still Have a Shot at MIAA TournamentMARYVILLE, Mo. - (stats) (stats) Senior center fielder Will Newland drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh in the opening win and made a pivotal diving catch in the outfield with the bases loaded late in the nightcap as Northwest Missouri State baseball defeated No. 7 Central Missouri State twice this afternoon, 4-3 and 8-7, at Bearcat Field.
The Bearcats, winners in 14 of their last 15 games, improve to 26-22 overall and 15-13 in the MIAA. CMSU falls to 39-13 and 21-8 in the league.
After a two-run double from freshman Ben Malick tied the score at 2-2 in the fourth inning, CMSU's Tim VanMatre singled home a run to give the guests a 3-2 lead going into the seventh. However, Newland made his fourth at-bat of the game count driving a 1-2 pitch to left-center field for the game-winning double. His hit scored junior Ryley Westman, who singled to lead off the frame, and senior John White, who reached on an error by the right fielder.
Sophomore Britt Westman went 2-for-3 with a double. Junior Tad Hammett got credit for the win going the final inning in relief. The Bisbee, Ariz., native entered in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs. He forced three straight fly outs to end the frame.
The bottom half of the doubleheader featured plenty of drama as there was three lead changes in the final three innings. Northwest sprinted out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings before the Mules put up six runs in the third. Down 6-4, senior Pat Whitt laced a two-run drive deep to tie the game at 6-6 at the end of five.
With one run in and CMSU holding a 7-6 lead in the fifth, the Northwest defense stepped up. Cody Berg was due up with the bases loaded and two outs. He lined a drive to the right-center gap but Newland laid out for the catch and saved at least two runs from scoring.
That catch may have given Northwest momentum as the hosts plated two runs in the home half of the fifth. Junior Tristan Stewart scored on a throwing error by the first baseman before Malick came home on a RBI-single by Whitt.
Junior Brett Whittle, who is tops in the league with nine saves, shut down the CMSU bats in order in the ninth. Coons, Britt Westman and Whitt finished with two hits apiece. Hammett picked up the Game 2 win pitching 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Northwest and Central Missouri will wrap up the four-game set with a single-nine inning game tomorrow (Sunday) with first pitch at 12 p.m. The Bearcats need help to have a chance at the MIAA Tournament. If the Bearcats win on Sunday, they need Washburn to lose twice tomorrow at Pittsburg State and then the Bearcats have to go to Southwest Baptist on Monday and win the single game.
NOTES: The Bearcats need two more doubles to tie the single-season record of 123 ... John White had his 11-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-4 in Game 1 ... The three straight wins against the Mules is the first for Northwest since the 1987-88 season when it won four consecutive between the two years ... The 3-game losing streak for CMSU is a first this season.
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