Baseball Bears fall to Oklahoma State, will play GCU Saturday

SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State opened its 12th NCAA Tournament appearance Friday with a 10-5 loss at No. 7 overall seed Oklahoma State in front of 5,712 fans at O’Brate Stadium.

The Bears (30-28) got extra-base hits from five different players to give them 230 on the season, the program’s most since 1999, but were unable to overcome a 6-0 deficit after four innings thanks to a trio of early home runs by the Cowboys (40-20).

Missouri State’s offense got in gear in the sixth when Mason Greer launched his 10th home run and the team’s 100th of the year – the third season of 100-plus long balls in school history – over the right-field wall to make it 6-2. Cam Cratic singled on the next pitch and Dakota Kotowski blasted the pitch after that over the fence for his 24th bomb of the year and a 6-4 margin in the blink of an eye.

Kotowski’s home run tied him with Spencer Johnson’s 2016 campaign for fifth in a single season and doubled as the team’s 101st homer to tie DBU in 2021 for ninth on the Missouri Valley Conference single-season list and the most by a conference team since 1999.

The Cowboys immediately struck back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 10-4 lead. Walker Jenkins doubled and scored on a Drake Baldwin single in the seventh for the final margin.

Missouri State takes on Grand Canyon in an elimination game at noon Saturday.

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