Murray State hammers Eastern Kentucky to stay alive in OVC Tournament

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Murray State scored four runs in the first inning and added four more in the sixth as they stayed alive in the 2010 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament with a 10-2 victory over Eastern Kentucky Friday morning at Pringles Park.

The Breds (27-27-1) manufactured four runs in the first inning with only ball leaving the infield. Zach Noonan started the game with a walk and Brandon Elliott followed with a bunt single to the first baseman. After Wes Cunningham was hit by a pitch, Bryan Propst blooped an RBI single into right field. With one out, Daniel Hill and Kyle Tiernan each were hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score runs. Jonathan Craycraft drove in the fourth run of the frame with a fielder’s choice to third base.

The Colonels (28-27) got on the board in the fifth as Joey Stevens tripled into the gap in left center and scored on Bryce Labhart’s single off the glove of the pitcher. After a Richie Rodriguez walk, Jacob Daniel singled through the right side, but Noonan came up throwing and nailed Labhart at the plate. With runners on the corners, Jayson Langfels delivered a sacrifice fly to wall in left field.

MSU put up its second four-run of the game in the sixth inning as Craycraft and Elliot Frey were hit by a pitch with one out. Noonan singled to center to load the bases and Elliott was hit by a pitch to score a run. With Cunningham at the plate, a passed ball scored one run and forced the infield in. Cunningham made them pay with a chopper over the head of the drawn-in second baseman to plate two runs.

The Breds added an insurance run in the seventh as Hill singled up the middle and went to second on a foulout down the right-field line. With two outs, Noonan singled to right field to score Hill from second.

MSU pushed another run across in the eighth as Laws doubled to right field with two outs and came around to score on Tiernan’s single up the middle.

Jake Donze (6-6) saved his best game for the tournament as he allowed just two runs on eight hits and seven strikeouts in his fifth complete-game of the season. Stephen Hefler (4-6) took the loss after allowing eight runs on five hits and six hit batters over 5.1 innings.

Noonan, Cunningham, Propst and Laws each collected two hits in the Breds 11-hit attack. Cunningham and Tiernan each drove in two runs.

The Breds return to action at 3 p.m. as they play their third-straight elimination game against Eastern Illinois.

Courtesy: MSU Athletics

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