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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Cozart goes 4-6, hits walk-off in the 12th

Senior outfielder Ryan Perkins breaks out of the batter’s box after putting a ball in play against SIU. (Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics)

Simon Elfrink


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Murray State baseball finished the last game of a five-game homestand with yet another walk-off win at Johnny Reagan Field. The Racers managed to outlast Southern Illinois University in an 11-inning contest that resulted in a 5-4 victory for the Racers. 

The Salukis bested Murray State earlier on in the season and came to Reagan Field 33-14 on the season. However, some key bullpen pitching and timely hitting helped the Racers secure the win and equalize the season series against SIU. 

“You never get tired of winning,” said Head Coach Dan Skirka. “And those are sweet. The guys fought. We were down early, came back and just had some really clutch performances. A couple guys out of the bullpen were lights-out.”

SIU got things going on the offensive end early, scoring a pair of runs in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Austin Ulick and an RBI single from sophomore infielder Cody Cleveland. 

The Racers’ side of the scoreboard displayed a line of zeroes until the eighth inning, when redshirt junior infielder David Hudleson found his way on with a single up the middle and was  followed by redshirt junior center fielder Jake Slunder, who poked one through the right side for a base hit. Redshirt junior third baseman Bryson Bloomer hit a double down the left-field line, scoring both baserunners and tying the game 2-2. Senior second baseman Jordan Cozart took the opportunity to give the Racers the lead with a single that scored Bloomer and senior right fielder Brock Anderson, who got on base with a walk. 

The Salukis closed the gap to a single run on another sacrifice fly from Cleveland in the top of the fifth inning and a bases-loaded walk in the top of the seventh tied the game 4-4. 

The score remained 4-4 all the way until the bottom of the eleventh inning, when the Racers loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch. Cozart found himself in the driver’s seat once again and a well-placed ground ball through the infield allowed a run to score and gave the Racers a 5-4 walk-off win. In addition to the winning hit, Cozart had a huge day at the plate, going 4-6 with three RBIs.

“He’s been awesome for us,” Skirka said. “[He’s] done everything we’ve asked him to do so when he comes up in those spots you’re confident he’s going to get the job done. Tonight he was on and kind of put us on his back there.” 

The win brought the Racers to 27-20 overall on the season as they prepare to play their best baseball in the last couple of OVC series of the season. Murray State is currently tied for first in the conference with SEMO with a 15-9 record in the OVC. 

The Racers will look to ride the momentum from the win over SIU when they go to Edwardsville, Illinois, to take on SIUE in a three-game series on Friday, May 14-Saturday, May 15.

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