The Student Newspaper of Murray State

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Historic baseball season comes to a close in loss against SEMO

Senior second baseman Jordan Cozart’s teammates greet him as he crosses the plate after hitting a home run against Morehead State. (Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics)

Simon Elfrink


[email protected]

After going 30-23 in the regular slate, the Murray State baseball team fought their way all the way through the OVC Tournament before falling in the championship game to SEMO 10-1.

The Racers played five games in the tournament, winning three and taking a pair of losses to the Redhawks to put an end to their historic season.

Game One: Morehead State

The No. 2 seed Racers took on the No. 3 seed Morehead State on Thursday, May 28, at 6 p.m. at The Ballpark at Jackson. However, there weren’t enough hours to contain the game Thursday night and after nine innings of play rain rolled in and pushed the game back to the next day.

Morehead State was the first team on the board when a pair of runners reached base on a pair of hits. With two outs and runners on second and third, redshirt freshman Colton Becker hit a triple to center field, scoring both runners and giving the Golden Eagles an early 2-0 lead.

Senior second baseman Jordan Cozart gave the Racers some life in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI single.

Morehead State tacked on another three runs  before Cozart made another plate appearance in the bottom of the fifth inning and hit a two-run home run to make the score 5-3.

Running out of outs as the clouds rolled in, the Racers put up another crooked number in the bottom of the seventh inning. Redshirt junior center fielder Jake Slunder hit an infield single and advanced on a throwing error, giving redshirt junior third baseman Bryson Bloomer the opportunity to score him with an RBI single through the right side. Bloomer’s stay at first base expired when Cozart hit another big fly over the left field fence, giving the Racers a 6-5 lead.

A bases-loaded hit-by-pitch for Morehead State tied the game at 6-6, where the score remained until the rain drove the players off the field until the next morning. Friday’s innings extended into the teens, but the Racers’ luck in extra innings this season carried over into the postseason as they caught a game-winning break in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Redshirt junior first baseman Trey Woosley singled with two outs and redshirt junior infielder David Hudleson hit a base-hit bunt down the third-base line. The Golden Eagles booted the play and by the time they scrambled the ball together, Woosley was rounding third and on his way home. Another throwing error allowed him to score and gave the Racers an 8-7 walk-off victory.

Cozart finished the game with five RBIs, going 4-6 in the process. Slunder also had a multi-hit game by going 3-6 in the batter’s box and crossing the plate twice for the Racers.

Game Two: SEMO

The Racers retook the field at 1:15 p.m. on Friday to take on the SEMO Redhawks, who have been one of the few teams in the OVC to consistently give the Racers any grief. The Racers went 1-2 against SEMO in the season series and the Racers’ second game of the tournament reminded Murray State of the pain they felt earlier that season. 

SEMO struck first on an RBI single off the bat of junior infielder Tyler Wilber. Woosley tied the game 1-1 with an RBI double and the Racers even gained the lead when Cozart hit yet another long ball to left-center field. 

The Racers expanded on their lead in the top of the sixth, adding a run on an RBI triple from redshirt junior catcher Alex Crump before redshirt junior DH Brennan McCullough followed up with an RBI base hit. 

SEMO closed the gap to just two runs after redshirt sophomore catcher Wade Stauss homered to right field, but when the Racers squeezed another run across in the top of the seventh inning on a passed ball, things looked like they were going to go Murray State’s way. 

With their backs against the wall, the Redhawks put together an explosive eighth inning. One massive swing from sophomore outfielder Jevon Mason sent a ball flying over the right-field fence, tying the game 5-5.

A couple of at-bats later, sophomore catcher Andrew Keck poked a base hit through to score another runner and give SEMO the 6-5 lead. The score remained there for the last three outs of the game and the Racers found themselves with a lot of work to do to make it to the championship game. 

Game Three: Austin Peay 

Despite taking two of three games against the Racers in the regular season, Austin Peay couldn’t maintain solid play all the way through the game and a late-game push let the Racers settle the score when it mattered the most. 

The Governors got on the board in the top of the first inning after a run scored on a throwing error, but Anderson’s affinity for the long ball continued with a long one over the right field fence, tying the game 1-1. Both teams traded blows for a while, with Austin Peay coming out further and further ahead until the scoreboard reflected 5-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.

Woosley led off with a walk, making his way to third on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch. When Slunder poked one through the left side, Woosley scored easily, making the score 5-3. Bloomer hit a double in the left-center field gap to put runners on second and third for Anderson, who grounded out to the second baseman and allowed a run to cross. With two outs, Cozart found himself in the driver’s seat yet again and delivered in a huge way with a long ball to left-center field, giving Murray State a 6-5 lead. 

The Governors got one across with some small ball in the seventh inning and once again the Racers found themselves in a tied ball game at the end of the ninth. Their strength in extra innings continued, however and the Racers snuck away with a 7-6 victory when Hudleson scored on a wild pitch. 

Game Four: SEMO

The Racers got the chance for a rematch with SEMO on Saturday, May 29 at 4:55 p.m. In a jaw-dropping turn of events, the Racers dominated the scoreboard by hitting their way into double digits and defeating the Redhawks 10-1. 

Five of those runs came in the top of the fourth inning, when Bloomer hit a grand slam after an RBI double from McCullough to bust the game open 6-0. Woosley went 1-3 and collected three RBIs in the game, walking twice in the process. McCullough had a career day at the plate, going 4-5 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. 

Game Five: Championship Game vs. SEMO

After battling all the way back to get to the championship, the Racers faced off against SEMO for one final OVC game. In the end only one team brought the hitting to win and the Racers found themselves on the flipside of Saturday’s scoring by falling to the Redhawks 10-1. 

The Racers’ only run came from an RBI double from Jordan Cozart.

With the loss, the Racers finished the historic 2021 season 33-25. The season marks the first winning record since 2009 and only the sixth squad to ever reach 30 or more wins. 

More to Discover