SPRINGFIELD, MO The Arkansas State baseball team dropped the opening game of its series with Missouri State as the Tribe fell 16-7 to the Bears on Friday afternoon at Hammons Field. The loss drops the Indians to 8-7 on the season while Missouri State improves to 5-4 on the season.


            “We knew coming into today that is was going to tough to score a lot of runs against Sinkbeil,” head coach Keith Kessinger said. “On top of that, Missouri State swung the bats really well today and all of that was just hard to overcome.”


            The Indians were held in check by Missouri State starter Brett Sinkbeil (2-1) who limited the Tribe to just three hits in seven innings as he struck out nine batters.


            The Tribe did open the scoring in the game in the top of the second inning as senior first baseman Elliot Jacobs broke out of a 0-fo-17 slump with a monster solo home run over the right field wall to give ASU a 1-0 lead.


            The Tribe’s lead was short lived though as the Bears broke the game open against ASU left-handed starter Taylor Fowler. The Bears scored 15 unanswered runs over the next four innings against Fowler and reliever Ryan Duclos. The Bears pounded out 13 hits in the four inning outburst including four doubles and a three-run home run.


            The Indians finally got to Sinkbeil again in the top of the seventh inning as the Tribe plated four runs in the inning. Senior second baseman Brett Kinning led off with a single, Michael Williams reached on a wild and Brandon Bennett drew a walk to load the bases.


            Guy Brown reached on an error to score the first run of the inning and Jacobs ripped a two-run double down the left field line. The Indians closed out the scoring in the inning as Todd Boucher lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score the fourth run of the inning to narrow the deficit to 15-5.


            After a solo home run by Missouri State in the eighth inning, the Indians added a pair of runs off of reliever Paul Marsala in the top of the ninth inning to close out the scoring. Bennett single to lead off the inning and Brown and Jacobs drew walks to load the bases. Bennett came home to score on a wild pitch while Boucher picked up his second RBI of the game as he notched his second sacrifice fly.


            Jacobs finished the game with three runs batted in including a pair of hits as he reached base three times. Kinning extended his hitting streak to nine straight games in the loss with his late inning single.


            Fowler (1-4) picked up his fourth straight loss as he was charged with 12 runs, 10 earned, in 3.1 innings of work. Duclos tossed 2.2 innings of five-hit baseball and allowed three unearned runs. Boucher made his first career appearance on the hill for ASU as he worked two innings of relief and only allowed one run.


            The Indians will continue their series on Saturday afternoon as the Tribe faces off against Missouri State. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Hammons Field.