Missouri State rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie as the No. 15 Bears took a 7-4 win in the rubber match of a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series Sunday at Duffy Bass Field.
Illinois State's bullpen retired 11-straight batters, beginning in the sixth inning, but five-straight Bears reached base with two outs in the three-run ninth against Redbird reliever Ryan Koziol. The Redbirds then went down in order in the bottom of the ninth as the league-leading Bears left town with a series win.
Redbird starter Steve Heilenbach went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. Heilenbach struck out two.
Paul DeJong had two hits, including his 14th home run of the season. Ryan Kozoil added a home run as well.
The Redbirds are off Monday before returning to action Tuesday with a non-conference game at Purdue. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. CT in West Lafayette, Indiana.