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Kentucky head coach John Calipari, left,
and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino

INDIANAPOLIS – Kentucky is a blue state. Kentucky is a red state.

Kentucky is the Wildcats, and the Commonwealth of Calipari. Kentucky is the Cardinals, and the Republic of Pitino. At 40,411 square miles, Kentucky is hardly big enough for the both of them, and that includes Friday night in the Midwest Region.

Kentucky vs. Louisville. Few sentences in college basketball come with more buzz, especially in March.

This from the Kentucky side, and Willie Cauley-Stein. “If you aren’t from Kentucky, you don’t understand it. It’s that simple.”

 

This from the Louisville side, and Russ Smith, “It’s a rivalry game. There’s no way to run around it.”

Of course, survival and not bragging rights is a much more important issue Friday night.

This from the Kentucky side, and John Calipari:  “People grieve for a year after the game. People celebrate for a year after the game. I’ve tried to not make it bigger than what it is, but it doesn’t work. ‘It’s one game. They’re in different leagues.’ It doesn’t matter what I say. But I have told the team: We will not make this game bigger than it is.”

This from the Louisville side, and Rick Pitino: “We’ve gotten used to the noise. We understand what’s at stake. I’ve been in the state 20 years and the game to me has really only had difficult consequences for the loser twice. Once was two years ago when they stopped our run in the Final Four, and the next game we play.”

The next game? Friday night in Lucas Oil Stadium. So now we can put them next to each other.

Kentucky has played basketball for 111 seasons, won 2,137 games and gone to 54 NCAA tournaments.

Louisville has played basketball for 100 seasons, won 1,728 games, and gone to 40 NCAA tournaments. There have only been two tournaments in the past 48 years without at least one of them.

Kentucky has eight national championships, four by 1958. Louisville has three, none before 1980.

This time last spring, all five Kentucky starters were in high school. This time last spring, four Louisville starters were in playing in the national championship game. “I think everybody wants to say experience is going to be on our side,” said Cardinal Luke Hancock. “But they’re not young guys anymore.”

Calipari is 8-2 in Sweet 16 games. Pitino is 11-0 in Sweet 16 games.

“I can tell you very honestly, with all humility, that I know Kentucky in that locker room are not worried about my resume,” Pitino said. “They’re worried about Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Montrezl Harrell.”

One year ago, Kentucky was losing to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. One year ago, Louisville was winning the national championship.

Friday will be the 22nd anniversary of the Christian Laettner’s famous jump shot for Duke in a regional final that represents one of the low spots in Kentucky history. Monday will be the one-year anniversary of Kevin Ware breaking his leg in a regional final that represents one of the low spots in Louisville history.

Kentucky was No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll, and is now unranked. Louisville was No. 3 and is now No. 5.

They met in December and the score was 73-66. Kentucky won. Louisville lost.

Calipari embraces social media. But he said he wanted his players’ only electronic interaction this week to be watching the History channel or Biography. Pitino pushes it as far away as his arms allow.

Calipari is one of only two coaches to lead three different schools to the Final Four. Pitino is the other.

Kentucky started as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the Kentucky University. Louisville started as the Jefferson Seminary.

Kentucky’s arena is named after a legendary coach. Louisville’s arena is named after a corporation that sells fried chicken.

Calipari on Louisville: “Of all the teams left, they may be playing better than anybody.”

Pitino on Kentucky: “You have a lot of preparation time this week and you try your best to figure out a team. This is probably one of the more difficult ones that I have faced as a coach, because they have so many weapons that are playing well right now.”

Kentucky is 273rd in the nation in turnover margin. Louisville is first.

Kentucky has lost five of its past 12 games. Louisville has won 14 of its past 15.

Kentucky is counting on size, and the maturation of youth.  “Our freshman, it’s all on them,” Calipari said.

Louisville is counting on speed, and the resolve of veterans. “I think there’s a certain psyche behind the game for seniors,” Smith said. “It means a little bit more. It could be their last game.”

Kentucky has banners hanging from the rafters honoring 42 past greats in its program. One of them is Rick Pitino.

Kentucky has beaten Louisville three times in the NCAA tournament, the most recent in 2012, which was considered Bluegrass Armageddon since it was the first time they played in the Final Four.

Louisville has beaten Kentucky twice in the NCAA tournament, the most recent in the 1983 Mideast Region, which was considered Bluegrass Armageddon since it was the first time they had played in 24 years.

Kentucky’s women’s team is also in the Sweet 16. So is Louisville’s.

John Wooden’s last game was beating Kentucky in the 1975 national championship. John Wooden’s next-to-last game was beating Louisville in the 1975 Final Four.

Some have the perception Calipari doesn’t get along with the 61-year-old Pitino. Others have the perception Pitino doesn’t get along with the 55-year-old Calipari. Both perceptions exist despite the fact they’ve known each other since Calipari was 15, when they met at a basketball camp.

This is how Calipari responded on Thursday:

“I would say we’re friends. We were in touch back and forth throughout the year.

“But one, we’re getting older, both of us, and I think I’m not on his mind and he’s not on my mind, so to speak. … The stuff about ‘They’re at each other’s throats,’ it’s just not accurate. I’d be stunned if he thinks of me in a week. Both of us have tough jobs that we have to be engulfed in what we do.”

This is how Pitino responded on Thursday:

“I don’t care about perception because perception is not reality. We’re friends. We respect each other’s programs very much.

“We understand what takes place between the lines. We understand the fans’ intensity, but we don’t personalize our battles. We understand what it’s all about; the best team’s going to win.”

Sometimes the best team is Kentucky. Sometimes, it’s Louisville. And the trash talk from each side rings a bell with the other.

“It’s funny, because it’s so similar,” Cauley-Stein said. “They are more alike than what they really think.”

It might not seem that way at 9:45 p.m. ET Friday.

The West Plains High School boys and girls Zizzer Golf teams will be hosting the First Annual Zizzer Golf Tournament three person scramble fundraiser to be held Saturday March 29 at the West Plains Country Club. Registration is 11am, tee-off is at noon. Cost is $150 per team for 18 holes. If you would like to play, sponsor a hole, or donate door prizes please contact Seth Huddleston or Heather Mulford via email at shuddleston@zizzers.org or hmulford@zizzers.org. Persons may also contact the West Plains Country Club at 417-256-2726.

Harlin has more details:

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ORLANDO, Fla. — On the third day of the NFL Annual Meeting, the league’s ownership got down to voting.

One day after approving a rule to allow referees to consult with the officiating department in New York during replay review, the league came to a decision on the rest of the rule proposals on the docket. Here’s a quick summary of the measures, from NFL Media’s Albert Breer:

Rule changes

1. The New England Patriots’ proposal to extend the goal posts five feet has passed. Let’s just call this “The Adam Carolla Rule.”

“It just made sense,” Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garretttold Around the League’s Marc Sessler. It passed “relatively easily.”

2. The “NaVorro Bowman Rule” was passed. That allows the officials to make the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play a reviewable call. This loophole was exposed when Bowman clearly recovered a ball in the NFC Championship Game last year, but the play couldn’t be under review.

3. The game clock will now continue after a quarterback sack outside of two minutes.

Failed proposals

1. Multiple proposals to expand plays that can be reviewed were shot down. The Patriots had suggested allowing all plays to be reviewed. The Washington Redskins wanted personal fouls to be reviewed.

Less than 50 percent of coaches supported the measure to make all plays reviewable, according to the Competition Committee. The committee said the topic inspired a lot of debate.

2. The Redskins’ proposal to move the kickoff to the 40-yard line was shot down. So was their idea to eliminate the training camp roster cutdown to 75 players.

3. The Patriots’ proposal to move the extra point back to the 25-yard line failed, but the league will experiment with a new extra-point system during the preseason. Extra points in Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason will be snapped from the 20-yard line. (Making them like a 37-yard field goal.)

4. The proposal to allow an unlimited number of players on injured reserve to return to the active roster failed. Jeff Fisher of the Competition Committee said that vote wasn’t close.

No decision yet

1. The abolition of overtime in the preseason was tabled until May.

2. The idea to expand the practice squad from eight to ten players was also tabled. The same goes for expanding rosters for Thursday night games to 49 from 46.

3. The league also put off deciding whether to allow teams to open their roof during halftime at games for weather reasons.

4. The Competition Committee told the Patriots that it will look at the possibility of adding cameras to all goal lines, side lines and end lines. The NFL will discuss the possibility with its broadcast partners.

Press release by Gregg Rosenthal, NFL: Around The League Editor.

Columbia, Mo. - University of Missouri basketball fans are invited to celebrate the recently-completed 2013-14 season with the team on Wednesday, April 16th, as part of the Missouri Basketball Awards Banquet. Tickets are now on sale for the event, which is scheduled to take place on the Mizzou Arena floor at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:15 p.m.

Missouri is coming off its sixth consecutive trip to postseason play and has won at least 23 games each of the last six seasons.

Tickets for the banquet are now available through the Mizzou Athletics Ticket Office, for $35 to general public, and just $5 for MU students. Business attire is requested. To order tickets, please contact the Ticket Office at 1-800-CAT-PAWS (884-PAWS locally).

JUPITER, Fla. – Yadier Molina drove in three runs and Adam Wainwright shut out the Nationals for the second straight start as the Cardinals earned a 3-2 win on Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium. Both clubs have one Grapefruit League game remaining before departing Florida.

Wainwright finished the spring riding a scoreless-innings streak of 15 1/3 innings. The last 13 of those came against the Nationals, who tallied one hit in five frames of Wainwright’s final tuneup before his Opening Day start. The Cardinals pulled their ace after 80 pitches (58 strikes).

Wainwright struck out six and walked none. He issued one walk in his 22 1/3 spring innings.

“I’m very comfortable working both sides of the plate with several different of my pitches, moving my ball around, sinking and cutting it,” Wainwright said. “I felt good out there, and a couple guys really took some tough at-bats. Bryce Harper always takes tough at-bats. He fouled some pitches off and got my count up. Other than that, I felt good.”

For the second straight start, Wainwright outdueled Nationals right-hander Gio Gonzalez, who allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits in five innings. After a passed ball advanced runners to second and third in the first, Gonzalez allowed a two-run, two-out single to Molina.

Molina padded the St. Louis lead with an RBI single in the third, an inning that was extended by an error. Molina entered the day with three RBIs in his first 19 games played this spring.

The five-inning start was the longest of the spring for Gonzalez, who allowed a combined eight runs (five earned) on 18 hits in 18 innings.

The Cardinals used Wednesday’s game to get their first look at right-hander David Aardsma, the latest reliever to enter the bullpen competition. Aardsma, who signed a Minor League contract with the Cardinals after being released by Cleveland on Friday, stranded two runners while pitching a scoreless sixth.

Caleb Ramsey hit a two-run single in the eighth for the Nationals.

Harper was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing a close play at first base.

Up next: The Cardinals wrap up Grapefruit League play on Thursday with a 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on MLB.TV. Michael Wacha, who will start in Cincinnati on Wednesday, will be making his fifth start of the spring. He has allowed three runs on 10 hits in 15 1/3 innings this month. This will be his second spring start against the Marlins, who will send Brad Hand to the mound to oppose him.

 

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It’s Langosch, and follow her on Twitter@LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

BY DOUG FERGUSON AP GOLF WRITER - The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, exclusively for men since it was founded 260 years ago at St. Andrews, will vote in September on whether women can join the club.

“It’s an exciting day for the club,” R&A club secretary Peter Dawson said Wednesday. “There will be quite a bit of internal discussion between now and the September vote. It’s a matter for the members to determine. All indications are very supportive.”

A statement from club said that all committees were “strongly in favor of the rule change” and asked members to go along.

The move was hailed by British sports minister Helen Grant, who was hopeful a favorable vote would encourage other single-sex golf clubs to follow suit.

Dawson, however, said the vote would have no bearing on whether the British Open is played on links courses that exclude women as members – Royal St. George’s, Royal Troon and Muirfield, where Phil Mickelson won last year. The Open returns to Troon in 2016.

“I don’t want you to think there’s any connection between this vote and these issues,” Dawson said. “What other clubs choose to do in the UK is not connected to this. … To be entirely honest, we’re not here to put pressure on other clubs that have supported The Open Championship and other R&A championships.”

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has about 2,400 members from around the world and dates to 1754. The clubhouse is among the most famous buildings in golf, overlooking the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Augusta National for years was the symbol of men-only golf clubs because it hosts The Masters every April. The club announced in August 2012 that it had invited women to join for the first time – former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore.

Even though Augusta National went 80 years without a female member, it had no policy that barred women from joining. The R&A had such a policy, and that’s what will be voted on in September.

Dawson said he did not think Augusta National’s decision had any bearing on the R&A Golf Club.

“We noted what happened at Augusta,” he said. “They have their own procedure of doing things. We are doing this because of our governance role.”

He also said the R&A did not feel pressure from any of its corporate sponsors, who were subjected to the debate at the British Open.

“You can always ask that question: `Why now? Why not 10 years ago?’ The R&A have been considering this. It’s been on our agenda, on our radar, for quite some time,” Dawson said. “The feeling is as society changes, as sport changes, as golf changes, it’s something the R&A needs to do, and is doing now as being forward-looking as we can.”

The 2,400-member club and the group that runs The Open are separate entities.

For years, the men-only Royal & Ancient was in charge of the Rules of Golf for every country in the world except for the United States and Mexico, which are governed by the USGA. And it operated the British Open, the oldest championship in golf.

Ten years ago, the administrative duties were split off into a corporate structure that is called “The R&A,” of which Dawson is the chief executive. That’s the group in charge of the Rules of Golf and organizing The Open and other R&A championships.

And while “The R&A” has female employees, its committee and board roles are populated by members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. So there are no women in leadership roles when it comes to rules and championship golf.

That likely will change with a favorable vote in September for female members.

“This is welcome news from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and I urge its members to follow their committees’ recommendations and vote `yes’ for women members,” Grant said in a statement. “It would mark a step in the right direction for the sport and I would hope encourage the remaining golf clubs that still have anachronistic single-sex member policies to follow suit.”

While the members have access to the R&A clubhouse behind the first tee at the Old Course, R&A members belong to a club, not a golf course. The seven golf courses at St. Andrews are open to the public.

ERIE, Pa. – Drury dug itself a deep early hole, stormed back to take the lead, but then watched top-ranked and unbeaten Bentley pull away down the stretch for a 74-66 victory over the No. 6 Lady Panthers in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight late Tuesday night at the Erie Insurance Arena.

Coach Steve Huber‘s Lady Panthers finished the season with a 27-4 mark, but not before playing Bentley’s Falcons to only their second game decided by fewer than double-digits in what has become a 33-0 season for wire-to-wire leader in the top spot of the WBCA/USA TODAY Top 25 national poll this season.

Sanayika Shields matched her career-high with 21 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Panthers, who also got 16 points from Annie Armstrong and 10 points from Paige Wilson on a night when Bentley accomplished its goal – keeping DU’s 6-foot-7 standout, Amber Dvorak, under wraps.

Facing double-teams the entire night, Dvorak grabbed nine rebounds, but managed just two points on 1-for-9 shooting and fouled out in 22 minutes of playing time, snapping a streak of 24 consecutive games in which the Minnesota transfer and All-Midwest Region and All-GLVC First Team choice had scored in double-figures.

Nevertheless, a gritty bunch of Lady Panthers threw a real scare into the Falcons particularly with about 10 minutes to go, when the Lady Panthers – who trailed by 13 points at one point in the first half – took a 52-48 lead after Armstrong’s 3-pointer with 9:50 to play. It was the first time all season Bentley had trailed in a game with less than 10 minutes remaining.

But the Falcons responded like the veteran team they are, with seven players either seniors or graduate students on a squad making its third Elite Eight appearance in the last four years. Bentley reeled off a 9-0 run over the next 3:24, with Courtney Finn’s layup making it a 57-52 lead for the Falcons.

The Lady Panthers had it back down to a three-point deficit (64-61) with 2:56 to play after another Armstrong 3-pointer, but the Falcons countered with back-to-back buckets from three-time All-America and senior forward Lauren Battista and Finn – who had 30 points and 10 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes – to finally squelch Drury’s last true threat.

“I’m very proud of my team tonight,” first-year DU coach Steve Huber said. “The best decision I ever made in my life, probably other than marrying my wife, was leaving a great institution at Creighton and coming to Drury and being able to be a part of 10 kids that bonded, bought into me and bought into a team … that wasn’t given much respect nationally and ended up going 27-4 and in my opinion, probably losing to the national champions.

“It was two good teams playing tonight, and we lost to a special team … that’s what it all boils down to.”

The Lady Panthers couldn’t hit shots early and fell behind 15-4 in the game’s first five and a half minutes, got the deficit back down to six, then watched Bentley push it back to 13 (29-16) on Jen Gemma’s jumper with 6:24 to go in the half. But Drury answered with a 12-4 run over the next five minutes, fueled by five points from freshman reserve guard Paige Wilson, and eventually trailed just 36-32 at the half.

“We have a ‘never back down’ mentality,” Shields said. “We weren’t just going to let them blow us out.”

Led by Shields’ 11 boards and nine from Dvorak, Drury outrebounded a Bentley team that led the nation in rebounding margin, beating its foes by an average of 11.5 rebounds per game. It was the first time all season the Falcons had lost the rebounding battle to a foe.

Drury also held Bentley to .397 shooting (on 23 of 58), only the third time this season the Falcons had been held below 40 percent. The Lady Panthers, however, made just 23 of 59 shots (39 percent), including 5 of 19 from 3-point range.

Finn hit 7 of 11 shots, including 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range, and made 12 of 15 free throws to get her career-high 30 points. Battista, saddled with foul problems that limited her to 11 minutes in the first half, scored 13 of her 20 points after halftime as the Bentley duo rallied the Falcons, particularly late, to move into Wednesday’s second semifinal against Cal Poly-Pomona. It was the 915th career win for Bentley coach Barbara Stevens, who now has a Falcons team in the Final Four for the ninth time since 1989.

Meanwhile, it was the final game in a Drury uniform for three seniors – the graduate student Dvorak as well as Kylie Williamson and Bethanie Funderburk. Dvorak leaves as the Lady Panthers’ record-holder in blocked shots in a single season with 60 after swatting two more on Tuesday, and her 502 points were the fifth-most in a Drury single-season; Williamson scored 749 points (tied for 15th on the all-time DU list) and grabbed 434 rebounds (eighth) in four years; and Funderburk finishes as Drury’s No. 2 all-time scorer with 1,716 points and No. 7 on its rebounds list with 518.

But more importantly, their legacy will say they took a Drury team that faced transfers and turmoil in the preseason – leading to a slap-in-the-face, fifth-place projection by the league coaches in the GLVC West Division poll – and turned it into the third Lady Panthers team to make it to an Elite Eight in the program’s 14-year history.

“I love our three seniors … Bethanie and Kylie won every wind sprint this year, and along with Nique, they came ready their senior year and did everything they needed to do to get us here,” Huber said. “We’d have liked to have played two more games, but that wasn’t the case. And a year ago, Amber’s a 6-7 girl in a (University of Minnesota) marching band. She came a long way, and not just as a basketball player. I can’t put into words how much she’s grown as a young lady.”

And with a nucleus returning of Shields – who hit 8 of 10 shots and played 37 minutes –  Shelby White, Armstrong, Wilson and Hannah Dressler, Huber says the Elite Eight ought to expect a return visit from the Lady Panthers.

“This girl to my right (Shields) and her teammates, I promise, will be back here next year,” Huber said. “We’ve got something in us and we’re not satisfied. I’ll be honest, I thought we were going to win tonight. But we lost to a class organization, a class coach and a couple of very good players (Battista and Finn) who showed up very big at the end of the game tonight. But that takes nothing away from what my 10 players did tonight. I think they played a great basketball game. I became a better basketball coach tonight, and I think they’ll become better players next year.”

Added Shields: “As a team, I think we’re already ready to get back in the gym to work to get back here next year.”

Congratulations to the Willow Springs 5th & 6th grade volleyball teams. Both teams took 1st place at their 4th annual club bear tournament this past Saturday.
The 5th grade finished 8-0 & 6th grade finished 10-1.

5th Grade Champs

5th grade champs

Front row (Left to Right): Madison McDaniel, McKenna Cox, Destini Bates; Backrow: Marie Bowen, Maggie Graves, Cheyenne Clinton & Ashtin Roberts. Other members of the team not pictured are Ashley Kelley & Autumn Hogan.

6th grade team members are:

Rebecca Hann, MacKenzie Cox, Zoe Sharpe, Tessa Duddridge, Chyann Watts, Emily Daniels and Emily Scarbrough.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — With Jenrry Mejia bearing down on him, Daisuke Matsuzaka needed a strong start on Tuesday to quiet his skeptics and lock down a rotation spot.

Something like this should suffice. Matsuzaka blanked the reigning National League-champion Cardinals into the seventh, leading the Mets to a 5-3 win at Tradition Field.

“I went up there knowing this would be my last chance to show what I can do,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. “I think I’ve done pretty much everything I can and showed what I can do out there. The decision is up to them now, and we’ll see what happens.”

Cardinals starter Shelby Miller worked five innings, striking out four, walking three and allowing three hits.

A day after Mejia lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.89 with five strong innings, Matsuzaka was just as impressive; he scattered three hits and three walks over six-plus innings, leaving after hitting the first batter in the seventh, who later scored. The outing lowered his spring ERA to 3.86, with 17 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings.

Per terms of Matsuzaka’s contract, the Mets must inform him by Tuesday whether he has made the Opening Day roster.

The Mets did all their damage against Miller in the third. After Ruben Tejada and Eric Young, Jr. sparked the rally with a leadoff walk and a bunt single, Daniel Murphy’s double plated both of them.David Wright then moved Murphy to third base with a groundout, and Curtis Granderson scored him with a sacrifice fly.

Playing in his second consecutive game after missing a week with right calf soreness, Murphy finished 2-for-3. The Mets fielded a lineup resembling the one they will use on Opening Day, albeit with Lucas Duda playing first base instead of Ike Davis. The Mets also batted their pitcher eighth for the second time this spring.

The Mets were cruising to victory until Vic Black relieved Matsuzaka with no outs and a man on first in the seventh. Black faced three batters and did not retire any of them, plunking one, throwing a wild pitch and allowing three runs (one inherited). So successful down the stretch last summer, Black now sports a 6.75 spring ERA with more walks (nine) than innings pitched (eight).

“I like to think back to my two previous springs, and they were bumpy and rocky,” Black said. “There’s just something about games in-season that get me to click. I’m not relying on that, because they still need to see that I can go out and compete and perform. But right now, I’ll just get another outing and go from there.”

Insurance runs came for the Mets on Travis d’Arnaud’s RBI single in the sixth and Omar Quintanilla’s run-scoring knock in the seventh.

Up next: The Cardinals will serve as the visiting team for Tuesday’s game at Roger Dean Stadium against the Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT, live on MLB.TV . St. Louis will face off against Marlins ace Jose Fernandez as it sends Lance Lynn to the mound for his final spring tuneup. The right-hander has a 6.35 ERA in four Grapefruit League games, including three starts, after giving up three runs in four innings against the Marlins last Thursday.

 

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After opening Missouri Valley Conference play this past weekend, the Missouri State Bears (9-12) will play a pair of midweek non-conference games, traveling to Stillwater to meet the Oklahoma State Cowboys (16-8) Tuesday (March 25) evening before returning to Hammons Field to open a five-game homestand against the Arkansas State Red Wolves (13-10) Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.

The Bears halted a nine-game losing streak with their 4-3 win over Wichita State Sunday, rallying for a run in the top of the ninth inning after the Shockers had pulled even in the bottom of the eighth. Oklahoma State dropped two of its three road Big 12 games with Baylor over the weekend, while Arkansas State took two of three from UT Arlington. The Red Wolves enter their Tuesday game with Memphis having won seven of their last nine contests after starting the year 6-8.

Oklahoma State enters Tuesday’s game with a 9-6 advantage over the Bears in a series that dates back to 1987. The Cowboys claimed a 6-0 victory last week in the two clubs’ first meeting of the season in Springfield and have won three straight from the Bears under second-year head coach Josh Holliday. MSU, just 2-6 vs. OSU in Stillwater, suffered a 5-4 setback to the Cowboys in their last trip to Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in March 2013.

The Bears split their 2013 season series with Arkansas State, taking a 6-2 win in extra innings before dropping a 7-5 decision in Jonesboro last March. MSU has won 17 of the previous 26 meetings in Springfield, including both games played by the two clubs at Hammons Field in 2012. Head coach Keith Guttin has enjoyed a successful run against ASU over the years, going 34-19 in the series since 1990.