Lions swept again by Mavericks despite offensive breakout

Joplin, Mo. -- Jacob Taylor and Michael Zurmehly each hit two homeruns to lead a breakout offensively for the Missouri Southern Lions, but it wasn't enough as the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks finished off a four-game sweep of the Lions with 9-8 and 16-6 wins Sunday afternoon (Mar. 7) at Joe Becker Stadium.

The Lions found themselves in a huge hole in the opener as the Mavericks scored twice in the first inning and then exploded for six in the second for an early 8-0 lead.

Tyler Lundy hit a two-run double in the first and Brady Hohl singled home two more runs in the second as the Mavericks were aided by two Lion errors that led to four unearned runs.

The Lions then began a huge charge back in the second inning as Skyler Rawlins and Vince Pironti each hit RBI singles and CJ Matthews added a two-run single that cut the lead in half.

Taylor scored the fifth Lion run after tripling to lead off the third and crossing the plate on an RBI groundout by Shayne Hoke.

The Lions played long ball in the fifth as Joe Lincoln hit a lead-off single that was followed by a two-run shot by Taylor that made it a one-run game.  Zurmehly then hit a majestic pinch-hit homer to right field that tied the score at 8-8.

Andre Hansen scored the eventual game-winning run for the Mavericks by leading off the sixth with a double and scoring on a double-play groundout.

The Lions had a golden opportunity to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the sixth when the inning started with a single by Licoln and a walk to Taylor that put runners on first and second.  But Hoke attempted to sacrifice bunt and hit into a tough fielders choice as pitcher Brandon Dahl made a nice play to throw Lincoln out at third.  Rawlins then flied out and Deao grounded out to end the inning.

Lions' starter Kevin Humphrey got off to a shaky start but settled in after the second inning and allowed only one run over the final five innings.  Humphrey allowed nine runs overall but only three were earned and finished with five strikeouts.

Much like the opener, the Mavericks again jumped out to a huge lead in the nightcap as Jeremy Klein hit an RBI double in the first and UNO then plated four more in the second for a five-run cushion.

Zurmehly got the Lions (3-14, 1-9 MIAA) on the board in the fourth with another towering homer to right field.

The Lions again would hurt themselves in the field by committing three errors in the fifth inning that led to five unearned runs.  Lundy and Brady Hohl each hit RBI doubles as UNO scored six runs overall that inning to pull away to an 11-1 lead. 

Vince Pironti hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth and Taylor added another homer in the sixth. 

The Lions will next play a four-game series at Missouri Western beginning with a doubleheader next Saturday (Mar. 13) at 2 p.m. in St. Joseph, Mo.