Lions finish off huge win at Truman, then split with Bulldogs

Kirksville, Mo. -- Zach Caldwell homered and drove in five runs to lead the Missouri Southern Lions to a huge 22-6 win over the Truman Bulldogs in a rain-suspended game that was finished Saturday afternoon (Apr. 3) in Kirksville, Mo.  The Lions then split a doubleheader with the Bulldogs, winning the opener 11-5 and dropping the second game 7-2.

The Lions led 20-4 in the fifth inning over the Bulldogs in a contest that began on Friday but was forced to be completed on Saturday due to rainy conditions in Kirksville, Mo. 

The Lions jumped all over the Bulldogs with five runs in the first and five more in the second inning that made it 10-0.

The score was 10-2 when Shayne Hoke doubled in two runs and Caldwell capped the inning with a grand slam as the Lions scored seven times to take a commanding 17-2 lead.

Taylor continued the onslaught by leading off the fourth with his seventh homer of the season for the Lions' 18th run of the game.

Hoke had three hits and drove in four, while Dane Kolkmeyer went 2-3 with three RBI.   

Groom got the win after going four innings and giving four runs, with four strikeouts. 

The Lions followed up that big offensive performance by plating 11 runs in the first game of the scheduled doubleheader. 

The Lions led 3-0 when Fernando Lugo doubled home Jacob Taylor that extended the lead to four runs.

Devon Myers doubled home two runs in the third that got the Bulldogs on the board, but Taylor hit a two-run double of his own to spark a five-run fourth inning that put the Lions on top 9-2.

Michael Zurmehly hit his team-leading eighth homer of the season with one out in the sixth and Caldwell followed that up with a sacrifice fly that scored Patrick Deao that gave the Lions a pair of insurance runs.

CJ Maffei pitched all seven innings and allowed five runs and struck out seven to pick up the victory. 

The nightcap didn't go as well for the Lions (13-19, 11-14 MIAA) as Kenny Swanson led off the bottom of the first with a double and quickly scored on an RBI single by Luke Crader for the first run of the game.  The first seven Bulldogs (8-20, 5-14 MIAA) reached base in the inning as TSU plated three more runs in the frame for a 4-0 lead.

Skyler Rawlins hit a sacrifice fly that scored Hoke as the Lions answered with two runs in the top of the second.

But that would be all the Lions would get as Bulldogs' hurler Jarrett Eiskina held them in check from that point.

Eiskina struck out six in the complete game effort, with only one earned run allowed and six strikeouts.

Joe Lincoln went 2-of-3 at the plate for the Lions in the second game.

The Lions and Bulldogs will wrap up the four-game weekend set with a single-game tomorrow morning (Apr. 4) beginning at 10 a.m.