Lions score three in the eighth to come from behind and beat Augustana, 8-7

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team scored three times in the bottom of the eighth and Ryan Wheat pitched a scoreless inning and two thirds for the win as the Lions came from behind to defeat Augustana, 8-7 at Joe Becker Stadium.

Southern (4-1) was led offensively by Jesse Kinzey as the junior went 3-4 with a run and an RBI. Cullen Baxter was 2-5 with a pair of runs, while Tee Helsel drove in two. Helsel and Shayne Hoke both had home runs for the Lions. 

David Reece started for the Lions but struggled to find the strike zone and went just an inning and two thirds. Austin Brown went five and a third, giving up four runs, while striking out three. Ryan Taylor and Bo Bergen both threw, before Wheat closed the door. 

Augustana (4-4) was led by Deryk Marks as the shortstop went 3-5 with a pair of runs and an RBI. Bennett Johnson started and went five innings, allowing five runs and striking out five. Bret Severtson picked up the loss in relief. 

Augustana scored a run in the first, before the Lions answered back with two in their half of the inning. Helsel drove in Baxter with a sac fly, before Kinzey drove in Dane Kolkmeyer with a single to right field. 

The Vikings scored another run in the second, but the Lions again answered back with two more in the third and a run in the fourth to go up 5-2 after four innings. 

Augustana broke out with three runs in the fifth to tie the game and went ahead with two more in the top of the eighth before the Lions made their comeback.

Helsel reached on an error to start the inning. Kinzey then singled up the middle to put runners at first and second. Hoke tried to sacrifice the runners over, but Helsel was out at third. Patrick Deao then singled to center field to score Kinzey and Fernando Lugo then singled over the right fielder's head to score Hoke and tie the game. Deao would score the go-ahead run when Harrison Gerber beat out a double-play attempt. 

Southern will be back in action at Joe Becker next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, playing host to Missouri Western to open up MIAA play.