Lions baseball splits double-header with Missouri Western

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team split a double-header with visiting Missouri Western today, dropping the first game 5-3 in extra innings, but rebounding to take the nightcap, 2-1. 

Southern (5-2, 1-1 MIAA) tied the score in game one in the fourth on a home run from Jesse Kinzey to left field. Brett Abell started the game for Southern and threw masterfully, allowing only one run thre the first seven innings. The Lions had a chance in the bottom of the seventh to win it with bases loaded and no one out, but couldn't score and the game went to extra innings. 

Western (2-5, 1-1 MIAA) took advantage and loaded the bases in the 8th, when first baseman Isaac Rome took a pitch from Abell over the right field fence for a grand slam. Southern scored two more in the bottom of the inning, but couldn't complete the comeback. 

In the nightcap, the game was a pitcher's duel with Southern's Austin Brown and Western's Brandon Simmons going toe-for-toe. The Lions scored first when Cullen Baxter scored in the first on a wild pitch. 

The Griffons answered back with a run in the top of the second and the game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when Baxter singled to left, moving Harrison Gerber to third and Gerber scored when the Western left fielder bobbled the ball. 

Brown went all seven in game two for the win, striking out two and allowing just one run on five hits. Abell went seven and a third in the first game, striking out seven and walking none, while allowing just three earned runs. 

Kinzey was 3-4 in game one with a run and two RBIs, including his second home run of the season. Dallas Burke, Dane Kolkmeyer and Baxter all had a pair of hits in the nightcap. 

The Lions and Griffons will match up for a pair tomorrow afternoon. First-pitch is slated for 1 pm from Joe Becker Stadium.