Lions drop a pair to Missouri Western

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team dropped a pair of tough games today to Missouri Western, losing 1-0 in game one and 7-5 in 11 in innings in game two. 

The Lions (5-4, 1-3 MIAA) could manage just two hits in the opener as Western (4-5, 3-1 MIAA) starter Ethan Ward threw 5.1 innings of shutout ball, allowing just the two hits and striking out three. Nik Jurado threw a hitless inning and two thirds of relief for the save. Michael Mudd and Grant Conrad combined to allow just two hits, as well in the loss. Mudd threw four innings, allowing one run and striking out one, while Conrad threw three hitless innings. 

In the nightcap, the Lions scored first with a run in the third when a ground out by Jesse Kinzey scored Cullen Baxter. Western added two in the fourth, but the Lions tied it in the fifth with an RBI single from Dallas Burke scoring, Dane Kolkmeyer. Southern went ahead in the seventh when an unearned run gave the Lions a 3-2 lead. 

After a pair of Western runs in the top of the eighth, Southern answered back with two of their own in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Kolkmeyer and another unearned run. 

With runners at the corners in the ninth, Austin Brown came in to close out the game for the Lions. He struck out the first batter he faced, but after the runner at first attempted a steal, the throw went into center, scoring the runner on third and tying the game. 

Neither team would score until the 11th when the Griffons plated a pair of runs. 

The Lions had two hits each from Kolkmeyer, Kinzey, Burk and Tee Helsel in game two, while six different Lions threw. Cody Greibling had four innings of two hit ball to start the game and allowed just two unearned runs, while striking out two. Bo Bergen and Ryan Taylor pitched two and a third innings of scoreless releif. 

Jurado threw three and two thirds of an inning of shutout ball to earn the win in the nightcap for the Griffons. 

The Lions will be back in action this weekend, playing host to Northwest Missouri in a four-game series at Joe Becker Stadium.