Pittsburg, Kan. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team split a double-header with rival Pittsburg State today, dropping the first game, 6-0 but rebounding to take the nightcap 17-10 in the first two of four Sonic Trophy Series games the teams will play.
The Lions (9-6, 5-5 MIAA) were held at bay offensively in game one as both pitchers threw a complete game, but PSU (6-7, 3-7 MIAA) starter Ryan Sorell limited Southern to just four hits, while two, three-run innings doomed Lions' starter Brett Abell.
Game two was a much different story for the Lions as Southern came into the game averaging a little over 2.5 runs per game and hitting just .239 in conference play, but busted out for five runs in the first inning and three more in the second to take an early 8-2 lead.
The first inning was highlighted by an RBI single by Ben Millard and a three-run homer by CJ Matthews. The Lions scored three more in the second when Helsel doubled home two and Kinzey's grounder drove in another.
Pitt would tie the game at eight after three, but the Lions would score one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the sixth, to lead 14-10 after six innings. Helsel added a home run in the fifth, while the Lions would add a single run in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
Austin Brown started for the Lions and went three innings, allowing just two earned runs. Cody Griebling came in and pitched the final six innigns, allowing just two runs, while striking out seven and walking two to move his record to 2-0 on the season.
Offensively, Helsel and Matthews both drove in five in the game, with Helsel going 3-7 with three runs, and Matthews going 2-5 with a pair of runs scored. Patrick Deao went 4-5 with a run and an RBI, while Harrison Gerber scored three times.
The Lions will be back in action this weekend with an MIAA series on the road at Truman State.