Southern drops heartbreaker at 5th ranked ESU, second game suspended due to lightning
Emporia, Kan. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team held a 3-2 lead with two outs in the bottom of the seventh at 5th ranked Emporia State this afternoon, but a walk and two hit batters led to the tying and game-winning run as the Lions fell 4-3 in game one against the Hornets. Game two was suspended in the bottom of the eighth with the Lions trailing 4-3 due to lightning and will resume at noon tomorrow.
The Lions (14-15, 10-13 MIAA) trailed 2-0 after Emporia (24-4, 20-3 MIAA) scored a single run in each of the first two innings. The Lions bounced back, however, and scored a run in the fifth on a home run from Patrick Deao and picked up a pair of runs in the sixth to go ahead 3-2 after Dallas Burke doubled home CJ Matthews and later scored on an RBI single from Cullen Baxter.
Lions starter Cody Griebling held Emporia to just those two runs early on and had thrown four scoreless innings, setting up the seventh. With a runner on first and two outs, Andy Cotton singled to right field. Both runners moved up on a failed pickoff attempt when the throw from Griebling was wide. Southern intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases and Griebling hit Joe Vaskas forcing in the tying run. The Lions brought in Grant Conrad in relief, but Conrad hit his first batter, forcing in the winning run.
In all, Griebling went six and two thirds, striking out six and walking just two, while allowing two earned runs.
Burke went 3-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored, while Deao added his second home run of the year.
In the nightcap, Southern allowed two runs early, but stormed back to score three in the fourth inning to go up 3-2. A double and a single put runners at the corners and Burke hit a sacrifice fly, driving in Harrison Gerber. Baxter added an RBI single in the inning and Jesse Kinzey scored when Emporia threw through on a stolen base attempt.
Emporia added a run in the sixth and the seventh to go up 4-3 before the rain and lightning came.
The teams will resume the game at noon with Emporia batting in the bottom of the 8th and will then begin the regularly scheduled double-header thereafter.