Lions pitchers shine in double-header sweep of Concordia-St. Paul in season opener

Minneapolis, Minn. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team picked up a double-header sweep to start the season as the Lions took two from Concordia St. Paul in the Metrodome in Minneapolis today. The Lions won game one 7-2 and took game two, 2-1 in extra innings.

Southern (2-0) saw two superb starting performances from its pitching staff today, as Brett Abell picked up the win in game one and Cody Griebling went the distance in game two to get a win for himself. 

In game one, the Lions, playing as the home team, scored five runs in the first, all with two outs. After Abell struck out the side on 15 pitches, Dane Kolkmeyer singled to start the inning. He moved to second on a wild pitch and after two outs were recorded, he scored on an RBI single from MJ Sartin. Tee Helsel then doubled to centerfield, one-hopping the wall and driving home Sartin. Helsel moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single from Cullen Baxter. Luke Acosta would double home two more runs as the Lions led 5-0 after one. 

Concordia scored a single run in each of the fourth and fifth innings to cut the lead to three at 5-2, but the Lions added two more in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI triple from Sartin and a sac fly from Baxter. 

Abell went five innings, striking out eight and allowing just one earned run on two hits, while Ethan Stenger pitched a perfect two innings of relief. Sartin, Baxter and Acosta all drove in two, while Helsel had a pair of doubles and Sartin added a double and a triple. 

In game two, Griebling scattered six Golden Bears hits as he threw all nine innings and the Lions won 2-1 in extras. The Lions went up 1-0 after three on an RBI single from Harrison Gerber, scoring Thomas Wilson

Concordia scored in the bottom of the fourth and the game would remain tied after seven, forcing extra innings. A sacrifice fly from Sartin in the ninth scored Michael McCoy for the go-ahead run and Griebling sent the Golden Bears down in order in the bottom half of the inning. 

Griebling went all nine, striking out four and allowing just one run on six hits. Five different Lions had a hit each with Sartin and Gerber driving in runs. 

The Lions will be back in action on Friday, February 24, playing host to Ottawa at 3 pm in Joe Becker Stadium.