Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team sent their seinors out in style today with a double-header sweep of visiting Southwest Baptist, winning game one 10-9 in extra innings and game two 3-1. With the win and a Washburn loss today, Southern will be the No. 3 seed in the MIAA Tournament and will play six seed Fort Hays State at 2:30 pm on Thursday, May 10.
Southern (32-18, 23-17 MIAA) led 6-0 in game one after the first three innings, but SBU (20-28-1, 14-24 MIAA) fought back with seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings to go ahead 7-6. The Lions answered back with a three-run home run from Sam Ryan in the bottom of the fifth to go back up 9-7, but the Bearcats came back with two runs of their own in the sixth.
An RBI single from MJ Sartin in the bottom of the ninth, however, scored Cullen Baxter with the winning run. Ryan Wheat started for the Lions and went four and two thirds of an inning. Bo Bergen threw an inning of relief and Michael McCoy threw the final three and a third for his first win of the year.
Jesse Kinzey went 3-3 in the game with a run and an RBI, while Ryan went 2-4 with a run and five RBIs. Sartin went 2-5 with a run and a pair of RBIs, while Baxter went 2-4 5 with three runs and an RBI. Will Wagner drove in a run and scored twice.
The Lions scored a run in the third inning of game two and another pair in the sixth to go ahead, while Ethan Stenger went the distance, limiting the Bearcats to just one run. Stenger struck out two and allowed just one unearned run to earn his fifth win of the season.
Harrison Gerber had an RBI single in the third, scoring Thomas Wilson, while Ryan added an RBI triple in the sixth to go ahead 2-1 and Kinzey executed a suicide squeeze on the next pitch to put the final run on the board.
Ryan went 2-3 in the game with a run and an RBI, while Wilson went 2-2 with a run scored. Kinzey had an RBI and Gerber added one of his own.
The Lions will play the second game of the day to start the tournament at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan. First pitch will be at 2:30 pm against the Tigers. The tournament will feature the 3-6 seeds facing off on Thursday in a single-elimination format, while the No. 1 and 2 seeds (Central Missouri and Missouri Western) will receive a bye into Friday's games. Friday through Sunday will be double-elimination.