Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team swept a season-opening double-header today at home as the Lions defeated visiting Minnesota-Crookston 13-4 and 10-1 at Joe Becker Stadium.
Southern (2-0) fell behind 2-0 after the top of the first in game one when UMC (0-2) scored two un-earned runs in the inning. The Lions got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Mitchell Osburn singled home Jared Lupo with a knock up the middle.
Crookston added a run in the top of the second to go up 3-1, before the Lions poured on the runs. Southern scored three in the second and four in the third. Zack Steadman walked to lead-off the second and advanced to second on a passed ball. Brandon Weller walked and the bases were loaded when Austin White was hit by a pitch. Lupo singled home both Steadman and Weller and later scored himself on a fielder's choice.
Dusty Harper homered to start the fourth and Steadman and Weller singled behind him. White sacrificed the pair over and Lupo reached on a scoring error, scoring Steadman. Weller scored on a wild pitch and Osburn drove home Lupo on a sacrifice fly.
The Lions added a fun in the fourth and four more in the sixth.
David Reese started and went five innings for the win. He allowed just five hits and one earned run, while striking out five and walking just one. Stephen Vaughn struck out two in an inning of work and Logan Moon struck out two in the seventh for an inning of his own.
Lupo went 3-5 in the game with four runs scored and three driven in. Moon went 4-5 with an RBI, while Weller and Steadman both scored twice with Weller driving in a pair. Harper went 2-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Game two featured a masterful game thrown by sophomore Payton Walker. The Carl Junction native went eight innings and struck out six, walking just one, while allowing one earned run and scattering six hits. Vaughn had a perfect ninth, striking out two and throwing just ten pitches.
The Lions scored a single run each in the second and the third with Weller driving in Robbe Ewing on a double in the second and Lupo scored an unearned run in the third. Moon drove in a run in the fifth, and the Lions added two more unearned in the inning. After Crookston scored a fun in the top of the eighth, the Lions added five more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Lupo went 1-3 in the game with three runs scored, while Osburn was a perfect 4-4 in the game with an RBI. Weller drove in two, while Ewing scored twice.
The Lions will be back in action tomorrow afternoon, with a pair of games against Crookston. First-pitch from Joe Becker Stadium is slated for noon.