Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team split the final two games of the series today with visiting Northeastern State, winning game one 6-5, but dropping game two 8-6.
Southern (21-19, 15-17 MIAA) saw a solid pitching performance from starter Ryan Bates in game one. He went six innings and allowed three earned runs, striking out five and walking just one. Stephen Vaughn pitched an inning in relief, picking up the win as the Lions came-from-behind and won in the bottom of the seventh.
The Lions scored first with a run in the second on an RBI from Jared Lupo, scoring Axel Johnson. Northeastern State (19-21, 15-17 MIAA) picked up a run in the top of the fourth, but the Lions put a four spot up in the bottom of the fourth to go up 5-1.
NSU scored four runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game, but the Lions put a run across in the bottom half of the inning when Dusty Harper doubled off the left field wall and Mitchell Osburn drove him in with an RBI single.
Johnson went 2-3 with two runs scored, while Osburn was 2-2 with an RBI. Logan Moon had two hits, while Natick, Smith, Harper, Lupo and White had hits, as well.
The RiverHawks went up early in game two, as NSU scored four runs in the top of the second.
Southern answered back with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up 6-4. The Lions had RBIs from Osburn, White, Natick and Smith in the inning.
NSU scored two runs in the seventh and added an insurance run in the ninth to put the game away.
Matt Harvey started and went four and two thirds, striking out three and allowing three earned runs. Drew Noble threw two innings and picked up the loss to move to 4-4 on the season. Kanon Hoover and Vaughn threw in relief in the game.
Osburn went 1-3 with a run and two RBIs, while Smith drove in a pair with a hit. White and Natick had RBIs, as well, while Natick, Moon, Johnson and White had hits in the game.
The Lions will step out of conference play for a Sonic Trophy Series tilt with Pittsburg State at home on Tuesday night from Joe Becker Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6 pm.