The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 13, 2013

Southern earns split at Central Missouri


The Joplin Globe

WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Ryan Bates scattered eight hits in 61⁄3 innings and Missouri Southern survived a late threat Saturday in a 9-8 victory against Central Missouri in the second game of an MIAA doubleheader.

UCM’s Travis Higgs took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the first game, won by the Mules 9-1. Central Missouri, ranked No. 5 in the ABCA⁄Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll, outhit the Lions 10-2.

Bates (4-1), a junior right-hander from Killeen, Texas, walked one and struck out four. Two of the six runs he allowed were unearned. He threw 100 pitches, 70 for strikes.

The Mules had won the last seven games between the two teams.

MSSU (25-14, 19-12 MIAA) and Central Missouri (26-8, 20-7) will wrap up their three-game series with a nine-inning game at 11 a.m. today. The start of the game was moved back two hours because of the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.

Bates took a 9-5 lead into the seventh inning and was relieved by Bo Bergen with one out after back-to-back singles by Brad Wilson and John Oropeza. Wilson scored on a grounder to second.

In the eighth inning, the Mules cut the lead to 9-7 on a walk, a hit batsman and an error. With the bases loaded and two outs, David Reese relieved Bergen and forced in a run by hitting a batter before Kevin Gratza grounded into a force play at second to end the inning.

Reese, who picked up his fourth save, retired the Mules in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Lions left fielder Will Wagner, who was 2-for-4, hit a two-run home run down the right-field line in the first inning. The Lions added four runs in the second inning on two-run singles by Shaun Hoover and Dallas Burke.

The Lions scored a run in the third when Thomas Wilson’s double down the left-field line drove in Tee Helsel, who had walked. Wilson was 3-for-3 with two doubles.

MSSU scored twice in the sixth inning, including the eventual game-winning run. Dane Kolkmeyer led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Michael McCoy, moved to third on Burke’s ground out and scored on Sam Ryan’s single to left. Wagner followed with a single, and a throwing error in the outfield allowed Ryan to score.

Mules shortstop and leadoff hitter Samuel Domingue was 3-for-4 and scored two runs. Oropeza was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and scored a run.

In the first game, the Lions ended Higgs’ no-hit bid after Dallas Burke led off the seventh inning with a walk. Wagner singled to right, then Tee Helsel drove in Burke with a single to left.

Higgs (5-0) walked three and struck out five. Payton Walker (4-4), who took the loss, allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out three in 41⁄3 innings. Three of the hits he allowed were bunt singles.

Wilson, the Mules’ No. 4 hitter, was 1-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.