By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
Emporia State scored five runs in the third inning with the help of three Missouri Southern errors and defeated the Lions 9-6 in the first game of an MIAA doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at Joe Becker Stadium.
In the second game, the Hornets pounded 18 hits, including Jordan Slade’s three-run home run in the fourth inning, and completed the sweep with a 17-3 victory.
Emporia State’s big inning in the first game came against Lions’ starting pitcher David Reese (2-2), who allowed six hits and eight runs, five of which were unearned. He walked two and struck out six.
“He made a couple of mistakes and we capitalized on them,” said Hornets head coach Bob Fornelli. “I think there was an error in there.
“It has been a messed up year because of the weather,” he said. “We’ve struggled pretty much all year. Things came together today.”
The Lions (8-9, 4-7 MIAA) took a 5-3 lead in the first game with a four-run second inning, highlighted by Dane Kolkmeyer’s two-run single and a two-run double by Sam Ryan.
The Hornets (7-11, 6-8) loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning, then scored three runs on two errors. Zack Carlson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Aaron Rea doubled in a run.
“That’s kind of how things are going for us,” said Lions head coach Bryce Darnell. “You make a few mistakes and come out on the short end.”
The Lions cut the lead to 8-6 in the sixth inning when Dallas Burke’s single was bobbled in the outfield, allowing Thomas Wilson to score. Fornelli then replaced winning pitcher Keith Picht (1-3), who entered the game in the third inning, with Dakota McKaskle, who picked up his first save.
“Bringing in our No. 1 starter to close was huge and allowed our guys to relax a little in the second game,” Fornelli said.
The Lions had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Burke singled, moved to second on a balk and scored on Nick Doughty’s single to right field.
Burke, who was 5-for-7 and scored four runs, raised his team-leading batting average to .442.
Carlson, Emporia State’s first baseman and cleanup hitter, was 4-for-7 in the two games with six RBIs, four runs scored and a two-run home run in the midst of an eight-run fifth inning in the second game.
The Hornets scored five runs in the third inning of the second game with seven consecutive hits against Lions’ starter Drew Noble (2-1).
Hornets’ second baseman Blake Sturgeon, Carlson, Rea and catcher Todd Schultz all had three hits in the game.
Doughty and Wilson each had two hits for the Lions in the first game, and third baseman Tee Helsel was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the second game.
Missouri Southern will conclude an 11-game homestand with a three-game series against Truman this weekend. A doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by a single nine-inning game at 1 p.m. Sunday.