By Michael Davison
Globe Sports Writer
Missouri Southern's offense was stifled by a pair of sharp starting pitchers as the Lions dropped two baseball games Saturday at Joe Becker Stadium.
Morningside (Iowa) right-hander Chad Kerr limited the Lions (5-7) to three hits in a 5-2 victory in the Lions' second game in the Larry Hickey Classic.
In the opener, Grand View (Iowa) righty Brandon MacNeil struck out 14 in stopping Southern 10-4.
"We faced two good pitchers today and they shut us down," said Missouri Southern coach Warren Turner. "But we don't have too potent of an offense right now."
The Lions open the Mutt Miller Classic at 10 a.m. today at Joe Becker Stadium against Grand View.
The Lions tied Morningside in the bottom of the second when third baseman Brett Molden walked and took third on an errant pickoff throw. Jake Lawver, playing first base in the nightcap, moved Molden to third with a long fly ball to center. Left fielder Kevin Schiller's ground out to third drove in Molden.
The lead didn't last long as the Mustangs collected two runs in the third and another in the fourth to chase Lion starter Jeff Taylor. Taylor gave up four runs on seven hits in 31/3 innings.
The right-hander from Joplin twice picked off runners that eventually ended with outs at home. With Mustangs at first and third, he faked to third and threw to first. The runner at first got caught in a rundown, but the Lions parlayed the pickle into an out at home when that runner broke for the plate.
Southern's Daniel Ritchhart pitched a strong 32/3 innings, giving up a run on two hits and struck out three.
Lawver started the first game and had rocky innings in the first, third and start of the sixth. In the other three innings, he allowed only two hits.
Grand View center fielder Heath Woods went 3 for 5 with a home run, five runs batted in and two runs scored. Right fielder Brian Ball had four hits.
Molden drove in center fielder Zac Bronson in the fourth inning. Brett Velliquette, Bronson and Nathan Hughes each has an RBI in the three-run seventh for Southern.
Hughes drove in shortstop Austin Brown for the Lions' other run in the second game.
By Michael Davison