From staff reports
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. —
Missouri Southern broke away with a five-run fifth inning and beat Lincoln 9-2 Saturday at the LU Baseball Field.
The Lions, however, were limited to a season-low two hits by Chris Pfau during an 8-1 loss in the second game.
A split in the four-game series leaves the Lions 28-18 overall and 19-17 in MIAA play. They slipped into sixth place in the conference standings, one percentage point behind WashburnBoth MSSU and Washburn are one game behind third-place Emporia State, one-half game behind Fort Hays State and two games in front of Pittsburg State.
Six teams qualify for next month’s conference tournament in Kansas City, Kan.
Missouri Southern concludes regular-season play next weekend at home with a four-game series against Southwest Baptist.
Ethan Stenger (4-2) picked up the complete-game victory in the opener, allowing eight hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out three.
The Lions’ fifth-inning uprising opened an 8-2 lead.
Singles by Luke Acosta, Michael McCoy and Will Wagner loaded the bases with nobody out against Taylor Klugman (0-9). Sam Ryan singled to left to score two runs, Cullen Baxter’s infield hit scored another run. Dane Kolkmeyer followed with a run-scoring single to right field, and the final run scored on M.J. Sartin’s sacrifice fly to right.
Sartin and Jesse Kinzey each went 3-for-3 to lead the Lions’ 15-hit attack, and Acosta and Kolkmeyer contributed two hits apiece.
But in the next game, Lincoln senior left-hander Pfau fanned seven and walked one while allowing just two hits — both in the fourth inning when the Lions scored their run.
McCoy led off with a single to left and later scored on Baxter’s groundout to third. Kolkmeyer was hit by a pitch and Tee Helsel doubled down the right-field line to put runners in scoring position, but Pfau retired Kinzey on a foulout to end the inning.
Pfau also helped himself at the plate with a run-scoring double to center during Lincoln’s four-run fifth inning and two-run triple to center in a four-run sixth.
Lincoln (7-37, 7-28 MIAA) collected 13 hits off three Lion pitchers. Starter Ryan Wheat (5-3) gave up eight hits and four runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings. Jesse Kinzey allowed a hit and a run in two-thirds of an inning, and McCoy yielded three runs and four hits in three innings.