The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 16, 2014

Lions, Moon eclipse PSU

— Logan Moon went 2-for-4 and scored twice as Missouri Southern defeated Pittsburg State 6-4 in a nonconference game Tuesday night at Joe Becker Stadium.

The victory was worth one point and tied the Sonic Trophy Series at 5-5 with golf and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field remaining. The game also served as the first Joplin Boys and Girls Club Night.

Moon, the Lions’ center fielder, doubled and scored in a three-run sixth inning, then drove in a run with a single and scored in a three-run seventh.

The Lions (22-19) were shut out on two hits through the first five innings by junior right-hander Dustin Ulrich, who walked none and struck out two.

“We just had to calm down and have better at-bats,” said Moon, who raised his batting average to .393. “Early on, we were swinging at his pitch, which was good, down in the zone. Once we made the adjustment, we hit more line drives.”

Skylar Hill (4-1), who was the winning pitcher when the two teams played on April 1 at Pittsburg State, allowed two runs — both unearned — on three hits in seven innings.

“I felt good out there,” said Hill, who walked one and struck out four. “I struggled early, then found my groove, and the defense did a good job.

“The guys stuck with it, not getting frustrated. Those three runs (in the sixth) were big, but the three insurance runs were bigger as it turned out.”

Hill had relief help from Drew Noble and Stephen Vaughn, who struck out three of the six batters he faced and picked up his sixth save.

Missouri Southern will face Central Oklahoma at 6 p.m. Thursday in the first game of a four-game MIAA series at Joe Becker Stadium. A doubleheader is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, and Senior Day activities are planned for Saturday’s game at 1 p.m.

Trailing 2-0, Austin White hit a one-out single in the sixth and Moon doubled off the left-field fence. Designated hitter Matt Smith drove in White with a sacrifice fly, and Dusty Harper and Mitchell Osburn had RBI singles.

Second baseman Brandon Weller led off the seventh with his 18th double of the season and scored on Zack Steadman’s single to right field. White sacrificed him to second, and Moon’s single to right scored Steadman. Moon later scored on a throwing error.

“We haven’t done well the last several series extending innings,” said MSSU head coach Bryce Darnell. “Skylar struggled with his command early, but he gave us seven strong innings. It was good to see some balls up against the fence and some doubles.”

PSU shortstop Derek Hackney reached on an error in the first inning and scored on Nathan Arnold’s single, and right fielder Luke Bordewick reached on an error and scored in the second.

The Gorillas (15-27) added two runs in the eighth on singles by Hackney and Andrew Kreiling and RBI singles by Cody Ball and Arnold.

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