The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 21, 2014

Lions slated to play final game at Becker today

Missouri Southern will face Drury in the Lions’ final home game of the season at 7 p.m. today at Joe Becker Stadium. The game was originally set for Wednesday.

The game is scheduled to be the Lions’ last game at Joe Becker Stadium. MSSU plans to move its home games to a new field on campus next spring.

The matchup will be the second this month between the two teams. Drury defeated Missouri Southern 4-3 on April 8 at Meador Park in Springfield and extended its winning streak at that time to 15 games.

Drury extended its streak to a school-record 18 games and has won its last six since a pair of losses to William Jewell 9-8 and 10-5 on April 12 at Springfield.

Missouri Southern (23-22) is coming off a split of a doubleheader with Central Oklahoma on Saturday at Joe Becker Stadium. MSSU won the first game 4-3, and the Bronchos won the second game 8-6.

The Lions will wrap up their regular-season schedule with a four-game series at Nebraska-Kearney, beginning with a single game at 6 p.m. Friday.

MSSU is batting .292 as a team, led by center fielder Logan Moon, who leads the team in batting (.389), hits (63), triples (6), RBIs (35), walks (24), slugging (.525) and on-base percentage (.466).

Four other Lions are batting .295 or better — catcher Mitchell Osburn (.316), second baseman Brandon Weller (.299, 18 doubles), right fielder Robbe Ewing (.298) and outfielder Beau Phillips (.295).

Ewing has been out of the lineup with a wrist injury since the Lions’ game at Drury.

The Lions’ pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.64 and has allowed 361 hits in 358 1/3 innings.

Drury center fielder Nick Thimesch leads the Great Lakes Valley Conference in batting with a .477 average. He is Drury’s all-time leader in runs scored and needs five hits to become Drury’s career leader in that category. He already holds school records for stolen bases in a season (28) and career (72).

Drury (30-9) is batting .347 as a team. Besides Thimesch, offensive leaders include first baseman Luke Tewes, who is batting .373 and leads the Panthers with four home runs and 40 RBIs.

Shortstop Caleb Cole is batting .370 and is tied with Thimesch in RBIs with 38. Left fielder Emili Villanueva is batting .362 and is tied with Thimesch for the team lead in runs scored (40).

The Panthers’ pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.03 and has allowed 285 hits in 309 innings.

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