By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
The two teams with the longest current winning streaks in the MIAA face one another when Missouri Southern plays Emporia State in a doubleheader at 2 p.m. today at Trusler Sports Complex in Emporia, Kan.
When the two teams met on March 12 in Joplin, Emporia State swept a doubleheader 9-6 and 17-3. Today’s doubleheader originally was scheduled for Tuesday, but was postponed because of threatening weather.
Missouri Southern, in third place in the MIAA, has won its last 13 games and 16 of its last 17. Emporia State is in fourth place and has won its last six games and 15 of its 1ast 18.
The Lions, who are 13-4 on the road this season, are coming off a three-game sweep at home against Washburn. After today’s doubleheader, the Lions will travel to second-place Central Missouri for a three-game series that begins with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Missouri Southern is batting .299 as team, led by catcher Sam Ryan, who is batting .373 and leads the team in doubles (15). Second baseman Michael McCoy is batting .345 and right fielder Dallas Burke is batting .325.
The Lions’ pitching staff is second in the MIAA with a 4.17 ERA and leads the league with nine complete games. Senior left-hander Brett Abell is 4-2 with a 3.95 ERA and is second in the league with 61 strikeouts.
Emporia State is batting .296 as a team, led by right fielder Aaron Rea, who is batting .350 and leads the team in hits (42), doubles (16) and RBIs (24). Second baseman Blake Sturgeon is batting .346 and center fielder Jordan Slade is batting .345.
ESU junior right-hander Kevin Shaffer was named the MIAA pitcher of the week this week after he threw a two-hit shutout against Central Oklahoma. He had 13 strikeouts and no walks.