The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 30, 2013

MSSU completes baseball sweep at Northwest Missouri

From staff reports

MARYVILLE, Mo. —  Missouri Southern pounded 17 hits and completed a three-game series sweep Saturday by defeating Northwest Missouri 11-4 in an MIAA baseball matchup.

Catcher Sam Ryan, third baseman Tee Helsel and center fielder Dane Kolkmeyer each had three hits for the Lions (19-11, 15-9 MIAA), who solidified their grip on third place in the MIAA standings.

The surging Lions have won eight in a row and 11 of their last 12 games. Missouri Western (22-4, 17-1) leads the league, followed by Central Missouri (20-5, 17-4).

Ryan was 3-for-4 with two doubles and scored three runs, Helsel was 3-for-4 with two RBI and scored three runs, and first baseman Shaun Hoover was 2-for-5 with two RBI.

The Lions took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Ryan’s two-out double scored Dallas Burke, who had singled, and Helsel drove in Ryan with a single to center field.

MSSU added three runs in the fourth inning. Ryan led off with a double, moved to third on Helsel’s bunt single and scored on Will Wagner’s single to right.

Kolkmeyer’s bunt single loaded the bases and, two outs later, Michael MCoy drove in two runs with a single to left for a 5-0 lead.

The Bearcats ended the shutout with a run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth off Lions starting pitcher Payton Walker (4-3), who allowed six hits in six innings, walked three and struck out five.

MSSU scored twice in the sixth on a double by Kolkmeyer, Hoover’s RBI single and Thomas Wilson’s double down the right-field line.

The Lions added three runs in the seventh on back-to-back RBI doubles by Helsel and Wagner, who later scored on a fielder’s choice.

MSSU added a run in the ninth when Hoover’s two-out single scored Helsel, who had walked, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball.

Missouri Southern is idle until a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday against Washburn at Joe Becker Stadium.