The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 28, 2014

MSSU baseball improves to 10-0

Robbe Ewing went 4-for-9 with three RBI and scored three runs as Missouri Southern defeated Fort Hays 8-0 and 11-7 in an MIAA doubleheader Thursday at Joe Becker Stadium.

Ewing, a junior, drove in a run with a single in the third inning of the first game and hit a two-run home run in the third inning of the second game. The Lions had 30 hits in the doubleheader, including 19 in the second game.

“It was an offensive explosion, for sure,” said Ewing, a transfer from Neosho County (Kan.) Community College. “You can’t swing it much better than that. On a day like this, you just try to hit line drives. The wind died down, and I picked a good time to get one up in the air.”

Catcher Mitchell Osburn was 5-for-7 and scored three runs, third baseman Brandon Weller was 5-for-9 with two doubles, a triple and four RBI, and designated hitter Tee Helsel was 4-for-8 with three RBI.

The Lions (10-0 overall, 4-0 MIAA) will resume the four-game series with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. today. Fort Hays State (3-6, 2-4) split a four-game series against Pittsburg State last weekend at Hays.

Both starting pitchers, senior right-hander David Reese and sophomore left-hander Payton Walker, picked up their third victories. Reese tossed a one-hitter — an infield single by Cooper Langley leading off the second inning.

“Statistically speaking, that was probably my best outing,” said Reese, who walked none and struck out nine. “But I’ve pitched well against Fort Hays. Last year, I had a complete game against them. When we have that many hits, it’s a lot easier to be the pitcher.”

The Lions took a 4-0 lead with two runs in third inning. Weller’s two-out double to left-center scored Helsel, who had walked, and Ewing followed with an RBI single to left.

The Lions added four runs in the sixth inning on RBI singles by Osburn, Helsel and Weller sandwiched around Logan Moon’s sacrifice fly.

“Reese was just great,” Lions coach Bryce Darnell said. “He was going to be tough to beat today. We were able to ride him for sure in game one.”

Leadoff batter Jared Lupo doubled in the first inning and later scored when Moon hit a line drive off the leg of pitcher Steven Federau (1-1). Lupo’s sacrifice fly in the second inning scored Ewing for a 2-0 lead.

In the second game, the Lions took a 7-1 lead with a three-run third inning on Helsel’s single, Weller’s triple down the left-field line and Ewing’s home run.

“We swung it pretty good. It was a good day,” Darnell said. “We got some breaks. We had a triple that hit the chalk.”

The Lions took an 11-1 lead with a four-run fifth inning on a two-run single by shortstop Austin White and RBI singles by Moon and Helsel.

After Fort Hays took a 1-0 first-inning lead, the Lions scored four runs in the botton of the inning on Helsel’s RBI single, Weller’s RBI double and first baseman Dusty Harper’s two-run, opposite-field single to left.

Langley, the designated hitter, went 3-for-5 for Fort Hays in the second game, and right fielder Alex King was 3-for-5, drove in two runs with a sixth-inning single and hit a two-run double in the eighth inning.

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