The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 9, 2014

Lions rally for split

Missouri Southern rallied from a 4-0 deficit and defeated Emporia State 12-8 to gain a split of an MIAA doubleheader Sunday at Joe Becker Stadium.

Emporia State’s Shawn Talkington pitched a six-hit complete game in the first game, won by the Hornets 2-1.

MSSU center fielder Logan Moon was 4-for-5 in the second game with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored. He was 5-for-7 in the doubleheader.

The four-game series will resume with a doubleheader at noon today.

MSSU, trailing 4-0, scored three runs in the second inning and three runs in the third inning off Hornets starting pitcher Jarrod Miller (1-2).

The Lions’ Dusty Harper drove in two runs with a one-out double in the second inning, and second baseman Brandon Weller gave the Lions a 6-4 lead with a two-run double in the third inning.

“I was really proud of our guys,” said MSSU head coach Bryce Darnell. “The first game was a tough game to lose. Either team could have won.

“We give up four runs (in the first inning of the second game) and you worry about your mental approach. We were able to hang in there.”

Miller, a junior left-hander, came into the game having allowed two earned runs in 17 innings (1.06 ERA). After he retired the Lions in order in the first inning, Tee Helsel and Robbe Ewing singled, and Weller’s double to right field scored Helsel.

Harper, a left-handed hitting first baseman, then hit an opposite-field double that scored two runs and brought the Lions to within 4-3.

“He was throwing a lot of sliders, and I hit a full-count slider into left-center field,” Harper said.

The Lions (13-2) loaded the bases in the third inning on a walk to Mitchell Osburn and singles by Moon and designated hitter Axel Johnson. Ewing drove in a run with a sacrifice fly before Weller’s two-run double gave the Lions a 6-4 lead.

MSSU added a run in the sixth inning on Moon’s RBI single, and scored five runs in the seventh, highlighted by Osburn’s two-run single and Moon’s two-run triple.

Lions left-hander Payton Walker (4-0), who allowed three earned runs on three hits in the first inning, was relieved by Stephen Vaughn in the eighth. Walker allowed nine hits, walked two and struck out nine.

“After the first inning, he battled really hard,” Darnell said. “He was able to settle down and control their running game.”

Emporia State right fielder Wade Hanna, who was 2-for-3, tripled and drove in two runs in the first inning. Second baseman Levi Parker drove in a run with a ground ball and designated hitter Tory Bell hit a sacrifice fly.

The Hornets (8-6) added four runs in the ninth, including Bell’s two-run triple, off of two Lions relievers.

In the first game, Emporia State, trailing 1-0, scored twice in the sixth inning. First baseman Dean Long, who was 2-for-3, drove in the first run with a single, and shortstop Toby Cornejo’s sacrifice bunt drove in Parker, who had singled, for the game-winning run.

MSSU’s David Reese (3-1), who struck out eight in the first five innings, pitched a seven-inning complete game. He allowed seven hits and no walks.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jared Lupo was hit by a pitch and later scored when Helsel hit into a fielder’s choice. Osburn had two of the Lions’ six hits.

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