The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 12, 2014

Northeastern sweeps to catch Lions

Cody Robinson was 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run home run in the second game as Northeastern State defeated Missouri Southern 5-3 and swept a doubleheader Friday night at Joe Becker Stadium.

Robinson, who went 1-for-5 and scored a run in the RiverHawks’ 11-2 victory in the first game, hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning of the second game for a 2-1 NSU lead.

Northeastern State (18-20 overall, 14-16 MIAA) added two runs in the fifth inning and one more run in the ninth.

“Cody Robinson is really good,” said MSSU starting pitcher Payton Walker, who allowed four runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out four in 7 2/3 innings. “In the fourth, he put a good swing on a pitch where I wanted it. You just have to tip your cap on that one.”

The RiverHawks took a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning on Cody Begovich’s one-out triple, a sacrifice fly by Bryce Davenport, a double by Robinson and a triple by David Weber, who was thrown out at the plate when he tried to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run.

“Those two hits (by Robinson and Weber) were the biggest of the game,” Walker said.

MSSU answered with a run in the fifth inning on Logan Moon’s two-out single to right field that scored Austin White, and cut the lead to 4-3 with a run in the sixth on singles by Brandon Weller and Matt Smith, Dusty Harper’s sacrifice and Mitchell Osburn’s run-scoring groundball.

The two teams meet again in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. today at Joe Becker Stadium.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when leadoff batter Evin Natick walked, stole second, went to third on a throwing error and scored on Logan Moon’s grounder to shortstop.

Smith, the designated hitter, had three of MSSU’s nine hits. Moon was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Natick was 2-for-3.

In the first game, the Lions had three hits — all singles — against NSU right-hander Ryan Helsley, who pitched a seven-inning complete game, walked five and struck out two.

Davenport was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, Dante Broome was 2-for-4 and scored three runs, and Begovich hit a three-run double in the seventh.

“They plugged some gaps,” said Lions coach Bryce Darnell. “They hit the ball up against the fence a few times and hit a home run.

“We’re tied right now,” he said. “We’re in the same boat as they are and quite honestly they’re showing a little more fight than we are.”

The Lions (20-18, 14-16) took a 1-0 first-inning lead when Natick stole home as part of a delayed double steal with Jared Lupo, who stole second on the play.

Natick’s leadoff single was the Lions’ only hit until Moon singled in the third. MSSU added a run in the fourth inning on a one-out walk to Osburn, who advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when Harper grounded a single into center field.

The RiverHawks scored five runs on five singles and two errors in the third inning, then added two runs in the sixth with the help of an error and a squeeze bunt.

Broome singled in a run in the seventh before Begovich’s bases-loaded, three-run double to left field.

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