Pack the Park night was spoiled in a hurry by Missouri Western.
The Fort Hays State University baseball team struggled from the start in front of 462 fans on Friday night at Larks Park, losing its 11th straight game after a 12-1 thrashing in seven innings by Missouri Western in the series opener.
Western scored three runs in the first inning off FHSU starter Sam Capps, who allowed five runs on five hits in just 1.1 innings. Roger Kruse then gave up four runs in relief as the Griffons built a 9-0 lead by the third inning.
"It was over right off the bat,'' FHSU coach Steve Johnson said. "We got just absolutely horrible pitching performances right off the bat from the first two guys."
Outside of Jordan Wilkerson's solo home run in the fourth inning, the large crowd had few reasons to cheer. Perhaps the biggest applause came with the P.A. announcement that Fort Hays State product Nathan Shepherd was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
The Tigers (13-32, 5-26 MIAA) struggled just as much at the plate as they did on the mound, striking out 10 times against Western starter Nate Hunter in the run-rule shortened game.
"Nothing happens when the ball's not in play," Johnson said. "Until the seventh inning, we had five hits from two guys (Alex Weiss and Wilkerson). That's just a lack of adjustment through the lineup."
Weiss finished with three hits for the Tigers, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Wilkerson added two hits.
Western (24-21, 16-15) got two home runs and five RBIs from Brooks Day while Dusty Stroup and Nick Schranck also homered.