JOPLIN, Mo. —The Fort Hays State University baseball team’s slide down the MIAA standings continued this weekend at Missouri Southern, as the Lions took the first two games on Friday and Saturday for the series victory.
The Tigers (17-25, 11-20) found themselves in a big hole early and failed to extend the game beyond the seventh inning in an 18-2 loss on Saturday.
Freshman starter Logan Herd walked the first two batters he faced, but got his first two outs without allowing a run. A three-run homer from Brett Graham changed that and started a two-out rally.
Two doubles and a single made it 5-0 before catcher Matt Smith went yard to make it 7-0, bringing Connor Boyer in for Herd before the end of the inning.
The Lions (28-14, 18-13) used a pair of FHSU errors to tack two unearned runs on Boyer’s tab and took a 9-0 lead to the second.
After Boyer walked the first two batters he saw in the second, Clayton Basgall was called onto the mound. Basgall issued a bases-loaded walk to the second batter he faced to give the Lions a 10-0 lead.
The Tigers got one run back in the top of the third on a Nick Hammeke single to right that scored Trevor Hughes.
Basgall kept the Lions off the board until the fifth when he hit a batter with the bases loaded. Head coach Steve Johnson then went back to the bullpen, bringing Andrew Astalos into the game. Astalos allowed Missouri Southern’s 12th run on a wild pitch before a two-run single and a walk chased the redshirt freshman from the game with the Tigers down 15-1.
Will Amen came in and walked the first two batters he faced, the second of which plated a run before Casey Sedbrook took the mound.
A sacrifice fly from Jesse Rall and an RBI single from Graham made it 18-1 before the Tigers got out of the fifth.
Tiger designated hitter Joe Mapes hit a solo shot — his eighth homer of the year — that made it 18-2 in the top of the seventh, but the Tigers failed to extend the game any further. Mapes was the only Tiger with multiple hits.
Six FHSU pitched appeared in the seven-inning game. All but Sedbrook allowed at least one earned run.
Graham and Smith plated four runs apiece for the Lions. MSSU starter Cody Hutchinson picked up the win, tossing six innings and only allowing an unearned run.
Saturday’s loss extended FHSU’s losing streak to eight games. The Tigers sat in 12th place after Saturday’s game.
FHSU allowed an opponent to come from behind once again in Friday’s opener, a 5-2 loss.
The Lions got to Tiger starter Kyle Vogt in the bottom of the second on an RBI single, but the Tigers tied the game in the top of the third when Hammeke walked and stole second. The shortstop came around to score on an error by the Missouri Southern shortstop on a ball hit by Austin Unrein.