A series win will be at stake when the Fort Hays State University and Lindenwood baseball teams meet for the third time on Sunday after the Tigers (17-17, 11-12) took Game 2 of the three-game series, 12-6, on Saturday.
The Lions (14-17, 8-14) jumped out in front early, scoring two unearned runs off Tiger starter Kyle Vogt. When the FHSU senior returned to the mound in the second inning, he had a four-run lead.
Senior Joe Mapes put the Tigers on the board with a single that scored Connor Ross, who opened the second inning with a leadoff triple. Nick Hammeke’s two-RBI double put the Tigers ahead before Trevor Hughes and Hammeke came around on wild pitches. Alex Weiss plated the Tigers’ sixth run of the inning on a single that scored Austin Unrien.
Lindenwood got a run back in the bottom half on a wild pitch before Wes Degener’s solo shot, his second homer of the series, made it 6-3 in the fourth. The Lions scored another run on a wild pitch, making it a two-run game.
Junior Jackson Rolfs replaced Vogt after the starter allowed five runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits in four innings. Vogt struck out four and walked three.
An Unrein single gave the Tigers a two-run lead in the sixth. Another Hammeke RBI in the seventh made it 8-5.
The Tigers led by two to start the ninth when they gave Giles Fox, the third and final FHSU pitcher of the day, some insurance runs.
Hammeke plated another run with a bases-loaded walk before Alex King scored on a wild pitch. Ty Redington and Caleb Cherryholmes plated FHSU’s final runs of the day.
Fox allowed a single to start the ninth but got a double play and a fly out to end the game.
Ross led the Tigers with four hits, while Hammeke plated a team-high three runs. Lindenwood out-hit the Tigers 13-11 on Saturday.
The weekend road trip got off to rough start for FHSU, as the Tigers dropped a 12-2 game that was ended via run-rule after seven innings on Friday.
The Tigers recorded four errors and allowed eight extra-base hits, two of which were home runs. It was the errors that hurt the visitors early.
FHSU had a runner in scoring position in the top of the first following Unrein’s two-out double before a fly out ended the inning.
The Lions struck first after a Redington error at second base allowed one run to score and another to reach third with one out. Tiger starter D.J. Carr limited the damage by getting an out in the next two at-bats.
Unrein doubled again to lead off the fourth before three straight outs stranded another runner in scoring position.
Another error at second base allowed the hosts to double their lead in the fourth before the Lion bats warmed up in the fifth. A lead off walk turned into a runner at third with one-out after a throwing error by the Tiger catcher on a steal. The Lions drove in runs with a single, double and a two-run triple in the inning to make it 6-0 after five. Carr exited after getting the final two outs of the fifth. He allowed
The Tigers got two of the runs back on a double from Mapes, but Lindenwood again extended its lead in the bottom half, this time with power.
Jackson Fuller led off the inning with a single before a two-run shot from Degener. A double followed, and that was end for Carr, who was replaced by Casey Sedbrook.
Sedbrook allowed a single to Mike Ehrhard before Ryan Sosnowski cleared the bases with a three-run homer, making it 11-2. The FHSU reliever then retired the next three hitters to get out of the inning.
After the Tigers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, the game was ended in the bottom half when a Lion scored on a wild pitch from Connor Boyer.
Unrein was the only Tiger with multiple hits, while five Lions could make such a claim.
Lindenwood’s Brendan Feldmann picked up his second win of the season after allowing two earned runs and six hits. He struck out 11 Tigers on the day.