The Fort Hays State University baseball team broke out its brooms for the first time this season after defeating Lincoln, 14-6, in the third and final game of the series Saturday afternoon in Jefferson City.
The Tigers wasted little time putting their hosts in a big hole Saturday. Ty Redington opened with a single before Caleb Cherryholmes walked. Both stole a base to get into scoring position for Alex Weiss, who plated the Tigers’ first run on a sacrifice fly. Designed hitter Joe Mapes doubled to right, making it 2-0. Connor Ross added another run on an infield single to give Tiger starter Giles Fox a three-run cushion before he stepped on the mound.
Fox retired the hosts in order in the bottom of one. The Tiger bats provided more support in their second at-bat. Cherryholmes plated Nick Hammeke and Redington with a three-run homer before Austin Unrein followed with a solo shot to make it 7-0.
Lincoln (1-25, 0-16) got four runs back in the bottom of the second on a passed ball, RBI double and a two-run homer from Laban Petzoldt.
A sacrifice fly from Hammeke and an RBI single from Wiess made it 9-4 after four.
Clayton Basgall replaced Giles in the bottom of the fifth with a five-run lead and only allowed one unearned run in three innings of work, earning the victory. By time the Blue Tigers scored their lone run on Basgall, the Tigers had a 14-4 lead following homers from Mapes and Unrein and an RBI single by Cherryholmes.
Lincoln added another unearned run against FHSU reliever Casey Sedbrook in the eighth. The hosts got a runner into scoring position in the ninth, but Connor Boyer ended the game with a pair of strikeouts to complete the sweep. Basgall picked up his first win of the year, striking out three in as many innings.
Unrein, Mapes and Cherryholmes used the long ball to combine for 10 of the Tigers’ 14 RBI.
After a run-rule victory in the opener, the Tigers (13-14, 7-9) took Friday’s game 12-5. Behind a pair of three-run homers.
After Redington drew a walk to open the game, Cherryholmes followed with a single. Weiss, the FHSU clean up hitter, pulled a pitch to left and cleared the bases to give the visitors a 3-0 lead with only one out in the inning.
Tiger starter Kyle Vogt retired Lincoln in order in the first before finding trouble in the second. Right fielder Mason Price put Lincoln on the board with an RBI double, before taking third and home on a pair of wild pitches. Vogt induced a double play and produced a strikeout to get out of the second with the Tigers still in front 3-2.
The Tiger bats responded in their next trip to the plate and provided all the necessary offense.
Cherryholmes’ opened the third with his second single before Weiss walked. This time it was Mapes who blasted a three-run homer to make it a four-run contest. The Tigers didn’t stop there, however.
Connor Ross was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Alex King followed by drawing a base on ball before catcher Trevor Hughes plated both with a double to center that made it 8-2.
Vogt again retired the side in order in the third before FHSU added a run in the fourth via Mapes’ single to right that scored Unrein.
The Tiger starter exited with after a scoreless fifth with an 11-2 lead after a two-run single from Cherryholmes in the top of the fifth. Vogt allowed two runs on three hits with four strikeouts.
Jackson Rolfs came on in the sixth and got two strikeouts in the scoreless frame.
Rolfs allowed an unearned run in the seventh that made it 11-3 following a pair of errors by Redington, the Tiger second baseman.
Unrein got the run back in the top of the eighth on a solo homer, FHSU’s third long ball of the day before control issues helped Lincoln score two in the bottom of the eighth.
Rolfs stayed on and worked around a throwing error by Hammeke, the short stop to close out a 12-5 Tiger victory in Game 2.
The Tigers will look to get back to .500 on Wednesday when Washburn comes to town for a single game at Larks Park.