Junior Ty Redington and senior Austin Unrein produced clutch performances to help the Fort Hays State University baseball team pick up its second straight series sweep with a 7-6 win against visiting Northeastern State Sunday at Larks Park.
The Tigers (16-15, 10-10) trailed 4-3 when Unrein took the mound in relief, and the RiverHawks (15-15, 9-11) scored two more runs, both of which were charged to Jackson Rolfs, and led by three heading to the bottom of the seventh.
FHSU was retired in order in the bottom half before Unrein struck out the side in the eighth.
With the Tigers' down to their final six outs, the home team had its biggest inning against NSU starter Thomas Murray. Connor Ross opened the frame with a single to center and Alex King followed with a one-out knock. Nick Hammeke made it a two-run game with a two-out single back up the middle.
Redington then pulled a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall for a three-run homer, giving the Tigers a one-run lead.
Unrein retired the first two batters he faced before issuing a walk to Cody Begovich. Begovich was caught stealing to end the game, as catcher Trevor Hughes threw him out at second.
The RiverHawks took a 1-0 lead on Tiger starter Logan Herd in the second inning before King tied it in the bottom half with an RBI single to the gap in left. Begovich gave the visitors a 3-1 lead in the fourth, but the Tigers again answered quickly.
Hammeke and Ross plated runs in the fourth and fifth, respectively, to tie the game to start the sixth.
NSU moved back in front on an RBI single in the top of the sixth that chased Herd from the game. The freshman went 5.2 innings and allowed four runs, only three of which were earned. He allowed six hits and issued four walks with two strikeouts. Rolfs handled the final out of the frame before being replaced by Unrein with one down in the seventh.
Unrein picked up his first win of the year after striking out four in 2.2 innings of one-hit work. He also added two hits at the plate.
The bottom of the FHSU lineup continued to produce in the finale. King, Hughes and Hammeke — seven through nine in the lineup, respectively — all had multiple hits, while King and Hammeke had RBI.
The Tigers, winners of seven of their last eight, return to action at Washburn on Tuesday. The Ichabods are the only team to beat FHSU in the last two weeks.
Fort Hays State 7, Northeastern State 6
NSU 010 201 200 — 6 8 1
FHSU 010 110 04x — 7 13 1
Herd, Folfs, Unrein and Redington. Murray and Kirkpatrick. W: Unrein. L: Murray. 2B: Sims. HR: Begovich, Redington.