EMPORIA, Kan. — The Fort Hays State baseball team took an early lead against Emporia State on Friday, but the Hornets rallied to take game two of the weekend series, 12-4. The Tigers are now 11-21 on the year and 3-16 in conference play, while Emporia State moves to 17-12 overall and 8-8 in MIAA action.

Fort Hays State collected four runs on nine hits while the Hornets totaled 15 hits en route to 12 runs.

The Tigers struck first after two of the first four batters worked a walk. Cody Starkel came through with a two-out base hit, sending a single back up the middle to drive in Ryan Grasser. Emporia State grabbed the lead once and for all in the bottom of the second with two runs before tacking on four more runs over the next two frames.

Bryce Whitchurch led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to right center, helping the Tigers close within 6-2.

Fort Hays State added two more runs in the top of the eighth when Addison Kaasch reached on a leadoff single. After the next two batters were retired, Dayton Pomeroy crushed his 11th home run of the season to center, making the score 10-4.

Starkel and Dawson Sramek both collected two hits on the day. Tanner Smith (1-6) took the loss after allowing six runs (four earned) over four innings of work, striking out two. Easton Palmer and Zach Rothert both tossed one inning of scoreless relief.

The Tigers will be back in action on Saturday as they take on ESU in game three at noon.