The Fort Hays State baseball team dropped both games of the double header to Wayne State (Neb.) on Thursday at Larks Park. The Tigers dipped to 0-8 on the season, while the Wildcats moved to 5-1 overall.
Game One: Wayne State 9, Fort Hays State 3
The Tigers struggled to get the bats going early, collecting just one hit over the first four innings. The Wildcats played from in front all afternoon after Kyle Thompson sent a two-out grand slam over the wall in left in the top of the first.
Trailing 8-0, the Tigers got on the board in the fifth thanks to a two-out rally. Jordan Wilkerson worked a walk before Dawson Sramek beat out an infield single. The pair moved up a bag on a passed ball, allowing Wilkerson to later score on an error.
The Tigers added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Taylan Mullins-Ohm lifted a pinch-hit home run to left center in his first at bat of the season, closing within 8-3.
Cole Zimmerman (0-2) made the start for FHSU, allowing six runs on four hits over 3.0 innings of work. Chase Werth came out of the bullpen to toss 2.2 effective frames, allowing one run on three hits.
Game two: Wayne State 13, Fort Hays State 7
The Tigers had trouble putting together hits in the early-going, as they produced just two hits across the first three innings. The Wildcats got off to another hot start as Andrew Hansen launched a one-out 2-run home run over the wall in left center in the first inning.
Trailing 8-0, the Tigers plated their first run of the game when Landon Erway tripled to right center and crossed home plate when Cody Starkel singled through the right side.
Wayne State pushed across two more runs in the top of the fifth. Marcus McDaniel and Tim Fitzgerald then drew back-to-back walks to lead off home half. Both Tigers came around to score a few batters later after a couple Wildcat fielding errors.
The Tigers put together a nice comeback bid in the eighth inning with four runs on five hits. Erway led off with a single up the middle of the diamond before Jared Haynes added his own single, beginning the late run for the Tigers. Marcus McDaniel produced an RBI double the next batter, plating Erway from third. Taylan Mullins-Ohm cut the deficit to 10-6 with a two-out 2-RBI single through the right side of the infield, scoring Haynes and McDaniel. Ryan Grasser avoided another strikeout in the contest by plating Mullins-Ohm with an RBI single to left.
Wayne State tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth and their closer, Charles Hasty, shut down the Tiger offense, sweeping the series.
Cody Rottinghaus (0-2) made the start for FHSU, allowing eight runs spanning 3.2 innings of work. Ryan Brown worked out of the bullpen to toss 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on one hit. Jake Taylor finished off the game for the Tigers with four strikeouts across four innings.
Fort Hays State will begin a three game road swing when they face off against Missouri Western next weekend (Feb. 22-24) in St. Joseph, Mo. First pitch on Friday is set to commence at 2 p.m. from Griffon Baseball Field.