EDMOND, Okla. - The Fort Hays State baseball team struggled to get the bats going in Sunday's MIAA opener against Missouri Western (Feb. 24), falling to the Griffons 7-1. The Tigers (0-9, 0-1) and Griffons (3-5, 1-0) will wrap up their series with a doubleheader Monday beginning at noon.

The Griffons wasted little time getting started, pushing across three runs over the first two innings. The Tigers got a run back in the top of the fourth after Landon Erway drew a leadoff walk. The sophomore swiped two bases before coming around to score on Tyler Olson's double down the left field line, helping the Tigers close within 3-1.

But Missouri Western Starter Anthony Castaneda continued to stymie the Tiger offense, allowing just three hits while striking out 12 over 7.0 innings of work. The Griffons tacked on four insurance runs against the Tiger bullpen down the stretch, pushing across two in the sixth and two in the eighth.

Ethan Booe (0-1) took the loss after tossing five effective innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits while striking out six batters. Ryan Ruder struck out three Griffons over two innings of relief, allowing two runs on two hits. Chase Werth finished the game on the mound, allowing a pair of runs on three hits while striking out one batter.

Kyler Cox added a pinch-hit double in the ninth, the only other extra-base hit of the evening for the Tigers.