The Fort Hays State University baseball team defeated Northwest Missouri State in the second game of the series on Saturday, 4-2 at Larks Park. The Tigers improved to 9-7 on the season while earning their first conference victory and moving to 1-4 in MIAA play. The Bearcats dipped to 7-7 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Ryan Ruder earned the victory for the Tigers, allowing only two runs on four hits and striking out three batters across 5.2 innings of work. Ruder did not allow the Bearcats to earn a hit through the first five innings. However, NWMSU scraped across two runs to begin the sixth frame before the next two hitters were retired. Cody Rottinghaus stepped out of the bullpen, relieving Ruder after he gave up consecutive singles with two outs in the inning.

Rottinghaus shut down the Bearcats the following two innings, allowing one hit and giving up one free pass to first base. The junior struck out three batters in 2.1 frames. Sam Capps came on to protect the Tiger lead in the top of the ninth. Capps induced two fly-outs on his way to earning his third save of the season.

The Tiger bats were hot in the early going as Clayton Basgall and Alex Weiss reached base safely with consecutive singles. Dayton Pomeroy picked up both runners after roping a fastball up the heart of the defense that bounced over the center fielder’s head and rolled the fence, allowing Basgall and Weiss to score and Pomeroy standing on third base.

Three scoreless frames came and went before Basgall crushed a pitch through the teeth of the wind over the wall in left center for his first home run of the season in the fifth frame. After NWMSU brought the score to 3-2 after six, the Tigers tacked on another run in the eighth when Pomeroy crossed home plate on a single up the middle from Jordan Wilkerson.

Basgall finished 2-for-4 on the afternoon with one RBI and two runs scored. Pomeroy also went 2-for-4 today with a triple and two runs batted in.

The Tigers and Bearcats get set for the rubber match on Sunday as first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Larks Park. The Tigers dropped Friday’s series opener, 13-1, in seven innings.