Hillcats best Tiger baseball in Saturday doubleheader
The Fort Hays State baseball team dropped both ends of its doubleheader against Rogers State Saturday afternoon (March 20) at Larks Park, 16-2 and 9-4. The teams were neck-and-neck early on in both contests before the Hillcats pulled away late.
The Tigers will be back in action at home next weekend (March 26-27) when the Tigers host No. 3 Missouri Southern. The Tigers and Lions will battle in a single game on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. before facing off in a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.
Game 1 - Rogers State 16, Fort Hays State 2 (8 innings)
The Tigers and Hillcats were locked in a tight dual for much of the first game of the afternoon before RSU scored 13 runs in the final two innings to pull away.
Fort Hays State struck first after Kade Wallace was hit by a pitch in the first Tiger at bat of the day. He moved into scoring position on a walk to Jacob Bouzide before coming around to score on a sharp double into left center from Corbin Truslow.
Rogers State tied things up in the top of the second before tacking on a pair of runs in the third. The Tigers clawed within one with a single run in the fifth after Griffin Brunson beat out an infield single to lead off the inning. Brunson advanced on a sacrifice bunt before sprinting home on a single to right from Bouzide. But the Hillcats pulled away late, scoring eight runs in the seventh and five runs in the fifth to seal the win.
Ryan Ruder (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out four over 6.0 innings of work. The Tiger bullpen allowed the next 13 runs over the final two innings, including four unearned runs. Griffin Brunson was the lone Tiger with multiple base hits in the opener, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Game 2 - Rogers State 9, Fort Hays State 4
Fort Hays State led by one after three innings in the nightcap, 4-3, but the Hillcats scored six unanswered runs over the final five frames to take the victory.
Rogers State put together a run in the first before the Tigers knotted things at 1-1 in the home half. Kade Wallace worked a leadoff walk before Drake Angeron pulled a perfect bunt to the right side just in front of the second baseman, allowing the speedy lefty to beat the throw to first. Corbin Truslow came through with another first-inning RBI when he yanked a single into left, scoring Wallace from second. Jaxson Webb followed with a walk to load the bases with just one out, but the Hillcat starter escaped without any further damage.
The Hillcats went back in front with two more runs on four base hits in the second inning before the Tigers took the lead in the bottom of the third. Grant Schmidt got the scoring run going with a double down the third-base line before Truslow singled through the left side. Webb followed with a base knock to right center, driving in Schmidt. Truslow came in to score and tie things at 3-3 on a sacrifice fly from Griffin Brunson before Tyler Olson gave the Tigers the lead with a double down the first-base line.
The Tigers retired the side in order in the fourth before RSU regained the lead with three runs in the fifth. The Hillcats later added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Tigers had chances to cut into the lead in the late innings, including leadoff doubles in the fifth and seventh innings, but the RSU pitching staff managed to work out of the jam both times.
Jayce Meyer (0-2) took the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits while striking out three over 4.1 innings of work. Hunter Parker gave up three runs (one earned) and struck out two over 2.2 innings of relief while Jake Steinbring tossed the final 2.0 innings, giving up one run on one hit and striking out four.
Truslow was 2-for-4 with an RBI and one run scored in game 2, while Schmidt finished 2-for-5 with a run scored.