Tiger baseball drops series opener with Missouri Southern

FHSU Sports Information
Fort Hays State's Ryan Ruder brings a pitch to the plate on Friday against Missouri Southern at Larks Park.

Fort Hays State baseball fell victim to three big run-scoring innings in a 12-2 loss to No. 9 ranked Missouri Southern on Friday evening (Mar. 26) at Larks Park. In a game that was scoreless through two innings, Missouri Southern scored four runs in the third, five runs in the fifth, and three in the sixth to pull away for a run-rule victory.

Back-to-back doubles by the Lions in the third plated three of their four runs in the inning. A single a couple batters later produced the fourth run. The Tigers countered by loading the bases in the bottom of the third when Jacob Bouzide produced the only hit off MSSU starter Zach Parish. Grant Schmidt drew a bases loaded walk to get the Tigers on the board, but a strikeout ended the Tiger threat. Parish went on to throw 5.0 innings and struck out eight, allowing just the one run on a hit and two walks.

The Lions broke the game open in the fifth on a one-out grand slam by Tommy Stevenson and a sacrifice fly later in the inning made the score 9-1. The Lions tacked on three more before the Tigers scored their second run in the bottom of the seventh. Garrett Stephens singled to open the inning and later came in to score on a passed ball.

Ryan Ruder took the loss on the mound, throwing the first 4.1 innings of the game. He struck out two Lions. Parish moved to 6-0 on the season for the Lions with the win. Conner Kessler, Padraic Walsh, and Tanner Lukowski threw in relief for the Tigers. Kessler was charged with the final three runs scored by MSSU.

The Tigers and Lions return to the field on Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at noon to wrap up the three-game weekend series.