Tahlequah, Okla. -- CJ Maffei pitched five solid innings and Patrick Deao provided the run support to lead the Missouri Southern Lions to a 6-3 victory over the Northeastern State RiverHawks Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 16) in Tahlequah, Okla. It is the second straight win for the Lions, who improve to 2-2 on the season. The RiverHawks fall to 4-5.
Consecutive singles by Kerwin Childs and A.J. French helped the RiverHawks get on the board first in the second inning as Childs scored on a sacrifice fly by Johnny Domingue.
The Lions grabbed the lead in the next frame as Jacob Taylor led off with a double and tied the score on a sacrifice fly from CJ Matthews. Shayne Hoke scored the go-ahead run after drawing a walk and later scoring on a single by Deao.
NSU answered right back in the bottom of the third by scoring a pair of unearned runs to regain the lead at 3-2.
Taylor then doubled in the tying run in the fourth inning and Vince Pironti gave the Lions the lead for good with an RBI single in the sixth that plated Zach Caldwell. Caldwell had led off the inning with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error.
Deao gave the Lions a pair of insurance runs with a two-run homer in the seventh that scored Dane Kolkmeyer.
Maffei pitched five innings with three runs allowed but only one earned and three strikeouts to get the victory.
Carter Lance came on in relief of Maffei and pitched four scoreless innings to earn the save.
Deao led the Lions' offensive attack with a 3-of-5 effort at the plate with three RBI. Taylor went 2-of-4 with an RBI, while Caldwell had one hit and scored twice.
The Lions will now turnaround and play a double-header in Russellville, Ark. against Arkansas Tech tomorrow afternoon (Feb. 17) starting at 1 p.m.