Lincoln powers Lions to four-game sweep of Griffons

St. Joseph, Mo. – Joe Lincoln went 6-7 at the plate and drove in five runs to power the Missouri Southern Lions to another sweep of the Missouri Western Griffons Monday afternoon (Mar. 15) in St. Joseph, Mo.  The Lions won the first game 8-3 and then blew past the Griffons 14-4 in the nightcap. 

In the opener, Michael Zurmehly put the Lions on top in the second inning with his fourth homer of the season, a two-run opposite-field shot that put the Lions up 2-0.

Zurmehly then doubled home two runs in the third and Joe Lincoln singled home Skyler Rawlins as the Lions jumped ahead 5-0 after three innings.

Isaac Rome drove in the Griffons’ first run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth, but the Lions broke the game open with three runs in the fifth for a seven-run lead.

Jacob Taylor and Lincoln hit back-to-back singles and Hoke then doubled home Taylor for the Lions’ sixth run of the game. 

After Zurmehly was intentionally walked, Patrick Deao delivered an RBI single that plated Lincoln.  Vince Pironti capped the inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Hoke that made it 8-1.

CJ Maffei was solid on the mound for the Lions, pitching all seven innings with only two earned runs allowed and three strikeouts to get the win. 

Lincoln got the Lions going in the nightcap by doubling in CJ Matthews and Taylor that snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth. Deao then put the Lions up 3-0 by chasing home Lincoln with an RBI double.

The Lions added a pair of unearned runs in the fifth for a five-run lead. 

Lincoln again came through for the Lions as he doubled home Taylor in the seventh that put the Lions up 6-0.  The Lions (7-14, 5-9 MIAA) added two more in the inning when Lincoln scored on a double by pinch hitter Fernando Lugo and Deao singled home Lugo.

Billy Waldman got the Griffons (7-8, 4-8 MIAA) on the board with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh as the Griffons scored three times that cut the lead to 8-3.

The Lions then effectively put the game away with four runs in the top of the eighth inning to extend the lead to 12-3. 

Caldwell got the inning started with a lead-off double and scored on a single by Rawlins.  Lincoln then drove in his fifth run of the doubleheader with a single that chased Rawlins home.  Hoke also had a sacrifice fly in the inning. 

Kevin Humphrey was the winning pitcher after allowing three runs and striking out four in seven innings of work.  Humphrey blanked the Griffons on only two hits through six innings before giving up the three runs in the seventh.

Lee Hall got in on the action with an RBI single as the Lions added two more runs in the ninth inning. 

The Lions will stay on the road and play at Northwest Missouri State with a four-game series beginning with a single-game on Friday afternoon (Mar. 19) at 3 p.m. in Maryville, Mo.